Pai Sikka

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Alternate Names

  • Pice


The Pai Sikka is a kind of copper coin minted in India between approximately 1795 and 1831 during the Bengal Presidency. This coin was produced by the East India Company at several mints, including Farraukhabad, Benares and Calcutta. It held varying value depending on the year and economic context, but was typically worth 1/4 anna or 1/64 rupee. Pai Sikka weigh (approximately) between 11.64g and 6.1g (Stevens 2012).

Brief History of the Pice in India

  • 1794: Assay master of the Patna mint began to request for a copper coinage to be produced.
  • 1795: Sir John Shore, Governor General, began the process of laying out details for such coinage such as the weight, value, depiction and cost and location of minting. In November the mint master, James Miller, prepared examples of the full or half pice versions. The coins were approved and production began.
  • 1796: Due to issues of cost and workability of the copper, it was proposed that sheet copper should be used. Prototypes were created to evaluate what these new, and less heavy, coins would look like.
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