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Inverted anchor cross. A cross with slightly widened ends, with two anchor flukes coming out of the top and curving left and right, also with slightly widened ends.

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Reverse Star and crescent moon, denomination and date Scripts: Arabic, Latin Lettering: ONE PICE 19 48 ایک پیسہ

1952 Pakistan 1 Pice

A coin with a large hole from a turbulent period


Obverse Legend around center hole Scripts: Arabic, Latin Lettering: حکومت پاکستان GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

The coin is bronze, round and with a hole. In fact, the hole is 9.5mm (3/8 inch). That is fairly large for any coin, but especially so, given the coin is only 21.3mm (0.84 inch) diameter. So 44.6% of the diameter of the coin, is the hole. Have you encountered a coin with a larger hole? Let us know below!

The text around the coin reads “GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN” below and the same text in Arabic above: “حکومت پاکستان”.


The earliest inhabitants of present-day Pakistan go back to Soanian culture during the Middle Pleistocene period, with almost continuous habitation by various cultures since. These include the Vedic Culture (composers of the oldest Hindu scriptures), being conquered by Alexander the Great (wasn’t everyone?), the Kushan Empire, and the Rai Dynasty. During the middle-ages, the region was home to Islamic cultures: the Ghaznavid Empire, the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.

In 1600, the East India Company was formed when Queen Elizabeth I granted a group of merchants a charter for exclusive trade with the East Indies. This massive swathe of the globe extended from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, East to Cape Horn in South America. The company faced competition from the Spanish, Portuguese and the Dutch East India Company. To secure the company’s interests, it had a private army as large as 260,000 soldiers – twice the size of the standing British Army of the time.

The East India Company controlled large swathes of India and would eventually make its way to what today is part of Pakistan. In 1839, the East India Company stormed the Fort of Manora and capturing Karachi, one of the largest cities in Pakistan. Gradually, the rest of Pakistan fell under British control, although this took until 1893.

In 1906, the Muslim League was formed. Initially championing self rule in the Muslim provinces of Britsh India, and then a demand for a Muslim homeland.

During the 1940s an agreement was reached for independence from Britain. The region was separated into India, and Pakistan. The areas which were majority Muslim became Pakistan, while India was majority Hindu. This resulted in a section of Pakistan either side of the top quarter of the newly partitioned India.

(Map of India from Wikipedia)

The eastern muslim section of Pakistan eventually became Bangladesh, although there is a section of India beyond that, accessible by a 20km wide strip of India above it. While the partition gave the Muslims their own country, it was an easy transition. Up to 20 million people moved from one area to another. Muslims to the new Pakistan, Hindus to India. Violence during the move resulted in as many as a million deaths.


Star and crescent moon, denomination and date

Scripts: Arabic, Latin

19 48
ایک پیسہ

The reverse of the coin contains the year, divided by the hole, and the value (One piece) in English and Arabic, above and below. The value is divided at the top by the star and crescent from the Pakistan flag. This is a common Muslim symbol, and is also seen on other country’s flags and coins, such as Turkey / Türkiye.

Another interesting point to note on this particular piece, is that the central hole is slightly off-center, although the edge does not appear to be affected. I have another example of this coin which is well centered. Not pictured on the coin, but as the smallest coin of the new nation, this coin also gets the KM1 designation.

Comparison to Indian coins

The first series of coins from both Pakistan and India after independence, were similar size and shape to each other. Both used Pice, Anna and Rupee. 4 Pices = 1 Anna and 16 Annas = 1 Rupee. The Pakistan 1 Pice looked very similar to the 1943-1947 British India Pice, although the design was set out differently. All of the information was on the obverse:

Obverse Center hole, large date, large legend. Lettering: 1 PICE INDIA एक पैसा 1945 ایک پیسه Translation: 1 Pice India One Pice 1945 One Pice Engraver: Albert Pearson Spencer

Leaving the reverse with a decorative wreath:

Reverse Wreath surrounds the center hole.

(I should have kept that for a #MysteryCoin!)

The post independence Indian 1 pice was still Bronze and 21mm, but plain round, with no hole.

The remainder of the coins were very similar shapes and sizes:

Late set of coins from British India (up to 1/2 Rupee) with partial early set of coins from Pakistan

Apologies that I am missing several of the Pakistani coins, but the 1 Anna, 2 Annas and half Rupee are the same size and shape as their Indian counterparts. The One Rupee in each is also round and slightly larger.

Reverse Star and crescent moon, denomination and date Scripts: Arabic, Latin Lettering: ONE PICE 19 48 ایک پیسہ





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