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India Unveils New Rupee Symbol

We, here at Synergy Merchant Services, don’t often take things for granted. It is important to our entire staff, that we maintain a sense of daily determination in order to remain successful in the marketplace. However, we do take for granted that when talking about the amount of dollars we can provide Canadian business owners, we can always refer to the “$” symbol to connote that dollar amount.

Of course, we all understand that the world famous dollar sign is synonymous to money, even though it does not represent the currency used by all nations. In the United Kingdom, the British pound is used, of course. Its symbol, “£” is also widely known as is the one for the Euro: “€”. As well, the Japanese yen is symbolized by “¥”.

Meanwhile, in India – the world’s most heavily populated nation – its currency, the rupee has always been without its own symbol. That is, until now. As QMI Agency’s Alan Parker reports today, this very interesting circumstance of a symbol-less currency officially ended last Thursday as India unveiled the rupee’s brand new symbol.

Evidently, not yet available on any keyboard, the new symbol is found in the picture attached to today’s blog. As Parker points out, with India being “one of the world’s strongest emerging economic powerhouses”, it is peculiar that the nation’s currency has gone without its own identifiable symbol for so long.

Until now, the Indian rupee was generally depicted by the three-letter code “INR”. And while some abbreviated the code to a simple “R”, this was evidently not enough to identify the rupee uniquely. As a result, the Indian government held a contest beginning on March 5, 2009 to choose a symbol for the rupee.

As Parker reports, over 3,000 designs were submitted and soon were cut down to a list of five. The winning symbol was designed by “D. Udaya Kumar, a 32-year-old graphic design and typographer who had just completed his PhD on Tamil typography at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai and is now at IIT Guwahati.”

He explains the symbol’s design as being a combination of the Devanagari “Ra” and the Roman capital “R” with two cross strikes at the top referencing the Indian flag. Parker notes that for his creation, Kumar was awarded 250,000 rupees, which converts to about $5,600 Canadian dollars.

It will take some time, however, for the rupee symbol to become universally available. Not all computers will be able to produce it without the proper font installed. As of today, Foradian Technologies is allowing for online users to download the “Rupee Foradian” for free. If your computer recognizes the rupee sign, you will be among the first people in the world to use it within your text.

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