Located in the Bengal Presidency, the Bank of Hindostan was established in 1770 and is known to be the first Private Bank to issue banknotes. This sixteen sicca banknote could be obtained in exchange for one gold mohur back in 1830. It features the words ‘Bank of Hindostan’ in the top and ‘Calcutta’ in the lower centre with value ‘Sixteen’ in English, Arabic and Bangla. Below the Promise text, 16, is written in numerical form, and Hindostan bank is represented in three scripts - Persian, Bangla and Hindi. Very few notes were in circulation when the Bank of Hindostan shut its door due to severe commercial crisis making them extremely rare.
In 2012, a fine specimen of this note was sold by the Classical Numismatic Gallery auction house for 7 lakh rupees, which is more than $10,000! So hurry and check your wallets! That old tattered piece of paper can make you very rich. But beware of forgeries.
Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery