Gulf Rupee

The Persian Gulf Rupee or the Gulf Rupee was a currency issued by the Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India for use in the Persian Gulf and the Arabic peninsula. The Indian rupee was an official currency in several areas that were controlled by the British and governed from India and it was a legal tender in the Gulf countries up till 1966.

In mid 20th century there was much smuggling of gold in India due to the excessive external use of rupee. While the smuggling problem lasted for many years it reached to alarming proportions in 1957-58. India was paying for the illegal importation of gold through its foreign reserves. To reduce the strain on India’s foreign reserves and to turn the balance of trade in India’s favour, a separate currency was created. This new rupee note was called as Gulf Rupee and was issued by the Government of India (INR 1) and the Reserve Bank of India (INR 5, 10, 100) only to be used as a legal tender outside the country.

These new rupee notes were introduced by a bill passed in both the Houses of the Indian Parliament and with the Presidential assent on May 1, 1959, and were called as the “External Rupee” or the “Gulf Rupee”. This issue of the ?special notes’ were not a legal tender in India and were exclusively for use in the Persian Gulf.

General Description:

The series of these special notes were identical to the ?Indian rupee’ except for a change in its colour, legend on the obverse and it indicated that they were payable “at the Office of Issue at Bombay” instead of payable “at any office of issue”. They carried a special serial number prefix of “Z”.

Specific note Description
Denomination 1 Rupee
Colour Red
SCWPM Number India No. R1.
Pattern of India No. 75d.
First issued 11 May 1959
Signature A. K. Roy (Secretary, Ministry of Finance)
Serial Number Prefix range Z/0 to Z/11 , followed by a six digit number
Denomination 5 Rupees
Colour Orange
SCWPM Number India No. R2.
Pattern of India No. 35a.
First issued 11 May 1959
Signature H. V. R. Iyengar (Governor, Reserve Bank of India)
Serial Number Prefix range Z/0 to Z/3, followed by a six digit number
Denomination 10 Rupees
Colour Red
SCWPM Number India No. R3.
Pattern of India No. 39c.
First issued 11 May 1959
Signature H. V. R. Iyengar (Governor, Reserve Bank of India)
Serial Number Prefix range Z/0 to Z/4, followed by a six digit number
Denomination 100 Rupees
Colour Green
SCWPM Number India No. R4.
Pattern of India No. 43b
First issued 11 May 1959
Signature H. V. R. Iyengar (Governor, Reserve Bank of India)
Serial Number Prefix range Z/0 to Z/4, followed by a six digit number