Today during the lunch, there was a discussion regarding the coins and I told them that the Rs. 5 coin had indeed changed; many had not noticed it or were not bothered about it. I was quite surprised when I first saw the coin. It was not usual metal that was used and it was stainless steel. What does this indicate? Ever thought about it?
Let me brief you some of the details that I have gathered. Every coin that is minted by RBI has some purpose and meaning to it. The symbols, size and the dimensions play a dominant role. Usually every coin has a unique feature, why this is implemented? It is for the benefit of visually challenged person. They should be able to make out from the size and the dimensions easily the value of the coin that they are having.
The general size and dimensions of the coins in circulation are as follows: (Till 2007)
Denomination — Metal — Weight — Shape — Size
Five Rupees — Cupro-Nickel — 9.0 g – Circular — 23 mm
Two Rupees — Cupro-Nickel — 6.0 g — Eleven Sided — 26 mm
One Rupee — Ferratic Stainless Steel — 4.85 g — Circular — 25 mm
Fifty Paise — Ferratic Stainless Steel — 3.79 g — Circular — 22 mm
Twenty Five Paise — Ferratic Stainless Steel — 2.83 g — Circular — 19 mm
Ten Paise — Ferratic Stainless Steel — 2.0 g — Circular — 16 mm
If you notice only Rs.5 and Rs. 2 coins are made from an alloy of copper and nickel and that is little costlier than stainless steel. Now you can see that the Rs. 5 coin is also made of stainless steel. This clearly indicates that the cost of producing the coins is much higher than the face value. To put in simple words, to make a Rs. 5 coin RBI spends Rs. 6 or more, isn’t that strange? Why did that happen? The metals used are becoming costlier and to reduce the costs RBI started minting Rs. 5 stainless steel coins.
If you see the history of coins used in India then you will see the gradual change from nickel coins to stainless steel coins. I am sure many would have noticed this, during 1990’s Re.1 coin was just like Rs. 5 coin and later during 1995 or later the Re.1 coin was made of stainless steel. The change that was done was due to the same reason.
I am sure one day coins will become even smaller and god knows which metal RBI plans to use. If you are interested to know more about coins, please visit RBI official website.