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The Fingers of One Hand — India

by Peter Biľak

In a country of 400 languages and over a dozen writing scripts, it’s important to carefully consider which ones to use. Most Indic scripts have their own numeral system, and numbers can be written in numerous ways. This is where the design of Professor Anil Sinha of the National Institute of Design came into play. In addition to using Arab-Indic numerals to indicate their denominations, the simple 1, 2 and 5 rupee coins featured pictures of hands showing the appropriate number of fingers. Unfortunately these coins, which have been in circulation since 2007, are currently being replaced by a new edition, dropping the finger-counting and displaying the new rupee currency symbol ₹.

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