Victoria Express

Gold coinage

Victoria Queen one mohur, dated 1862, Calcutta mint.
Early gold coinage with Queen Victoria's crowned bust consisted of one mohur coins dated 1862. These coins were of the same weight (11.66 grams = one Tola) and fineness (0.9167) as the EIC issued mohurs. These coins, probably minted between 1866 and 1869, were trade coinage and not recognized as legal tender. A number of varieties (including proofs) are known with minor variations in the reverse and obverse decoration details. 'Victoria Queen' mohurs were also struck with the year 1875, as well as 1870 proof issues with a mature bust of Victoria.

In 1876, Victoria assumed the title of 'Empress of India' and, from 1877, the legend on the obverse of all coins was changed to 'Victoria Empress'. Gold mohurs with the new obverse legend were issued between 1877 and 1891. The mintage of these mohurs for any given date is relatively low, making them considerably scarce. Fractional values of the mohur (nominally valued at fifteen silver rupees) were also struck in denominations of ten and five rupees between 1870 and 1879. Except for a small number of ten and five rupees dated 1870, most of the fractional mohurs were proof issues. Varieties with both the younger and mature busts exist.

Silver coinage

Type-set of Queen Victoria coins, silver and copper, all dated 1862. The one rupee coin, struck at the Bombay mint, has 2 dots below the top flower and 0 dots above the bottom flower (2/0).

Currency and proof issues of the 1862 dated rupee coins have a number of different obverse and reverse die varieties, which are helpful in identification of the mint. The design of the coin, however, remained largely unchanged. From 1863 till 1875, the Bombay mint introduced an unusual system of dots to date the coins. These dots occur on the reverse below the date, above the word 'ONE', or in both positions. From 1874, this practice was halted and coins began to be dated continuously. From this development, it may be inferred that by this time the 'batta' system must have all but disappeared. As with all other Victoria coinage, the title on the obverse was changed from 'Victoria Queen' to 'Victoria Empress' in 1877. Calcutta mint coins usually carry no mint mark or an incused 'C' at the bottom of the reverse. Bombay mint issues are usually marked by a raised bead below the date, or a raised/incused 'B' in the top or bottom flower, with some exceptions. Rupee coins with Victoria's bust were minted until her death in 1901.

Fractional denominations of half rupee, quarter rupee, and two annas were also issued under Victoria's reign. The dot-dating system was not used for these denominations, and is unique to the 1862 dated Bombay rupees. Similar to the rupee coins, the title of Queen was changed to Empress in 1877. The Bombay and Calcutta issues have mint identification marks similar to the rupee issues (no mark or 'C' incused for Calcutta, bead or raised/incused 'B' for Bombay). Different reverse and obverse die varieties are known for each denomination.