Formation of Indian Government 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 was 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. In 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. This mint was named as "Silver Mint". The operative blocks were hidden from view by the magnificent frontage. Recently, Kolkata Municipal Corporation has declared this building as a symbol of heritage.
In the beginning, 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 comprised 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, Alipore Mint was opened by the Honourable Finance Minister of Government of India Shree C.D. Deshmukh on 19th March, 1952. The full operation for the coinage and preparation of medals, decorations and badges started in Alipore Mint from this date.
Activities of Indian Government Mint
Besides coinage production, Kolkata Mint has produced different commemorative and development-oriented coins for last several decades, details of which are annexed. It also worked as a center for issue of gold bars in exchange of unrefined gold tendered by licensed dealers. This Mint has been producing medals of various types like Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhusan, Sena Medals etc. The medals for Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, educational institutions, social service, badges, token etc. production of Medallions for National and International Film Festivals are also produced by the Kolkata Mint.
The modernisation of Kolkata Mint comprises the installation of Induction Melting Furnaces, highly efficient Continuous Casting Plant, 4 Hi Cold Rolling Mill, Strip Milling Machine, Annealing Furnaces, Blanking Presses, Picking & Polishing Lines, High Speed Coining Presses. All the auxiliary facilities including its electrics and water supply systems for these new machines are planned in new building within the same compound of the Mint.
(Last Updated on : 18-12-2010)
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