Mumbai Mint is one of the oldest mints of India. The history of the Mumbai mint dates back to the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It’s evolution over the centuries is identical to that of the rupee. The development of coins, from manufacturing the coins in a small place by means of hammer and anvil initially, to manufacturing by automatic machines, includes many interesting stories, for instance, in olden days the weight of the coins was decided in terms of grains.
The first mint at Mumbai was set up by Governor Aungier for the coinage of rupees, pies and bajruks. The first Mumbai Mint rupee was coined in the year 1672. These coins were minted in the Mumbai castle, now INS Angre near Town Hall. A water tank was located where now stands the multi-storied building of the Reserve Bank of India.
Present Mumbai mint was constructed between the years 1824 and 1830 by Capt. John Hawkins of Bombay Engineers. Mr. James Farish was appointed as the master of mint from January 1830. For many years 1, 50,000 coins daily were produced on three steam engines in this mint.
In the year 1863 Col Ballard became the Master of Mumbai mint. He was the most famous British master of this mint. He reclaimed the land from the sea which is now known as Bellard Estate, the name given to perpetuate his memory.
Mumbai mint was, then, under the administrative control of government of Bombay. In 1876, Mumbai mint was transferred to the Government of India by Finance Department Resolution No 247, dated 18/05/1876. Till 1893, the operation of Indian mints was regulated by Coinage Acts of XVII 1835, XIII of 1862 and XXIII of 1870. Under the new Indian Coinage Act 1906, as amended from time to time a coin can be minted up to a denomination of Rs. one thousand.
A new branch of the Royal Mint of London was opened here during the year 1918-1919 with the objectives of coining the British sovereigns in India. After coining 12.95 lakh sovereigns, this branch was closed in April 1919.Later it was converted in to the residence of the Mint Master. It is now known as the Mint House.
In 1919, Gold refinery was started in the Mumbai Mint. It employed the chlorine process for gold refining. It refined raw gold from South Africa and Indian mines. Silver refinery was started in 1929. It had an installed annual capacity of 80 million ounces of silver.
In 1964 production of commemorative coins was started. The first commemorative coin was in the memory of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Mumbai Mint has made a significant contribution in Indian coinage and gold refining.
One of the important activities of Mumbai mint is manufacturing of the reference, secondary and working standard of weights, and the secondary and working standards of capacity. Each of these standards plays a vital role in the work of the state governments by ensuring that the weights and measures used in the trade and commerce are of the required accuracy.
During British rule in 1870 a bill was passed making the metric system uniformly applicable all over the country. Then His Majesty’s Bombay mint was manufacturing standards of weights and measures and had supplied large number of different standards to various states Government. Mumbai mint did not look back ever since & had supplied large number of different standards to various states Government under changing laws of weights & Measures. The significant progress in weights and measures was possible due to the endeavours of the Mumbai Mint. Since 1958, Mumbai Mint is supplying Reference, Secondary and Working Standards sets after checking against our accurate standards authenticated, calibrated and approved by NPL, New Delhi.