India Government Mint, Kolkata
The India Government Mint, Kolkata was first established in 1757, and was located in a building next to the Black Hole in the old fort - where the GPO (General Post Office) stands today. It was called the Calcutta Mint and used to produce coins with the mint name. Murshidabad
The second Calcutta Mint was established with the modern machinery brought in 1790 from England. It was located at the site of Gillet Ship building Establishment, which had been taken over by the Stamp and Stationary Committee in 1833. The coins issued from this mint continued to bear mint name Murshidabad.
In March 1824 the foundation of third Calcutta Mint was laid on Strand Road and was opened for production from 1 August 1829. Until 1835 the coins issued at this mint continued to be in the name of the Murshidabad Mint. The imposing frontage of the building of the third Mint was based on a design of the Temple of Athena in Athens, Greece, usually known as the Parthenon. The operative blocks were hidden out of view by the magnificent frontage.
The coinage production capacity then was varying between 3,00,000 to 6,00,000 pieces per day. In 1860 an annexe known as the "Copper Mint" was built to the north of the Silver Mint for the exclusive production of copper coins.
The silver and copper mints both used to function and produce coins of bronze, silver and gold. Both these mints were well equipped with the coining presses supplied by Boulton and Watt of Soho, Birmingham, England.
Apart from minting of coins another important function of the Kolkata Mint was the manufacturing of medals and decorations during the British regime. The production of medals continues to this day.
After the closure of this mint in 1952 the building fell into disrepair, after years of neglect. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation declared this building as a heritage building. A proposal to restore this building and convert its vast spaces into a museum was put up, and on 10 July 2008 pre-qualification bids were received from eight developers. The project will be a public-private partnership between the Security Printing and Minting Corporation, under the finance ministry, owner of the mint, and the winning bidder.
In the late 1930s foundation work for a new Mint was completed at New Alipore and construction was to have completed by early 1942. However World War II brought all construction to a halt. It was completed in early 1950s.
The Alipore Mint was opened by the Honorable Finance Minister of Government of India Shree C. D. Deshmukh on 19 March 1952. The full operation for the coinage and preparation of medals, decorations and badges started in Alipore Mint from this date. In addition to production of coins for domestic use also produces coins for other nations.
- "History of the Alipore Mint". India Govt Mint, Kolkota. Archived from the original on 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "From mint to museum". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 2007-11-30.
- "Kolkata's landmark Old Silver Mint to be re-incarnated". Economic Times. 200x-07-17. Retrieved 2008-09-15. [dead link]
- "Heritage Buildings in Kolkata". West Bengal Tourism. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
- "Fresh reuse initiative for Old Mint". The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. 2005-07-19. Retrieved 2006-11-07.
- "The Alipore Mint: dated March 20, 1952". The Hindu. 2002-03-20. Retrieved 2008-09-15.