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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 currency. 

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 to replace the 300 different kinds that had previously been in circulation.

This 2 annas piece is a copper nickel coin struck at the Calcutta Mint 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.

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