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Friday, 14 March 2014

134) Coins and Currency of Thailand: “Baht” and “Satang”:




134) Coins and Currency of Thailand: “Baht” and “Satang”:


The currency of Thailand is the Baht with one Baht being subdivided into 100 satang. It is represented by the Code – “THB”.


Coinage over a period of time:


The ancient kingdom of Thailand was known as “Muang Thai” (meaning “Land of the Free”), so named because it never fell under the yoke of European power’s rule.


Malay, Mon and Khymer kingdoms thrived in this area before the coming of the Thai people from southern China and Laos during the 6th century.


The earlier name of Thailand was Siam. In the Indo-Chinese kingdom of Funan, silver and tin coins circulated and also used by the Mon people of Dvaravati. In the kingdom of Langchang bar-shaped coins of varying lengths called “leech money” or “tiger tongue money” were circulating during the 16th and 17th centuries. These were followed by “Bent ring” shaped coins in circulation a little later.


A Thai dominated nation arose in these territories during the rise of the Sukhothai kingdom in the mid-thirteenth century.


Rama I (Reign: 06.04.1782-07.09.1809) founded the dynasty which rules Thailand to the present day and established his capital at Bangkok uniting the territories presently under Thai domination.


During this time, distinctive bullet-shaped coins were used as legal tender. These bullet shaped solid gold or silver pieces were cast to various weights corresponding to a traditional system of units. These coins were known as “Phot Duang” in Thailand remained in circulation till the end of the 19th century. 


Rama III (Reign: 21.07.1824-02.04.1851) considered the use of flat coins as he did not like the killing of snails living in the cowry shells (being used as 1/6400th currency in relation to the Baht). The first experimental coins produced during his reign mentioned “Muang Thai”, instead of “Siam”.


In 1851, during the reign of Rama IV (Reign: 02.04.1851-01.10.1868), Banknotes in the denominations of 1/8, ¼, 3/8, ½ and 1 “Tical” (The Baht was originally known to foreigners by the Malay/Portuguese term “Tical”) were circulated.


In 1853, Banknotes in the denominations of 3, 4, 6 and 10 Tamlueng were circulated.


In 1857, Banknotes in the denominations of 20 and 40 Ticals were circulated. The denominational value on these Banknotes was also mentioned in “Straits dollars” and “Indian Rupees”.


Until 1859, the bullet shaped coinage (“Phot Duang”) was in use having a standard weight based on the baht at 15.4 gms or ½ oz.


From 1859, the Bullet money was gradually replaced by western-style round coinage onwards (which was the year when Queen Victoria sent a coining press as a gift to Rama IV). 


From 1859 onwards, coins were minted in various denominations based on the Baht at par with the “Tical” or “Baht”. All these coins showed images and symbols of Buddhist shrines and temples.


Between 1859 and 1868, Banknotes in the denominations of 5, 7, 8, 12 and 15 Tamlueng and 1 Chang were also circulated.


In 1874, one Att Banknotes were also circulated.


In 1887, a new Series having the bust of Rama V (or “Chulalongkorn the Great” – Reign: 01.10.1868-23.10.1910) on the obverse and having a heavenly nymph, seated with a shield and spear (looking much like Christopher Ironside’s famous 50 pence “Britannia” design for the British Decimal coinage minted from 1968 onwards), on lower denominations and Buddhist symbols on the higher denominations, was circulated. 


 The sub-divisions of the various coins being minted, in relation to the Baht were as follows:


One Bia (or “Cowry” or “seashell”) was equal to 1/100th Att or 1/6400th Baht.


One Solot (meaning “sixteen” or “sixteenth”. Interestingly, in India “Solah” also means “sixteen” in Hindi) was equivalent to 1/16th of a Fueang or 1/128th of a Baht.


One At was equal to 1/8th Fueang or 1/64th Baht.


One Sio or Pai (meaning “quarter”) was equivalent to ¼th Fueang or 1/32th of a Baht.


One Sik (meaning “half”) was equivalent to ½ Fueang or 1/16th Baht.


One Fueang was equal to 1/8th Baht.


