ISLAMABAD – The legal tender which are used today in India has had a long history, ever since the ancient times. The first banknote to be used as currency was in 1864 when the Government of India started issuing notes. But there are a few things that many might not know about the ‘Hari Pattis’.
It’s made up of cotton. Really.
Majority of Indian banknotes are made from 80-99% cotton fiber, which is sourced from white linen rag, 1-3% wood fiber, and the rest is different chemicals like Gelatin and adhesives like Animal Fat Glue to ensure it’s longevity.
The composition of paper/cloth is kept top secret.
Starch paper with the cotton fiber and balsam gives it a crumply property, hence it gives the feeling of paper. The ink and its formula is also kept secret, so that the counterfeiters cannot make fake notes. Technically speaking, the notes have no value in the market until after they’re printed.
The design and composition of Indian Legal Tender Banknotes is required to be approved by the Central Government, based on the recommendations of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India, according to the RBI Act of 1934.
The current batch of notes that we have from the Series VII notes, first issued in 2005. Memorable past notes include, the Series II which saw the reduction in the size of the note to its current size, in 1967. Series IV started using graphics depicting India on notes, the first being a Rs. 1000 note in 1931.
Many old notes today are worth more in the market, and there also are collectors who specialize in old bank notes and will pay hefty sums of money to procure them. The Government pays a handsome amount to those who still possesses older design notes.