Search This Blog

Thursday, 11 October 2012

80) Currency and Coins of Macau: A Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China

80) Currency and Coins of Macau: A Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China:


Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 1999.
Recent Brief History of Macau:

By 1600s Macau was a major Trading Post with Portugal having a monopoly over the trade with China.
 In 1685, the Portuguese monopoly over the trade with China through Macau (where they had set up prominent businesses and trading establishments) ended with permission being granted to several nations including England, Holland, France, Denmark, USA, Russia etc. to set up trading posts and factories in Macau.
Nevertheless, until the 1840s Macau was being governed by Portuguese Indian colonies (Estado da India) having the major share of businesses with China.
In 1844, Portugal with a view to further protect its business interests in Macau  declared Macau as an Overseas Province of Portugal.
Also, in 1844, China and United States negotiated the “Treaty of Peace, Amity and Commerce between China and the USA” marking an official beginning to China-USA relations. A Chinese administrator was appointed in Macau to supervise all matters concerning foreigners, including Trade, thus having a show of strength with the Portuguese.
In 1849, Portugal expelled all Chinese officials and soldiers and declared Macau as a Colony independent of China. Also, in 1849, Portugal stopped paying any rentals to the Chinese for the use of territories occupied by them for their businesses established in Macau.
In 1887, after several conflicts between China and Portugal, over its control, Macau, became a colony of the Portuguese Empire when it was given to Portugal as a Trading Post, but the ownership of Macau remained under the Chinese authority and sovereignty.
In 1949, when China came under Communist Rule, all Treaties concluded in 1887 were declared invalid and China laid claim to the sovereignty of  Macau.
After several disputes and clashes spread over several decades,  agreement to resolve the issue in 1979 took place between  China and Portugal who established diplomatic relations with each other and Macau was acknowledged as a Chinese territory under Portuguese Administration.
In 1987, a Joint Declaration was signed between Portugal and China for returning Macau as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of china wef 20.12.1999.

A Special Administrative Region (SAR) is a Provincial level administrative division of the People’s Republic of China creation of which is made under Article 31 of the 1982 Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

Presently, there are only two SARs viz: Hong Kong (formerly a British territory/colony) and Macau (formerly a Portuguese territory/Colony).

 An SAR although comes directly under the Central People’s Government, enjoys a high degree of autonomy.

Both Hong Kong and Macau are responsible for all internal matters including in executive, legislative and independent judicial powers and have their own codified constitutions called the “Basic Law”, except for diplomatic relations and National Defence which is a prerogative of the People’s Republic of China.
Both SARs also have the right to continue issuing its own currency/coinage.


Macau Currency:
The currency of Macau is called the “Macau Pataca” (A “Pataka” incidentally, in India means a “firecracker”). The Macau Pataca is symbolized by the dollar sign “$”.  With a view to avoid any ambiguity with the Hong Kong and US dollars, the symbol is also written as “M$” or designated a code “MOP”. A Macau dollar is sub-divided into “100 avos” (100 avos in Cantonese are called “sin” and ten avos are called “ho”).
The Macau Pataca was first printed in 1905 at which time, the Portuguese Macau Government was the sole authority for issuing currency in Macau.



Since 1965, the Macau Branch of the “Bank of China” has been authorized to issue currency notes.

Historical evolution of currency in Macau:

In 1894, the Pataca was introduced in Portuguese Macau as a unit of account only corresponding to the Mexican dollar and replacing the “Portuguese Real” at a conversion rate of 1 Pataca to 450 Reals. The name Pataca is derived from the Portuguese referring to the Mexican dollar as the “Pataca Mexicana”.

At the start of the 20th century, several currencies were circulating in Macau, the most prevalent being the silver Mexican dollars, British silver trade dollars of Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements and silver dollars and coinage of the neighbouring province of Canton.

Accordingly, in 1901, it was considered that Macau should have its own currency. The “Banco Nacional Ultramarino” was granted authorization to issue Macau’s currency notes in Patacas.

