In today’s times, a 100 Rupees note is very commonly used and circulated throughout the country on a large scale. Any average Indian would need at least a 100 Rupees note to survive a normal day in the country. But have you ever wondered, the 100 Rs note that you probably have in your wallet at the moment has gone through several design changes? Yes, right from Hindostan Bank issues to Bank of Bengal let’s find out the major and minor design changes that have been made to the Rs. 100 banknote over the years.
Bank of Hindostan printed one of the earliest designs of 100 Rs note. These unicoloured notes featured a seated tiger above a floral scroll as the vignette. “BANK OF HINDOSTAN” was printed in Hindi, Persian and Bangla. The reverse denomination reads “100 SICCA RUPEES”. Though they were printed in the 1800s, they were unissued. Click here to read detailed descriptions about a 500 Rs note featuring a similar design.
Bank of Bengal 100 Rupees note featured a personalised commerce sitting on articles of Merchandise in the centre as the vignette. The text “BANK OF BENGAL” appears in Bangla, Persian and Hindi. Denomination in numerals and words appear in Bangla, Persian and Kaithi above the vignette. The reverse features the text “BENGAL BANK” in Gothic, name of the printer on top oval and type of plate in the lower oval. Click here to read detailed descriptions about a 500 Rs note featuring a similar design.
Another version of the same design of the Bank of Bengal 100 Sicca Rupees note was issued with the additional denomination in words at top-right just above the central panel. Click here to view details about a 10 Sicca Rupees note featuring the same change in design. Bank of Bengal also issued company notes for the East India Company with a slight change in designs. The denomination was changed to “Company’s Rupees” in the promise text panel.
Another change was introduced to the Bank of Bengal 100 Rupees note where the serial numbers were printed on either side. Click here to view detailed information about a 25 Company rupees which depicted this change.
Another change in the design of the Bank of Bengal 100 Rupees note featured 2 pre-printed dates in promise text panel on either side. Denomination in native languages was discontinued. “For the Bank of Bengal” appeared outside the Promise text panel. Click here to view detailed information about a 50 Company Rupees that was issued on 15th April 1853 and featured the mentioned changes.
A major change was introduced in the design of this Bank of Bengal 100 Rupees note that was issued on 17th November 1857 using handmade white paper. The Vignette featured ‘Britannia’ with a lion with personified ‘Commerce’, ‘Trade’, and ‘Agriculture’. A Rhinoceros from Assam, a steamboat and a sailboat on the river Hooghly, Tomb of Shershah Suri at Sasaram (Bihar) and an Elephant represented the various provinces.
Stay tuned for the next blog post in this series. We would be discussing the design variations that appeared on 100 Rs notes issued by the Bank of Bombay in that one.
Images courtesy: Rezwan Razack
Reference: The Revised Standard Reference Guide to Indian Paper Money
Inputs from: Mr Jayesh Gala