The humble one rupee coin, worth around the same as a US one cent coin, isn’t exactly big money in Pakistan. But a mania has spread across the country, apparently originating in Makran last week, which has everyone, including the nation’s central bank, taking notice.
One rumor had it that the coins, which are made mostly of aluminum with a small amount of copper, had been “accidentally” made with gold, and what started as a rumor with children collecting the coins eventually had adults buying up the coins en masse, at a significant premium, under the assumption that they would pay off big.
The funnier rumor, however, is where the Iranian nuclear program enters into this, and the public began to believe that these coins had large amounts of weapons-grade uranium minted into them, to be smuggled to Iran for making nuclear arms.
Needless to say, neither of the rumors proved to be true, and the Pakistani State Bank is warning people not to pay a premium for the coins. Tip for Pakistanis: a coin of the same size as the 1 rupee coin made of weapons grade uranium would weigh about 10 times what they normally do.