A e.Book [Fake Coins of Republic India] of all the items is available as PDF in download section.
This article is on Fake Indian Coins and Currencies is Organised into 5 parts.
Part 1 - Fake Commemorative Coins
Part 2 - Fake Definitive Coins
Part 3 - Fake Currencies
Part 4 - Fake Error Coins.
Private Package UNC Set
Use the Index or older / newer post to navigate
The story of fakes makes very interesting reads and is fascinating. The story often mutates and evolves and takes on a different life of its own. As years go by there are multiple versions of the story and one really forgets the origins or now is led to believe another lie.
Typically the story being on a popular coin or design, a slightly different design and / or denomination is minted by the forgers. Hand in glove with some small time dealers, these are then circulated to unsuspecting novice buyer or investors as a rare coin. After a period of time typically couple of years down the lane, the forgery is detected and good dealers and other spread the news that there is a forged coin in circulation and one should stay away from it.
This leaves quite a few buyers who had paid high prices sulk, the forgers are also clueless as they would still have some amount of such coins that are minted.
During 1990’s I had heard the story of the Bose rare coins [see below] as well as the Rs 1 coins of 1971 to 1974; when I was new and had just begin collecting coins. I did marvel at the coin, but at that time I did not believe in buying coins to complete a collection and always believed that one can complete a collection without buying.
Fast forward to 2010, and now the coins have taken on a new life. These are now sold as special coins for Tantrik or puja purposes. My friend narrated one story about how he was approached by someone through known persons who wanted the 1971 coin to photograph. He willing agreed. After a few days they came back again and said that their Tantrik baba has liked the coin, but wants to see it more closely and see if it has mystical powers. They claimed that the coin can do wonders if it falls in the right hands. Now whether it was to trick my friend into parting the rare genuine 1971 Rs 1 proof coin or whether they were looks for the fake Rs 1 1971 coin is hard to tell. But whatever it is, the story is definitely interesting.
If you know any more interesting stories, do let me know.
1969 – 50 Paise Nehru
The first release of Nehru commemorative depicts him without a cap. However the commemorative issued in 1989 depict him with a cap. The forgers took advantage of this and released a coin of Nehru with cap.Made in Cupro-Nickel the coin is a dead give away in design for those who would have see the Original Silver Coin. There was no coin minted in Cupro-Nickel. Notice the lettering on obverse as well as reverse, its easy to figure this one. Also the Ashoka Lion Capital is very different.
1969 – Rs 10 Gandhi
1969 – Rs 10 Gandhi
1970 – Rs 10 Food For AllThis fake was of made of Copper and not from the Silver alloy as the Original. It’s coated with silver to give it authentic look. It’s easy to distinguish this from the weight of the coin. Even in the design there are quite a few differences that can be easily noticed. Observe the Sun rays that are quite different. The Lotus is also different and does not have petals. The letters are of different font.
There are atleast 2 - 3 types of this fake in market.
1972 – Rs 10 Independence Jubilee
This fake was of made of Copper and not from the Silver alloy as the Original. It’s easy to distinguish this from the weight of the coin. If you have handled both the coins, this coin would be very light. There is a silver coating on it to give it the original look. Even in the design there are quite a few differences that can be easily noticed. The Dot on legend [25 ve] is missing. The Flag has additional thread on top left mast. The wheel is thicker. Even the Obverse there Ashoka Lion Capital is a dead give away.
Another fake by a different die. Very easy to identify flag , ashoka circle, lettering
1970, 1971 and 1972 - 20 Paise Food For All:
The general scarcity of the 1970 & 1971 proof set, let to the creative minds minting a 1971 & 1972 - Food for All Coin in 20 Paise denomination.
Saw this crude 1970 20 paise fake for the first time in March 2015. Very easy to recognize this one if you have seen any India coin / Ashoka Emblem its easy to see how crude the design is. There are multiple designs indicating quite a few had the idea of creating the fakes.
The 1971 Food for All was never put in general circulation. It was available as part of UNC set [and of course Proof Set with “B” mint mark]. Notice the Lotus, its got only 2 petals in between instead of the 4. Apart from the overall poor workmanship on the coin.
