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Nepalese old coins catalog

Brief history of Nepal

The Kingdom of Nepal, the world’s only surviving Hindu kingdom, is a landlocked country occupying the southern slopes of the Himalayas. It has an area of 56,136 sq. mi. (140,800 sq. km.) and a population of 27 million. Capital: Kathmandu. Nepal has deposits of coal, copper, iron and cobalt, but they are largely unexploited. Agriculture is the principal economic activity. Rice, timber and jute are exported, with tourism being the other major foreign exchange earner.

Apart from a brief Muslim invasion in the 14th century, Nepal was able to avoid the mainstream of Northern Indian politics, due to its impregnable position in the mountains. It is therefore a unique survivor of the medieval Hindu and Buddhist culture of Northern India, which was largely destroyed by the successive waves of Muslim invasions.

Apart from agriculture, Nepal owed its prosperity to its position on one of the easiest trade routes between the great monasteries of central Tibet, and India. Nepal made full use of this, and a trading community was set up in Lhasa during the 16th century, and Nepalese coins became the accepted currency medium in Tibet.

A popular revolution in 1950 toppled the Rana family and reconstituted power in the throne. In 1959 King Mahendra declared Nepal a constitutional monarchy, and in 1962 a new constitution set up a system of panchayat (village council) democracy. In 1990, following political unrest, the king’s powers were reduced. The country then adopted a system of parliamentary democracy.

On June 2, 2001 tragedy struck the royal family when Crown Prince Dipendra used an assault rifle to kill his father, mother and other members of the royal family as the result of a dispute over his current lady friend. He died 48 hours later, as King, from self inflicted gunshot wounds. Gyanendra began his second reign as King (his fi rst was a short time as a toddler, 1950-51)

Nepalese numerals

Nepal has used more variations of numerals on their coins than any other nation. The chart below illustrates some variations encompassing the last four centuries

nepalese numeric

 

Dating

Saka Era (SE)

Up until 1888AD all coins of the Gorkha Dynasty were dated in the Saka era (SE). To convert from Saka to AD take Saka date and add 78 to arrive at the AD date. Coins dated with this era have SE before the date in the following listing.

Bikram Samvat Era (VS)

From 1888AD most copper coins were dated in the Bikram Samvat (VS) era. To convert take VS date - 57 = AD date. Coins with this era have VS before the year in the listing. With the exception of a few gold coins struck in 1890 & 1892, silver and gold coins only changed to the VS era in 1911AD, but now this era is used for all coins struck in Nepal.

 

Monetary system

Many of the mohars (mohur) circulated in Tibet as well as in Nepal, and on a number of occasions coins were struck from bullion supplied by the Tibetan authorities. The smaller denominations never circulated in Tibet, but some of the mohars were cut for use as small change in Tibet. In these listings only major changes in design have been noted. There are numerous minor varieties of ornamentation or spelling. With a few exceptions, most all coins were struck at Kathmandu.

COPPER

Initially the copper paisa was not fixed in value relative to the silver coins, and generally fluctuated in value from1/32 mohar in 1865AD to around 1/50 mohar after 1880AD, and was fixed at that value in 1903AD. 4 Dam = 1 Paisa 2 Paisa = 1 Dyak, Adhani

COPPER and SILVER

Decimal Series 100 Paisa = 1 Rupee Although the value of the copper paisa was fixed at 100 paisa to the rupee in 1903, it was not until 1932 that silver coins were struck in the decimal system.

GOLD COINAGE

Nepalese gold coinage, until recently, did not carry any denominations and was traded for silver, etc. at the local bullion exchange rate. The three basic weight standards used in the following listing are distinguished for convenience, although all were known as Asarphi (gold coin) locally as follows: GOLD MOHAR 5.60 g multiples and fractions TOLA 12.48 g multiples and fractions GOLD RUPEE or ASHRPHI/ASARFI 11.66 g multiples and fractions (Reduced to 10.00 g in 1966). In some instances the gold and silver issues were struck from the same dies.

denominations 

 

 

Coins of Kingdom of Nepal (1768-2008)

Mohar=34 paisa; Paisa=4 dumb (before 1932)

Nepalese rupee=2 mohar; Mohar=50 paisa; Paisa=4 dam (1903-1931)

 

Pratap Singh Shah (AD 1775-1777)

प्रतापसिंह शाह (SE 1697-1699)

coin Nepal 1 mohar 1776
1 mohar 1776
silver
Coin value - $15-20

 

 