In 1906, under the above authorization, Pataca currency notes in the denominations of 1, 5, 50 and 100 were circulated as legal tender and all other currencies/coinage were stopped from general circulation. However, as the local Chinese population was familiar with the silver dollar coins and were skeptical of the new paper currency, the pataca based paper currency fetched a currency note holder lesser/discounted value than the silver dollars and took a considerable amount of time for the Pataca currency Notes to gain the confidence of the users.

In 1935, the Macau Pataca was equivalent to the value of 5.5 escudos or was worth about 1 shilling sterling.

In 1952, Macau coinage was introduced and all denominations of currency notes below the value of 10 Patacas were replaced by coins.


In 1980, the Macau government established the “Issuing Institute of Macau” or “Instituto Emissor de Macau” (IEM) for supervising the issue of Pataca currency notes which has in turn authorized the “Banco Nacional Ultramarino” (BNU) to continue issuing pataca banknotes.
In 1995, the Macau Branch of the “Bank of China” was authorized by IEM to issue Pataca Bank Notes.

Monetary Authority of Macau:

The Monetary Authority of Macau (or “Autoridade Monetaria de Macau”-“AMCM” – in Portuguese) was set up on 20th December 1999, when the Sovereignty of Macau was transferred from Portugal to the People’s Republic of China as the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
The authority to regulate issue of pataca currency notes and coinage  was taken over by the Monetary Authority of Macau” upon its establishment.

Coinage of Macau:
  
Macanese Pataca coins were issued for the first time only in 1952 in the denominations of 5 avos (bronze), 10 avos (bronze), 50 avos (cupro-nickel). Also, silver coins in the denominations of 1 and 5 patacas were issued , with .720 silver composition.

In 1967, nickel brass composition replaced all bronze coins.

In 1968, silver was replaced by Nickel in the one pataca coins and in 1971, silver five patacas were replaced by Nickel coins.

In 1982, 10, 20 and 50 avo coins were being minted in Brass while 1 and 5 Patacas were minted in cupro-nickel.
Circulating coins (present day):
(The images of 10 and 50 avos coins are from the collection of Dr. P.V. Satyaprasad, who is an avid numismatist for the past several decades, based in Vishakhapatnam and has contributed these scans for this post).


10 avos coins are minted in Brass .On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese. These coins were first issued in 1993. The coin shown above is one of the first few issues in this denomination having been issued in 1993. The shape of the coin is circular.



On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “10 avos” and is depicted a “Lion Dance costume Head”. A Lion dance is a traditional dance form of China where two dancers maneuver the Lion costume so as to imitate the movements of a Lion. Interestingly, some basic dance moves are taken from this dance form into Chinese martial arts.


An image of a Lion dance costume.

20 avos coins are minted in Brass. On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese. The shape of the coin is dodecagonal (twelve sided).These coins were first minted in 1992. 

On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “20 avos” and is depicted a “Dragon Boat”, which is manually oared/rowed traditional “Paddled Long  Boat”. Dragon Boat racing is a popular form of sport, particularly in Southern China for several centuries.


50 avos coins are minted in Brass. The above image shows a 50 avos coin issued in 1993. The 50 avos coins were first issued in 1993 along with the 10 avos coins. Thus, this 50 avos coin is also one of the first few issues .On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese.The shape of the coin is circular.



On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “50 avos” and is depicted a “Dragon dance”, traditionally performed in festivities in China. Many Chinese believe that they are descendants of Dragons and also from “Shennong” an ancient King of China who is said to have laid the foundation of Agriculture, law and medicine for the Chinese people. The dragon dance is a highlight of Chinese New Year celebrations.  

(The following coins have been brought for my collection by Jayant Biswas from his recent trip to Macau and Hong Kong).                              



One pataca coins (MOP $1) are minted in cupro-nickel. On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese. The shape of the coin is circular. One pataca coins in this series were first issued in 1992. This coin shows the year of issue as “2005”.