There was no issue of Food for All in 1972. The design itself is very poor copy of the Original coin released for circulation in 1970 and as part of Proof & UNC sets in 1970 and 1971
A obvious fake and very easy to identify. The design is totally different. The metal and the overall craftsmanship are very poor.
eBay Seller: mumbai.indians
1973 Rs 10 Grow More FoodThe Fake is a easy give away, the Lion is pretty aweful and one can easily recognize this. Even the Reverse the design is more crude in terms of the corn leaves. I saw this Rs 10 fake around June 2014
1973 Rs 20 Grow More FoodThe Fake is a easy give away, the Lion is pretty awful and one can easily recognize this. Even the Reverse the design is more crude in terms of the corn leaves. I saw this Rs 10 fake around September 2015.
1974 Rs 10 Planned Families
Another coin with fake design. The corn leaves and the lettering are a dead give away. The original does not have a toothed rim.
First seen around September 2015, the finish is a clear give away.
1974 Rs 50 Planned FamiliesAnother coin with fake design. First seen around September 2015
1975 Rs 50 Equality Peace and Development
An excellent fake of Rs 50 and its takes quite a bit of study comparing to the Original specimen. The Lion is also quite good. There are few smaller difference in the coin and could have been overlooked as variety. This requires a very keen observation with the Original to identify this as a fake. Ofcouse If one has this coin physically a weight can be measured, it would be quite a bit different from the Original Quaternary Alloy used. Saw this around Dec 2015 along with other such fakes for the FAO years.
1976 Rs 10 Food and Work for All
A good fake and one can identify this only by comparing it with the Original. The features of the Lion on the Obverse are very different. On the Reverse there are quite a few scuttle differences in the Factory, Building, Grass next to tractor, Electric pole etc. Saw this first around Oct 2015.
1976 Rs 50 Food and Work for All
An extremely good fake. One needs a close observation along with original to identify the fake. The Lion on the obverse is also quite good. There is scuttle differences in the Factory, Building, Grass next to tractor, Grille and Tyers of the Tractor, Electric poles etc. Saw this around Nov 2015.
1977 Rs 10 Save For Development
The save for development with a crude replica of the original. Possibly a cast impression made for the reverse. The overall image is crude and lacks the finish to tractor, Grille and Tyers of the Tractor, Electric poles etc. Saw this around Nov 2015
1977 Rs 50 Save For Development
The Save for Development fake of the Rs 50 Silver. I came across this in Oct 2015. The design of Factory, Hand and book make it very easy to identify this fake to tractor, Grille and Tyre's of the Tractor, Electric poles etc. Saw this around Nov 2015
1978 Rs 10 Food and Shelter for All
A better made fake. However there are small differences in the design. Overall the lines from trick are thick and do not leave the right distance. The lettering of legend on both sides is different. There is heavy were on the coins making some difference appear due to wear and tear. For example the Lion chest hairs. Saw this around December 2015.
1978 Rs 50 Food and Shelter for All
A better made fake. However there are small differences in the design. Lion though good is easy to pick as fake. The coloring of the coin also is other way of identifying this fake.
1979 Rs 50 Happy Child Nations Pride
A very obvious badly made fake. It shouldn’t be an effort for even a novice to figure out. The coin can be recognized from miles away
1981: International Year of Child
Amongst the most expensive coin and the only Pie Forte of Republic India, this coin is of low mintage. News is that there are Chinese forgeries of these coins. They are so well made that its often difficult to distinguish them. The metal used also is Silver.
Came across this fake around Nov 2015. A very well made fake, slightly difficult to recognize. The lettering on Year and the features of the Sitar players give some clue. This coin is struck in Proof with Frost finish, however the subject does not show any such finish.
1982: Rs 100 National Integration
One of the less popular fakes was the Rs 100 National Integration. The fake made of Copper Alloy is a dead give away. The Reverse designs of the Map India and the smaller islands or the Flag Post on the Maps clearly make it easy to identify this fake. The Obverse lettering is also very different.
1985 Indira Gandhi with Rudrakshi mala
The Rs 1 comes in 4 Variations
The popularity of Mrs. Indria Gandhi led to forgers coming out with a different design on an Rs 1 coin. The actual coins were issued in 50 paise and Rs 5 denominations and had a Bust of Mrs. Indira Gandhi. It should have been a dead give away that for the same occasion there will never be 2 designs.
Once this became popular, not to loose on opportunity and creativity, the forgers came up with a new story; so the variations in Rs 1 are the “17 beads” and “Om Rudraya Nomo”. The one with 17 beads is Very Rare the other one is less rare. And viola we also have a Rs 5 and Rs 10 coin.
This is the most popular fake in terms of design and denominations, with 3 major die designs and 5 denominations and quite a few variations. This is followed by the Fisheries in the commemorative series or by Rs 1 Dabbu coins if we consider the definitive series.