Prithvi Bir Bikram Shah (AD 1881-1911)

पृथ्वी बीर विक्रम शाह (SE 1803-1833 / VS 1938-1968)

coin Nepal 1 paisa 189 (?)
1 paisa 189 (?)

copper
Coin value - $5-8

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1890
1 paisa 1890

copper
Coin value - $5-8

 

 

Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah (AD 1911-1950; 1951-1955)

त्रिभुवन वीर विक्रम शाह (VS 1968-2007; 2007-2011)

1911-1931

coin Nepal 2 mohar 1920
2 mohar 1920
silver
Coin value - $30-35

 

 

coin Nepal 5 paisa 1928
5 paisa 1928

copper
Coin value - $5-7

 

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1929
2 paisa 1929

copper
Coin value - $5-7

 

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1912
1 paisa 1912

copper
Coin value - $8-10

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1921
1 paisa 1921

copper
Coin value - $5-8

 

 

Reform 1932 - Decimal coinage
Nepalese Rupee=100 paisa (1932-2008)

coin Nepal 1 rupee 1932
1 rupee 1932
silver
Coin value - $30-35

 

coin Nepal 1 rupee 1954
1 rupee 1954

copper-nickel
Coin value - $3-5

 

 

coin Nepal 50 paisa 1954
50 paisa 1954
copper-nickel
Coin value - $3-5

 

 

coin Nepal 20 paisa 1936
20 paisa 1936
silver
Coin value - $10-15

 

 

coin Nepal 5 paisa 1943
5 paisa 1943
copper-nickel-zinc
Coin value - $5-7

 

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1936
2 paisa 1936

copper
2 mm. wide rim
Coin value - $5-7

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1939
2 paisa 1939

copper
1 mm. or less rim
Coin value - $5-7

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1943
2 paisa 1943

brass
Coin value - $5-7

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1946
2 paisa 1946

copper
Coin value - $3-4

 

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1934
1 paisa 1934

copper
Coin value - $4-6

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1939
1 paisa 1939

copper
Coin value - $10-15

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1946
1 paisa 1946

brass
Coin value - $3-4

 

 

Anonymous coinage (1953-1957)

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1954
10 paisa 1954

bronze
Coin value - $6-8

 

coin Nepal 5 paisa 1955
5 paisa 1955

bronze
Coin value - $5-7

 

coin Nepal 4 paisa 1955
4 paisa 1955

brass
Coin value - $4-5

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1955
2 paisa 1955
brass
Coin value - $6-10

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1955
1 paisa 1955

brass
Coin value - $5-8

 

 

Mahendra Bir Bikram (1955-1972)

श्री ५ महाराजाधिराज महेन्द्र वीर विक्रम शाह देव (VS 2012-2028)

coin Nepal 1 rupee 1956
1 rupee 1956

copper-nickel
Coin value - $4-6

 

 

coin Nepal 50 paisa 1956
50 paisa 1956

copper-nickel
Mahendra Coronation
Coin value - $8-10

 

coin Nepal 50 paisa 1969
50 paisa 1969

copper-nickel
Coin value - $2-3

 

 

coin Nepal 25 paisa 1966
25 paisa 1966

copper-nickel
Coin value - $2-3

 

 

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1957
10 paisa 1957

bronze
Coin value - $3-4

 

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1966
10 paisa 1966

bronze
Coin value - $3-4

 

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1967
10 paisa 1967

brass
Coin value - ~$1

 

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1972
10 paisa 1969 (1967-1969)
brass
circulation coinage
10
2026 / Trident with sun and moon flanking above hills
Coin value - $1-2

 

 

coin Nepal 10 paisa 1971
10 paisa 1971

brass
FAO
Coin value - ~$1

 

 

coin Nepal 5 paisa 1960
5 paisa 1960

bronze
Coin value - $2-3

 

coin Nepal 5 paisa 1965
5 paisa 1965

bronze
Coin value - $2-3

 

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1959
2 paisa 1959

brass
Coin value - $2-3

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1964
2 paisa 1964

brass
Coin value - $2-3

 

coin Nepal 2 paisa 1969
2 paisa 1969

aluminium
Coin value - ~$1

 

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1961
1 paisa 1961

brass
Coin value - $3-4

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1964
1 paisa 1964

brass
Coin value - $1-2

 

coin Nepal 1 paisa 1971
1 paisa 1971

aluminium
1 / Rhododendron
2028 / Trident with sun and moon flanking above hills
Coin value - <$1

 

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