On the reverse, is mentioned the denomination of the coin “1 PATACA” and is depicted the “Guia Lighthouse”. The Guia fort, chapel and lighthouse complex are found in the St. Lazarus Parish on the highest point in Macau and is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. While the fort and chapel were constructed between 1622 and 1638, the Lighthouse was constructed between 1622 and 1638 after an unsuccessful attempt by the Netherlands to capture Macau from Portugal.

Two pataca coins (MOP $2) are minted in cupro-nickel also. On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese. The shape of the coin is circular. Two pataca coins in this series were first issued in 1998.

On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “2 PATACAS” and is depicted the “Templo de A-Ma” and “Penha Church”

The “Templo de A-Ma”(Portuguese) or “A-Ma Temple” is one of the oldest and most well-known Taoist temples in Macau and was built in 1488, having been dedicated to “Matsu” (the goddess of seafarers and fishermen). In 2005, the temple was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The name Macau is believed to have originated from this temple, the Chinese name “Jyutping: Maa1 Gok3 “having been translated by the Portuguese as “Macao”.

The “Penha Church” is built atop the Colina da Penha or Penha Hill  in 1622 when a  Portuguese ship had a narrow escape from Dutch attackers at sea. The Chapel was rebuilt in 1837 and was visited by sailors embarking on hazardous journeys.



Five pataca coins (MOP $5) are also minted in cupro-nickel. On the obverse is mentioned “MACAU” in both English and Chinese. The shape of this coin is dodecagonal (12 sided). Five pataca coins in this series were first issued in 1992.



On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “5 PATACAS” and is depicted the “Cathedral of Saint Paul” , the ruins of this Church are a popular landmark of Macau and is a UNESCO designated “World Heritage Site” and 

a “Chinese Junk” which  is a very ancient sailing vessel design prevalent even today. Early designs of the Junk used bamboo rafts with a high stern. Junks traditionally have fully battened sails. Battens are horizontal supports to the sails which provide shape and strength to the sails.

Ten pataca coins (MOP $10) are bimetallic, with the outer ring being made of Brass and the inner core being made of Cupro-nickel.

On the reverse is mentioned the denomination of the coin “10 PATACAS” and is depicted the “St.Dominic’s Church” of Macau. 


Currency Notes of Macau:

Currency Notes are presently being issued in the denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 patacas. Among the recent issues are the “1990 Series” and the current “2005 Series” by Banco National Ultramarino while the Bank of China issues are from the “1995 Series” , “2003 Series” and the “2008 Series”.

Interestingly, on 20.12.1999 when Macau became a SAR of the People’s Republic of China, currency notes of all denominations except for 10 patacas, were reissued bearing that date.
Banco Nacional Ultramarino issues :
1990 Series and 2003 Series:

(The undernoted Currency Note scans are from the collection of Jayant Biswas).

MOP $10:  issued on 08.07.1991 and then again on 08.01.2001 and 08.06.2003.  










On the obverse this currency Note showed the “Dr. Sun Memorial Hall” and on the reverse it showed a view of Macau in the 90’s ,  “Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho”– Ponte means “Bridge”. (This is also known as the Macau-Taipa Bridge connecting Macau Peninsula and the island of Taipa).  The note also carried a water-mark of a “Chinese Junk.







(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a statue of “Duesa A-Ma of Macau”, on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).



MOP $20:  issued on 01.09.1996, then again on 20.12.1999 and  08.06.2003.



On the obverse of this currency note is depicted the old “Banco Nacional  Ultramarino Headquarters”. On the reverse a similar design as the 10 pataca currency note is carried.




(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a picture of “Macau International Airport”, on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).


MOP $ 50:  issued on 13.07.1992 and then again on 20.12.1999.



On the obverse of this currency note is depicted a “Lion Dance”. On the reverse a similar design as the 10 pataca currency note is carried.



(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a depiction of the “Sai Van Bridge(one of the 3 bridges also, connecting the Macau Peninsula and the Taipa Island), on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).



