What Is a Rupee?
A rupee is a form of currency, similar to the pound sterling, the euro, and the US dollar, of some prominence throughout Asia and the greater Pacific region. The rupee is one )of the oldest forms of currency, appearing in historical (though occasionally disputed) references dating back to 340 BC and earlier. Although use of the rupee has faded from its historical peak, its use in India—the second-most-populous country in the world—ensures its place as one of the world's most important currencies.
Like other major currencies such as the peso and the franc, the rupee has several variations (typically one per country), which often have distinct monetary values. India has also created a digital rupee, a fully virtual rupee that is also official legal tender, to compete with BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Unlike other major currencies, the word rupee has a wide range of alternate spellings and linguistic cognates, including roupie, rupie, rufiyaa, rupiah, and roepiah—however, the visually similar term ruble refers to an entirely different currency. The name rupee is also given to the fictional in-game currency used in Nintendo's Legend of Zelda videogame franchise.
Countries That Use Rupees:
|Country/Territory||Rupee type||ISO 4217 Code||$1 USD (23 Nov 2022) =|
|Bhutan||Indian rupee/Bhutanese ngultrum*||INR/BTN||81.73 INR/BTN|
|India||Indian rupee||INR||81.73 INR|
|Indonesia||Indonesian rupiah||IDR||15,631.68 IDR|
|Maldives||Maldivian rufiyaa||MVR||15.40 MVR|
|Nepal||Nepalese rupee||NPR||130.82 NPR|
|Pakistan||Pakistani rupee||PKR||223.95 PKR|
|Seychelles||Seychellois rupee||SCR||13.42 SCR|
|Sri Lanka||Sri Lankan rupee||LKR||365.49 LKR|
* Bhutan currently uses two main currencies: the Indian rupee and the Bhutanese ngultrum, whose value is pegged 1:1 with the Indian rupee.
Countries That Previously Used Rupees*:
|Country/Territory||Rupee Type||Year Replaced||Current Currency||ISO 4217 code|
|Afghanistan||Afghanistan Kabuli rupee||1927||Afghan afghani||AFN|
|Bahrain||Persian Gulf rupee||1966||Bahraini dinar||BHD|
|Bangladesh||Pakistani rupee||1972||Bangladeshi taka||BDT|
|Burundi (as German East Africa)||German East Africa rupie||1916||Burundian franc||BIF|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||Indian rupee||1945||Australian dollar||AUD|
|Djibouti||Indian rupee||1943||Djiboutian franc||DJF|
|Iraq||Indian rupee||1931||Iraqi dinar||IQD|
|Kenya (as British East Africa)||East African rupee||1920||Kenyan shilling||KES|
|Kuwait||Persian Gulf rupee||1961||Kuwaiti dinar||KWD|
|Myanmar (as Burma)||Burmese rupee||1952||Burmese kyat||MMK|
|Oman||Persian Gulf rupee||1970||Omani rial||OMR|
|Qatar||Persian Gulf rupee||1966||Qatari rial||QAR|
|Rwanda||German East African rupie||1916||Rwandan franc||RWF|
|Somalia (as Italian/British Somaliland)||Indian rupee||1925/1951||Somali shilling|
|Tanzania (as Tanganyika)||East Africa rupee||1920||Tanzania shilling||TZS|
|Thailand||Indian silver rupee**||1902||Thai bhat||THB|
|Tibet||Tibetan silver rupee||1951||Chinese yuan renminbi||CNY|
|Timor Leste||Indonesian rupee||2002||US dollar||USD|
|Uganda||East Africa rupee||1920||Ugandan shilling||UGX|
|United Arab Emirates (as the Trucial States)||Persian Gulf rupee||1966||Emirati dirham||AED|
|Yemen||Indian rupee||1951||Yemeni rial||YER|
|Zimbabwe||Indian rupee**||2019||Zimbabwean dollar||ZWD|
— Currencies listed as currently in use are not necessarily the same currencies that replaced the rupee. In some cases, the currency that replaced the rupee has itself been replaced with one or more newer currencies. In these cases, only the currency presently in use is listed.
— Similarly, for countries that have used multiple variations of rupee during their history, the most recent version used is listed. For example, Bangladesh used the Indian rupee from 1835-1948, but replaced it with the Pakistani rupee from 1948-1972, so the Pakistani rupee is the variant listed.
— Countries marked ** had at least one additional form of official currency in addition to rupees.
Is a Rupee Worth a Lot of Money?
Not as a rule. The value of a rupee varies significantly depending upon which country's version of the rupee one is valuing, but most countries that use the rupee are still developing economically—in fact, many rank among the least developed in the world. As a result, the rupee carries significantly less worth and has less trade value than the stronger forms of currency such as the euro, the dollar, or the pound, which are issued by developed countries with a high standard of living. At present, the most valuable rupee is the Seychellois rupee, which is equivalent to roughly 7.5 US cents. The least valuable rupee is the Indonesian rupiah, which is worth less than a hundredth of a US cent.