Nepalese rupee

Name of currency: Nepalese rupee

Country / countries used: Nepal

Symbol:  रू or Rs

Brief history:

Nepal is a small, landlocked, sovereign state in South Asia with a current population of roughly 27 million; it is famous for being located within the Himalayan mountain range. It’s national currency is the Nepalese rupee which was brought in to replace the silver ‘mohar’ which was used from the latter half of the 17th century.

For many years Nepal had no national currency instead for money exchanging the coins that where in regular use where generally ones issued by produced in the Indian kingdoms; Maurayas, Guptas and so on. With the regular change in empires ruling over Nepal, many different coins were minted intermittently until the 15th century and the dividing of the country into its 3 major states; Kathmandu, Patan and Bhatgaon. When it came to money exchange they used then where silver coins named ‘silver tankas’ design differently depending on their origin; Patan’s had an image of a star whereas Kathmandu depicted wavy lines and Bhatgaon coins showed a triangle. When this kingdoms where finally reunited again in 1768 to create the ‘Kingdom of Nepal’ the Mohar was born.

Mohar coins were made up of silver and gold and divided into 128 ‘dams’ each. Copper was used when producing coins for the value of a dam and a paisa (the value of 4 x dams) the worth of thee coins were entirely relative to one another not fixed until 1903 which is the same year that the silver mohar became the standard legal tender of Nepal which in turn was divided into a much simpler system of just 50 paisa’s.

The rupee was first issued in 1932 at a money exchange rate of 2 mohar equal to 1 rupee, it was originally referred to as the ‘mohru’ in Nepalese. The first coins to be produced where the silver 20, 50 paisa’s and the 1 rupee which in turn where followed up with copper coins in 1933 and 1935. In addition to this the copper ¼ and ½ paisa’s as well as a nickel-brass 5 paisa coin were issued in the 1940’s, this continued with more variation being introduced including the brass 1, 2 and 4 paisa coins, the bronze 5 and 10 paisa’s in 1954. Aluminium started to be brought in for the 1, 2 and 5 paisa’s in 1966 as well as the shiny new 10 paisa coin. In terms of bank notes, they were first added just after the initial coins, in 1945 only produced in the denominations; 5, 10 and100 rupees at first and printed with the Nepalese name mohru.