The Rs 5 comes in 2 Variations
The Rs 10 comes in 2 Variations
The Rs 50 comes in 1 Variation
Rs 1 Coin "Om Rudrayia Namo"
Rs 1 17 Beads Coin of Ms Indira Gandhi
Rs 5 Coin
Rs 50 Coin
1990 Dr BR Ambedkar
The Dr Ambedkar coin was issued only in Rs 1 denomination. The creative artists decided to encash on the popularity of Dr Ambedkar and minted a coin in Rs 2 denomination. After getting detected as fake, it is now being sold to SC/ST who already believe & worship Dr Ambedkar. It gets sold as a special coin that is to be used for puja of Dr Ambedkar. Other coins are not good enough. The coin is put at par with other silver coins of hindu deities.
This comes in 2 Variations
1992 Rs 2 Land Vital Resources
With tons of fake coming out in the market for the first time in 2015, I was wondering as to why this issue was left out as it’s the most expensive coin of republic India. The lettering are a obvious give away. I haven’t given much weight to the Lion and its possible that this is more because of imaging than the Lion looking distorted.
1996 Crop Science Circle
With so many fakes going around, I was surprised not to see a 1996 Crop Science fake. I came across this in Oct 2015. The lion is a easy give away.
1996 Subhas Chandra Bose:
The Rs 2 1996 Bose coin was declared as error as the Centenary year was 1997. The coin was subsequently issued in the year 1997 with correct date. The 1996 coins were recalled from circulation. However there were quite a few coins that are in possession of individual collectors and dealers. The overall scarcity and the renewed interest in Republic coins has lead to forgers minting this coin, possibly tampering a used 1997 coin and making it look like a 1996.
A very well done fake. The lettering on the legend is give away. Plus the lion is out of place. Saw this around Dec 2015
1997 Subhas Chandra Bose:
The Bose Rs 1 Coin where as the actual coin was in Rs 2 denominations. This is the 3rd coin where a popular leader is being minted in a fake series to encash on the popularity of a figure. Notice the amount of wear on the coin. I am not sure how the coin got so much of it. But to an unsuspecting buyer it a proof that the coin is genuine as it was in circulation.
1997 Subhas Chandra Bose – Sold as MULE:
The Bose Rs 1 Coin where as the actual coin was in Rs 2 denominations. A new fake achieved by Re-Tooling. i.e. both the Obverse and Reverse are from Genuine coins. However they have been fused together outside the mint. In the older days, the easiest way to fake a mule was take 2 coins, cut them in half and heat and fuse them to make it complete. This however had an issue, were by looking at the edge one could easily make out its 2 coins joined together. In recent times, the tricks have changed. In this case a Normal Rs 1 cupronickel of that period is taken. Note the Rs 1 in Cupro-Nickel were stopped in 1994. The Reverse tooled out using a lathe machine [See the fake error for a Uniface error of this type]. Next you take a Rs 2 Bose coin remove the Obverse and reduce the size. Fit this into the Rs 1. Now the edge is perfect as you can see from the image. The give away is on the Obverse a deep ring and blackness around the ring. The wear is quite uneven on the edges.
Another interesting fake is the 1986 Fisheries. Only next to the Indira Gandhi fakes, these come in quite a few varieties. It looks like the popularity [read scarcity] lead to quite a few forgers taking up this theme and making quick bucks. The design should have been a dead give away for someone who was into collecting. Quite a few times one gets carried away and buys without thinking rationally.
There are 4 Variations/Types of Fakes in this one.
1993 Small Family Happy Family
The 1993 Small Family Happy Family was issued only in Rs 2 denomination. The fake is in Rs 1 denomination. This and the Bose Rs 1 coin try to capture the popularity of a particular theme in one denomination to the other.
1999 Chhatrapati Shivaji
Another popular fake trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Chhatrapati Shivaji, more so in the Maharashtra state. The original coin was only in Rs 2 denomination. Plus the design is very different.
2006 SBI – Rs 100 Coin
Another high value fake coin. The Lion is an easy give away. First seen in September 2015.The coin is simply put beyond the reach of ordinary mortal collectors.
2010 Brihadeeswarar Temple Rs 1000 FakeAnother high value fake coin. Saw this around Oct 2016. The design on Temple is quite crude. The metal looks to be Cupro Nickel. An easy fake to be identified.
If you come across any more fake commemorative, do drop a note so that I can update it.
For Definitive coins fakes and Fake Currencies refer to other article