East Indian Annas
The British first entered India in 1612 when the British East India Company
established its initial settlement at Surat for purposes of both
trade and colonial expansion. By the end of the century, English traders were firmly established in
Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and elsewhere, and Britain was implementing its policy of colonial expansion.
In the seventeenth century, the British East India Company started
issuing Indian coinage with European designs such as crowns, coats
of arms, and the East India Company emblem, but these coins only
had limited circulation and, as more and more of India came under
British rule, it became necessary for the company to issue standardized
In 1835, the British East India Company introduced a new standardized
silver rupee for circulation throughout its Indian territories. The
rupee had been in existence in India since the sixteenth century,
however it was not standardized and the reformed rupee was introduced
the 300 different kinds that had previously been in circulation.
This 2 annas piece is a copper nickel coin struck at the Calcutta
in 1919. On one side is its denomination in both English and Urdu and on
the other side is a portrait of the British King George V. The annas was
first circulated in the eighteenth century and it remained in use until the introduction
of the decimal currency in 1957. The Hindi name of the coin, 'ana', is
derived from the Sanskrit word meaning
'small'. Its value is 1/16 of a rupee.