One Salueng was equal to ¼ Baht.


One Mayong was equal to ½ Baht.


One Tamlueng was equal to 4 Baht.


One Chang was equal to 20 Tamleung or 80 Baht.


In 1892, Banknotes in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 40, 80, 100, 400 and 800 Ticals or Baht were issued.


In 1895, the last gold coins were minted (1 gold Baht was generally worth 16 silver Baht).


In 1897, the above coinage was replaced by a decimal system set in place by King Chulalongkorn, which introduced one Baht being equivalent to 100 Satang or Salueng. Nevertheless, the earlier coinage continued to be in circulation, till it was gradually replaced by decimal coinage. The coins minted from this period onwards were struck in tin, bronze, brass, cupro-nickel, silver and gold.


In 1902, a new Series of Banknotes in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 Ticals were circulated.


In 1918, 1 and 50 Tical Banknotes were added to the circulating currency.


In 1925, another Series of Banknotes in the denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 Baht was circulated.


In 1939, the new name Thailand was adopted for the country in place of Siam by a Royal Decree. During this period, Bronze holed Satangs and smaller Tin and Aluminium coins were issued.


In 1941, a series of silver coins was circulated in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 Satang due to scarcity of nickel during World War II.


In 1942, the Bank of Thailand was set up for having overall supervision over issue and regulation of currency & coinage of the country.


In September 1945 the country reverted to its original name Siam. Upto this year coinage was denominated in Thai numerals. However, from this year onwards, some coins showed the value and date as denominated in Western numerals also, based on the Thai calendar. However most coins continued to be inscribed in the local script and numerals. Several coins were issued for several years without changing the date. In this year, 50 Baht Banknotes too were issued.


In 1946, 50 Satang Banknotes were issued.


From May 1949 onwards the country is known as Thailand.


Recent Thai Coinage:


In 1957, one Baht Banknotes were replaced by one Baht coins.


In 1972, five Baht Banknotes were replaced by cupro-nickel five Baht coins.


In 1977, cupro-nickel clad copper coins were circulated.


Between 1986 and 1988, a new Series was introduced consisting of 1, 5 and 10 Satang (all Aluminium), 25 and 50 Satang (both Aluminium-bronze), 1 Baht (cupro-nickel), 5 Baht (cupro-nickel clad copper), and a bimetallic 10 Baht.


In 2005, 2 Baht (Cupro-nickel clad steel) coins were introduced.


In 1987, the previous Series ranging from the small Aluminium one Satang to the bimetallic 10 Baht was introduced. This Series has the King’s portrait on one side and symbolism, Royal Insignia or Buddhist Temples on the reverse. This Series is still in circulation.


In 1988, the 10 Baht Banknotes were replaced by bimetallic ten Baht coins.


In 2008/09 the present Series of coins was circulated.


Reading the denominational value and year of issue on the Baht & Satang coins /currency:


               A table showing Thai numerals 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
Modern Thai coinage & currency references the Buddhist Era (B.E.). Accordingly, 543 years are subtracted from the year of issue inscribed on the Thai coins to arrive at the Gregorian calendar year of issue, so as to have uniformity in understanding the date of issue by the International travelers to Thailand & vice versa i.e. 543 years are added to the Gregorian calendar year to arrive at the year of issue of the Thai coins. Also the two alphabets engraved before the year of issue correspond to the Thai equivalent of “B.E.” or the “Buddhist Era”.



Take for example, the image of the 25 Satang coin shown here. The year of issue is shown on the upper right periphery of this coin. If we interpret the Thai numerals from the tables given above, we get “B.E.2553”. Now, if we subtract 543 from this number, we get a figure of “2010”. Thus the year of issue of this coin corresponds to the Gregorian year “2010”.


Presently circulating coins:


 1987 Coin Series: 


The Obverse of these coins bears a recent portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the House of Mahidol, Chakri Dynasty, (Rama IX: 09.06.1946 – present).


The Reverse of the One Satang coin bears the image of Wat Phrathat Haripunchai, Lamphun


The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 15 mm; Weight: 0.5 gms; Metal composition: 97.5% Aluminium, 2.5 % Magnesium.


