Article by Currency Information and Research

History of Pakistani Currency (PKR)

The Pakistani rupee, official currency of Pakistan emerged more than 500 years ago. Initially it was a made from silver and the coin was equivalent to the weight of 178 grains, about 11.5344 grams. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word for “silver”.

The first major blow of the coin would come in the late nineteenth century, when the world economy decided to adopt the gold standard in international negotiations and the rupee - currency based on silver economy - lost value quickly. But this would not be the only crisis it as we will see.

The rupee was widely used for a long time since its inception in countries such as Pakistan itself, India, Afghanistan and other Caliphs and nearby regions of kingdoms. However, with the domain of the British Empire, the rupee was no longer used in Pakistan, returning only in 1947 when the country broke up the crown and became independent and asserted the right to have its own currency again.

The first notes were issued by the Bank of India, but to be used only in Pakistan. Interestingly, at first, until 1971, the notes contained bilingual inscriptions, also contemplating the Bengali language. The first bills were 1, 5, 10 and 100 Rs. Then came the 2, 50, 500, 1000, 20, 5000.

Printed in larger notes is the face of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known as the father of the nation and the smallest have a rising star. In addition to variance in size of the cells they also vary in color, not having a pattern to be followed for security.

The coins came in the following year, in 1948, but with totally different names. One for each measure;  pice, annas and of course rupees. Over time the traditional currencies and values ??come into circulation:

  • one paisa
  • 5, 10, 25 paise
  • 1 and 2 rupees recently.

It must be noted that not only the Pakistani people have been taken into consideration in the creation of money, pilgrims who came by weight of Saudi Arabia in the 50s as well. Known “Hajj” with the government of Pakistan has issued special notes to be used by them, as well as different means of exchange and payment, since much of the Hajj pilgrims were illiterate. These special notes lasted from 1950 to 1978 but can still be found in the hands of collectors.

In 1982 the Pakistani rupee had its value uncoupled from the British currency when the then commander of the country, General Zia-ul-Haq, transformed it into floating currency. As an immediate cause there was a sharp depreciation of the currency. It fell close to 40% in the 80s. Another consequence was that the price of imported raw materials fell rapidly causing serious damage to the Pakistani economy and reaching full basic industry. The next currency that would depreciate the rupee would be the dollar, which until recently, around 2008, before the global crisis, threw the Pakistani currency down. In the worst of the economic crisis in Pakistan the dollar reserves measured only 2 billion.

Currently, besides being used in Pakistan, a country that gives its name to the currency, it is also widely used in Afghanistan.



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