History of Kolkata Mint
The first Calcutta Mint was established in 1759-60. At that time Calcutta Mint was producing coins with mint-name Murshidabad. In 1790 with the modern machinery brought from England, the second Calcutta Mint established at the site of Gillet Ship building Establishment which was taken over by the Stamp and Stationary Committee in 1833. All the coins issued from this mint are in the name of Murshidabad Mint and all bearing same year AH 1204. On March’ 1824 the foundation of 3rd Calcutta Mint was laid on the Strand Road and was opened for production from 1st August’ 1829. Before 1835 all the coins issued from this mint are also in the name of Murshidabad Mint. The building of 3rd Mint with its imposing frontage was designed on the replica of the temple of Minerva of Athens. The operative blocks were hidden out of view by the magnificent frontage. Recently, Kolkata Municipal Corporation has declared this building as a symbol of heritage.
This mint was named as "Silver Mint". At the starting time the coinage production capacity was varying between 3 lakhs to 6 lakhs pieces per day. In 1860 annexe known as "Copper Mint" was built to the north of the Silver Mint intended exclusively for copper coinage. Both Silver Mint and Copper Mint used to function side by side and production were Bronze, Silver and Gold coins. Both Silver Mint and Copper Mint were well equipped by the coining presses supplied by Boulton and Watt of Soha, Birmingham, England. Apart from minting of coins another important function of the Kolkata Mint was the manufacturing of Medals and decorations during British regime, which is still continuing, In addition to home consumption of coinage, Calcutta Mint produced coins for countries and estates within and outside India. In the late 1930's it was decided to build a new Mint at Alipore and the foundation work had been completed by early 1942. But due to 2nd World War the construction was interrupted.
Later on when the Free India was a child of 5 years, the Honorable Minister of finance, Government of India Shree C.D. Deshmukh inaugurated Alipore Mint on the 19th March 1952. The full operation for the coinage and preparation of medals, decorations and badges started in Alipore Mint from this date. The new Mint at Calcutta had started with a coinage production capacity of about 12 lakhs pieces per eight hours shift. The coins of this period are known as "Anna/Pice series". At present, we produce about 60 lakhs coins/day.