(Wat Phrathat Haripunchai, Lamphun:


The Central Stupa of this temple (Wat) was built in 897 AD by the King of Haripunchai for keeping a hair of the Buddha. Later, around 1044 AD, the temple structures were completed around the central structure by another Haripunchai King Athitayarai. Then again, the temple was rebuilt/restored in 1443 by King Tilokaraja of the Lanna kingdom Chiang Mai. The temple houses a 15th century Lanna Buddha and also has a library of Buddhist literature and religious texts. The Temple also has a bronze gong which is the largest in the World placed in the Temple complex since 1860. Interestingly in one corner of the temple are five footprints which are believed to be that of the Buddha himself. 

Explanation: In Vajrayana Buddhism, the Tathagata Buddha has five different kinds of manifestations : They are the Buddha kind, Vajra kind, Ratna kind, Lotus kind and Karma kind. The five Tathagata Buddhas according to Durgatiparishodhana Tantra are a) Vairochana or "resplendent" usually seated in the middle of the Mandala, b) Akshobhya or "imperturbable" which is the Buddha of the East, c) Amitabha "boundless light" which is the Buddha of the West, d) Ratnasambhava or "jewel-born" is the Buddhaof the South and e) Amoghasiddhi or "complete accomplishment action" which is the Buddha of the North ).


The Reverse of the Five Satang coin bears the image of Phra Pathommchedi, Nakhon Pathom.


The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 16 mm; Weight: 0.6 gms; Metal composition: 97.5% Aluminium, 2.5 % Magnesium.


(Phra Pathommchedi, Nakhon Pathom:


Phra Pathommchedi (meaning “Holy Chedi of the beginning”) is the tallest stupa in the world having a height of 127 metres. The temple which houses the stupa is called the “Wat Phra Pathommachedi Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan”


The stupa is believed to have been built sometime around the 4th century AD. The stupa fell into disrepair and was overgrown by forest vegetation sometime after the 11th century. It was visited by King Mongkut (Rama IV Reign: 02.04.1851-01.10.1868), during the time he was a wandering monk and he had the rebuilt the stupa upon being coronated as King. The new structure was completed in 1870.


The Reverse of the Ten Satang coin bears the image of Phra That Choeng Chum, Sakon Nakhon.


The specifications of this coin are:

Diameter: 17.5 mm; Weight: 0.8 gms; Metal composition: 97.5% Aluminium, 2.5 % Magnesium.


(Phra That Choeng Chum, Sakon Nakhon:


This Phra was built to cover the footprints of four Buddhas viz: Phra Kakusantha, Phra Konakom, Phra Kassapa and Phra Kodom or Phra Sri Ariyametrei (the present Buddha). Next to the Phra is the section which houses the “Luang Por Ong Saen” (which is a “sacred Buddha statue”).


The Reverse of the Twenty five Satang coin bears the image of Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat


The specifications of this coin are:

Diameter: 16.0 mm; Weight: 1.9 gms; Metal composition: Aluminium Bronze.


(Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan, Nakhon Si Thammarat:


This is the most important temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat and southern Thailand. The temple contains a tooth relic of the Buddha. The Chedi is 78 metres high and is surrounded by 173 smaller ones. At the base of the Chedi is a gallery called “Viham Tap Kaset” decorated with many Buddha statues and elephant heads. The Chedi is also a symbol/emblem of the Nakhon Si Thammarat province).

Obverse of a 50 Satang coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left. 

The Reverse of the Fifty Satang coin bears the image of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai. To determine the year of issue of this coin, look at the top right periphery of the coin again, as in the previous coins. The year of issue is again preceded by the Thai alphabet equivalent of “B.E. (“Buddhist Era”), followed by the Thai numerals equivalent to “2547” corresponding to the Gregorian year “2004” like the 25 Satang coin. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “50” and the Thai alphabet.


The date on this Fifty Satang coin is mentioned as “B.E.2538” corresponding to the Gregorian year “1995” as the Gregorian year of issue.