MOP $100: issued on 13.07.1992 and then again on 20.12.1999 and 08.06.2003.


On the obverse of this currency note is depicted a “Chinese Junk”. On the reverse a similar design as the 10 pataca currency note is carried.



(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a depiction of “Largo do Senado (Senate Square)”, on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).


 MOP $ 500: issued on 08.07.1991, and then again on 20.12.1999 and 08.06.2003.



On the obverse of this currency note is depicted a picture of the “A-Ma Temple”. On the reverse a similar design as the 10 pataca currency note is carried.


(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “Macau Tower”, on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).



MOP $1000: issued on 08.07.1991 and then again on 20.12.1999 and 08.06.2003.


On the obverse of this currency note is depicted a picture of a “Dragon”. On the reverse a similar design as the 10 pataca currency note is carried.


(In the 2003 Series issued on 08.08.2005, on the obverse was carried a picture of “Macau Cultural Centre”, on the reverse was the “BNU Building” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus”).


Bank of China issues (1995 Series and 2008 Series):

MOP $10: issued on 16.10.1995 and then again on 08.01.2001, 02.02.2002 and 08.12.2003.  

On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “Guia Light House and Monte fort” and on the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.



(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of “A-Ma Temple”, on the reverse was the “Bank of China Macau Branch” on all the denominations of 2008 Note issues” and the note carried a watermark of a “Lotus” as before).

MOP $20: issued on 01.09.1996 and, then again, on 20.12.1999,  and 08.12.2003.  

On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “A-Ma Temple” and on the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.




(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “fa├žade of the ruins of Saint Paul’s Cathedral”. The Note also carried a “Lotus watermark”).



MOP $50: issued on 16.10.1995 and, then again, on 01.11.1997 and 20.12.1999.


On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “University of Macau” and on the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.



(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “Dom Pedro V Theatre”. The Note also carried a “Lotus watermark”).


MOP $100: issued on 16.10.1995 and, then again, on 20.12.1999 and 08.12.2003.
 




On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal, Macau” and on the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.



(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “Guia Lighthouse and Monte Fort”. The Note also carried a “Lotus watermark”).


MOP $500: issued on 16.10.1995 and, then again, on 20.12.1999 and 08.12.2003.



On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “Ponte de Amizade”( the third bridge to connect the Macau Peninsula and the Taipa Island, the others being the  “Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho” and the “Ponte Sai Van”. On the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.


(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “Casa do Mandarin” (House of the Mandarin). The Note also carried a “Lotus watermark”).


MOP $1000: issued on 16.10.1995 and, then again, on 20.12.1999 and 08.12.2003.


On the obverse this Currency Note showed the “Sai Van (Praia de Bom Porto)” and on the reverse it shows the “Bank of China Macau Branch”. The note also carried a water-mark of a “Lotus”.


(In the 2008 Series issued on 08.08.2008, on the obverse was carried a picture of the “Legislative Assembly”. The Note also carried a “Lotus watermark”).


Some Commemorative issues:

When the 2008 Summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, “Bank of China” (Macau Branch) issued 20 pataca banknotes to commemorate the event.

Also, in 2012 the “Banco National Ultramarino” and “Bank of China” issued 10 pataca banknotes to commemorate the “Year of the Dragon”. 

“Bank of China” also issued a 100 pataca currency note to commemorate its centenary in the same year.


Blog Post Links:

6 comments:

  1. An exhaustive and educative article on Macau and its currency. very useful to historians and numismatists ---- dr. pv satyaprasad

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ramchandra Lalingkar has commented on 12.10.12:
    "You have got very interesting information / collection about various Coins !!"

    ReplyDelete
  3. Vineeta Jain has commented on 12.10.12:

    "Whew! that was verryy detailed, its admirable the amount of effort n research u guys put into ur blogs...we went to Macau last year..so i read ur post..it ws interesting."

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are really well travelled Vineeta!! Do collect a few coins for my blog, whenever you travel abroad next.(:-)

    ReplyDelete