*Originally drafted October 20th 2013 12:20 AM, and I have not revised this copy as of the time stamp above. Thanks for reading my thoughts.
So lets talk about this “Pig” thing. Some dudes in 1911 who had nothing to do back in market/bazaar/shop/store caused all this “Pig” mayhem back in December 1911. because somebody really couldn’t see the trunk of the “Elephant” we have a few “Type” coins today in the George the 5th series. The 1911 coins are/were supposedly withdrawn, recalled, recoined, melted, non-distributed, and blah blah blah blah blah…
*I did not add the 1/4 Anna to this story, because I have inconclusive data
Is there really a “Pig” on this series of this Inaugural coinage? If one were to view the animal on George’s robe with an eyeglass or loupe, one would clearly see his trunk, and even see the elephant without the magnifier. Actually, I can see the trunk of the elephant mixed in with the chain links, and the elephants “trunk” is extremely pronounced. How about back in 1911? Did the average Joe/Johann/Joyti/Joginder use a magnifier to see the trunk of an elephant? No? Ok. Maybe one of the Jo’s had an eyeglass, but the person who spread this story surely did not I speculate.
But that’s what I get paid to do currently : Speculate- Am I getting paid to write all of the below, and the above: Hell No! But I enjoy it, and it makes me think. Anyways, so if the gals/guys eyes are bad they can see whatever the hell they want to see, and he/she could perceive whatever his/her dear heart desires. The “trunk” isn’t that big, throw in some bad light, and one could see almost anything you wanted on the One Rupee coin after the contagious spreading rumor.
700,000 Rupees were distributed from December 12th 1911 to January 23rd 1912, and then the “famed” withdrawal/recall went into effect. Did the government actually go out, and seek this 1911 Rupee coin? Probably not. It’s all the matter of perception, and showing the people they (The Government) are making an effort to satiate the bull$hit that was going on at the time.
So if only part of the mintage was made for the Rupee, wouldn’t it make sense that the fractionals also were minted/released in a similar fashion? The fractionals (1/2 Rupee, 1/4 Rupee, and Two Annas) aesthetics are a completely different story, and I can picture seeing the “pig” on his robe. The trunk of the elephant actually blends right into the chain link area, throw in a not so stellar strike, bad eyesight, and viola: Oink Oink!
Let’s Look at the 1911 George the 5th proposed mintages below:
1/4 Rupee 2.2 miliion
1/2 Rupee 2.3 million
One Rupee 9.4 million
Two Annas 16.7 miliion
From my experience the following availability ranking does hold true from least scarce to most scarce:
1/4 Rupee or 1/2 Rupee?
The Rupee we can find all the time in this series if you look simply on ebay. Now the Two Annas coin is the second most available/common, and I my self bought two examples from ebay in a span of 4 months when they were available. The 1/4 Rupee I only saw one for sale, and I bought my example from ebay well over two years ago. I never saw another one listed. 1911 1/2 Rupee I have never seen on ebay. But, do some scans on some other buying venues, and you will find the availability pattern of the 1911 series as described above.
How scarce are the 1911 1/2 Rupees?
Half Rupees you either find them in gem grade or complete really bad circulated grades, and yes there are at least 5 business strike coins in MS64 + grades. The 1/4’s you ask? Lesser available in higher grades, and remember the Obverse die design was not so hot either. Big Pigs get saved, little piggies roam if they can, do much walking in commerce, and can show up looking very tired. Nobody can confirm what was distributed in lieu of the fractions, and it is a mystery which will remain for many years to come. But what is available today does hold some weight.
I am starting to believe that the 1/4 Rupee may be more difficult to track down than the 1/2 Rupee, and more specifically in a gem grade. Look at what’s graded out there in the 1/2’s, and think to yourself again what has been burned into our coin buying hearts. The 1/2 Rupee is always tougher to find than any other denomination. I personally think that 1/2 Rupees are always deemed “scarce” when appropriate which is always.
For this 1911 series I will bet anyone in the world you/me/one has a better chance of getting a 1/2 rupee in MS 65 and above than finding a 1/4 Rupee in MS 65 of above. I know this or think I know this because of the availability of these coins, and what is out there in the market that I have encountered. But think about the following as well. The release of the 1911 Rupee was a disaster for the British Indian Government, and the fractionals were not struck in the same proportionate quantity. “But cranko, The Two Annas they struck many more than the Rupee.” Ahhhhhh…..yes……it was a proposed mintage, and the availability of the Rupee exceeds that of the Two Annas.
Can you/I find a 1911 Rupees on ebay? Yes. Can you find 1911 Two Annas on ebay? Not as many as the Rupee, and not so many nowadays. So that being said the 1911 1/4 and the 1911 1/2 you will never see on ebay, and if you do they will be really badly impaired. Anything is possible though, those denominations are the toughest to find in general, and think about the dilemma at the mint back in 1911/1912. The Two Annas is a denomination that is/was widely used during that time, and so was the Rupee. We know from what is available in present day that both these denominations were distributed more than the 1/4 Rupee and the 1/2 Rupee.
Also there were many more Big Pigs and Tiny Pig running around by comparison. The Half Pig and Quarter Pig were not as free as the other pigs. They may have had the opportunity to exist, but didn’t get to run around as much as the other swine. Did the mint let them out of the bags? Yeah. Some of them got out but the total recall was established on January 23rd, I don’t believe the 1/2 Piggies, and 1/4 Piggies got fully minted/distributed. Just as many people kept the Big Piggies for novelty, and the same holds true for the pristine examples we see today for the 1911 1/2’s we see at least I believe.
There is a problem with above data though. The business/circulation fractionals were not distributed in the same numbers as the Full Rupee. Do I know this first hand? Yes, I got in my time machine, and went to the Calcutta Mint December 11th 1911 at exactly 4:20 pm. An auspicious time for pot smokers all over the world, and first hand I saw what was minted. Marty McFly was with me on this trip, and after all it is his time machine. Technically it’s the Doc’s time machine.