The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 18.0 mm; Weight: 2.4 gms; Metal composition: Aluminium Bronze.


(Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai: This is a Theravada Buddhist temple (Wat) popularly referred to as “Doi Suthep” temple, so-named, after the name of the mountain it is situated upon. This temple was founded in 1383 A.D. when the first structure was built. Since then, the temple complex has been extended to include several more religious structures. Legend has it that a priest called Sumanathera dreamt that a relic was hidden at a place called Pang Cha. 


Convinced that his dream was a message from the heavens, he went to Pang Cha, where he found a relic – a shoulder bone from Buddha which was said to have magical powers of glowing, replicating itself and could also disappear and reappear, seemingly at will. 


Sumanathera took the relic to the Sukhothai King who felt that the relic was a fake. (I don’t blame him. Even I tend to forget where I have placed important things which seem to “mysteriously disappear” and after messing up the entire room where I thought I had placed them and giving up all hope of finding them, suddenly, I find the thing I was looking for was lying in plain sight). 

Nevertheless, another King called Nu Naone of the Lanna Kingdom showed an interest in what Sumanathera’s story. So, Sumanathera took the relic to Lamphun in Northern Thailand, where the relic broke into two “magically” (I have my doubts about this and feel that Sumanathera blundered once again and “accidentally” broke the relic into two and passed it off as a magical event to save face, but then, this is entirely my view). 


The smaller piece was placed in a temple in Suandok, while the larger piece was carried on a white elephant’s back up the slopes of Doi Suthep or Doi Aoy Chang Mountain (meaning “white elephant” mountain). 

It seems that the elephant was ‘out of breath” climbing the steep slopes and when it could no longer go on, it trumpeted three times and died. (Another case of cruelty to animals?) Nevertheless, this was covered up by saying that this was an auspicious sign from the elements and this temple was constructed at the site where the elephant died. The temple, inter alia, contains statues of an “Emerald Buddha” and a statue of the Hindu God “Ganesh” or “Ganpati”.


Obverse of a One Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.

The Reverse of the One Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok.   The year of issue on this coin is mentioned as “B.E.2546” which corresponds to the Gregorian year “2003” as the year of issue.
 
The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 20.0 mm; Weight: 3.4 gms; Metal composition: Cupro-nickel.


(Wat Phra Kaew or the “Temple of the Emerald Buddha” Bangkok:


This is the most sacred Buddhist temple (Wat) in Thailand, located within the precincts of the Grand Palace at Bangkok. It is believed that the statue of the Emerald Buddha placed in the temple traces its origin to India about five centuries after the Buddha attained “nirvana” (meaning “eternal sleep”). 

There is a legend dating back to around 150 B.C. that narrates that the Emerald Buddha was made by an Indian saint with the help of Vishnu, the Hindu god and Indra the demi-god (King of the Devas – who ruled in ancient India). It is believed that the statue’s presence would bring prosperity and pre-eminence to the countries where the statue resides, in particular Lankadvipa (present day Sri Lanka), Ramalakka, Dvaravati, Chiang Mai and Lan Chiang (or Laos) and now the country of its present installation in Thailand. The statue was installed at the temple in 1782 during the reign of Rama I (1782-1809). 


The Reverse of the Two Baht coin bears the image of Wat Saket, Bangkok. This denomination was first issued in 2005.


The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 21.75 mm; Weight: 4.4 gms; Metal composition: Nickel-plated low carbon steel.


(Wat Saket, Bangkok:


This Buddhist temple is located in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district in Bangkok. It dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as the Wat Sakae and got its present name during the reign of Rama I. Phu Khao Thong is a steep artificial hill in the Wat Saket compound. A relic of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka is placed in the temple’s Chedi. 

An annual festival is held at the temple every year in November where a candle-light procession goes up the Phu Khao Thong to the Chedi where the Buddha relic is placed. The temple structures have been built and rebuilt several times, the present structure having been built is Carrara marble in the early 1900s).



The Obverse of a Five Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left. 


