British India 1929 One Anna Pattern/Specimen – 2 Types


In 1929, it seems that there was some thought at the Calcutta mint to change the design of the Anna slightly, perhaps in the hope of increasing the longevity of the dies. They tried to make the rims a little different, wider and more rounded. It appears that nothing came of these ideas except for the few patterns known today. According to Pridmore, these were “specimens produced during experiments carried out in the Calcutta mint to achieve uniformity between the coins struck at the two mints. The principal difference in the specimen and the normal currency issue, apart from the slightly smaller effigy, is the wide rim margin and its bevelled appearance.”

The first 1929 Pattern/specimen, is the one with a narrow & rounded rim. This coin weighs between 3.88-3.94 gms, we could call this coin as a specimen because there are no extra polishing of the planchet or dies like in the patterns/proofs. The coin below is part of the Diana collection, graded earlier by PCGS as PR65, now in NGC holder as SP65. Pridmore catalogued this coin as PR1083 and as per SW, it is 8.274.

1929 Calcutta Pattern Anna (I) – NGC SP65, PR1083, SW8.274

The obverse of the coin is crowned and robed bust of the George V King facing left. Legend around reading, GEORGE V KING EMPEROR. All within a plain raised rim. The reverse of the coin is with a large numeral 1 dividing the word ANNA. Above the numeral is the word INDIA and below is the date. All within a decorative diamond. Along each outer side of the diamond is the value in native languages: Urdu, Telugu, Nagri or Bengali. All within a plain raised rim.

The second 1929 pattern/specimen is similar to the above, however, the rim is wider and the lettering more delicate than on the regular issue. Also, note the difference in the letters & numerals on the reverse, they are smaller compared to the above specimen. The below coin is also graded by NGC as SP65 and Pridmore catalogued this coin as PR1084 and as per SW, it is 8.275. This pattern was lighter than the first one and weights 3.83 gms.

1929 Calcutta Pattern Anna (II) – NGC SP65, PR1084, SW8.275

Both these coins, have silvery-grey patination captivates with frosty fields and dazzling, opalescent surfaces throughout. These are the finest known around and are extremely rare as a handful of these exists. Both of these coins are part of my collection, purchased recently from Spink.

– Picture credits: Spink Auctions
– Baldwins Auctions
– SW Catalog – Uniform coinage of India, 1835 to 1947, Randy Weir & Paul Stevens