The successful bidder of the coin, which had been minted in 1960 in Bombay, had to outbid two other competitors before pocketing the proud possession during the rare numismatic auction held in Bangalore on the Independence Day on Friday, Aug 15. The Toddywalla Auctions, which held the numismatic auction, refused to reveal the identity of the new owner of the coin, citing confidentiality and security reasons.
'The coin fascinated everybody. Though it looks ordinary, its design is unique with 'Sou Naye Paise' inscribed on the top portion', auctioneer Farokh S Toddywalla said.
He also described the coin as the 'rarest of rare' as it never came into circulation. The coin minted in Bombay, never received the approval of senior officials for its circulation.
Farokh's son Malcolm said the reason for the coin not brought into circulation by senior officials could be its design. “Later, the coin might have remained with an officer before passing into the hands of a numismatist", Malcolm said.
Considering the rarity of the coin, the Toddywalla Auctions, which is the only registered and licensed numismatic auctioneer in the country, was expecting a fancy price. “Considering its rarity, we were expecting a record prize. The cut-off price of the coin was fixed at Rs 200,000", Farokh said.
Apart from the one rupee vintage coin, a 10 rupee gold coin of the British era with Queen Victoria's etching also went under the hammer. The coin fetched a whopping Rs160,000, the auctioneer said.
The auction was part of the three-day numismatic exposition, where a spectrum of coins and notes were exhibited. Rare silver coins dating back to 200BC, reported to be in circulation during the time of Buddha; gold silver and copper coins from the era of the Guptas, the Mauryas and the Mughals, were on display during the show. The exhibition concluded on Sunday, Aug 17.