The Reverse of the Five Baht coin bears the image of Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok. This denomination was first issued in 1988. The date on this coin, going by the Thai numerals is “B.E. 2547” or after deducting 543 years from the Buddhist Era we arrive at “2004” as the Gregorian year of issue for this coin. 


The Obverse of a Five Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.




The Reverse of the Five Baht coin bears the image of Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok. This denomination was first issued in 1988. The date on this coin, going by the Thai numerals is “B.E. 2551” or after deducting 543 years from the Buddhist Era we arrive at “2008” as the Gregorian year of issue for this coin.


The specifications of this coin are:


Diameter: 24.0 mm; Weight: 7.5 gms; Metal composition: Cupro-nickel clad copper.


(Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok:

This Buddhist temple situated in Dusit district of Bangkok is a beautiful structure known as the marble temple, built in an ornate style of high gables, stepped out roofs and elaborate finials. Wat Benchamabophit (meaning “the temple of the Fifth King located near Dusit Palace”) was constructed from 1899 onwards during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and is built of Italian marble. It has a display of Carrara marble pillars, marble courtyard and two lions (“simhas”) placed at the entrance. 

The temple interiors are decorated with cross-beams of lacquer and gold, as well as with paintings of important “stupas” found all over the country and the temple complex houses 52 images of the Buddha each showing different “mudras” (or signs). The temple complex also houses the Benchamabophit National Museum). 



Obverse of a Ten Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.



The Reverse of the Ten Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. Once again we see the Thai numerals equivalent to “2551” corresponding to the Gregorian year “2008”. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “10” Baht and the Thai alphabet.



Obverse of a Ten Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing front.



The Reverse of the Ten Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. This denomination was first issued in 1987. To determine the year of issue of this coin, look at the top right periphery of the coin. Once again we see the Thai numerals equivalent to “2537” corresponding to the Gregorian year “1994”. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “10” Baht and the Thai alphabet.



Obverse of a Ten Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.



The Reverse of the Ten Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. For arriving at the year of issue of this coin, we see the Thai numerals equivalent to “2546” corresponding to the Gregorian year “2003”. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “10” Baht and the Thai alphabet.


The specifications of this coin are:

Diameter: 26.0 mm; Weight: 8.5 gms; Metal composition: Cupro-nickel (outer ring), Aluminium Bronze (centre).


(Wat Arun, Bangkok (or “Ratchawaramahawihan” meaning “Temple of Dawn”):


This is a Buddhist Temple (Wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple gets its name from the Hindu God “Arun” (the “Dawn”) which is personified as the radiation of the “rising or red sun”. 

True to its name, the first light of the morning reflects off the Temple with pearly iridescence which is aesthically very pleasing. The temple was built around 1656 A.D. during the reign of King Narai (1656-1688).At this time, the temple was called “Makok” named after the “Spondias pinnata” plant found in Thailand and later renamed “Wat Chaeng” by King Taksin. 

The Temple enshrined the “Emerald Buddha” before it was relocated to Wat Phra Kaew in 1782. The main feature of Wat Arun is a “prang” (or a “stupa-like pagoda” or a “central tower”) encrusted with colourful porcelain, measuring about 86 metres, surrounded by four smaller prangs on the corners. 

The Central prang has a seven-pronged trident of Shiva (the Hindu God of destruction). The base of the Prang has figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Over the second terrace are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding on “Airavat” or “Erawan” (the mythological white elephant which served as Indra’s vehicle). The Central prang symbolizes Mount Meru or Sumeru of Hindu Cosmology while the satellite prangs are devoted to the wind god “Vayu” or “Phra Phai”.


The significance of the Central prang to Buddhists is as follows: The base of the Central prang – is the “Traiphum” which symbolizes all realms of existence, the middle portion of the Central prang is the “Tavatimsa” which symbolizes the fulfillment/gratification of all desires while the top of the Central prang is the “Devaphum” symbolizes the six heavens within the seven realms of happiness. 

The temple complex also has six pavilions made of green granite and the Ordination Hall with a Niramitr Buddha statue designed by King Rama II himself. The Hall contains murals created during the reign of king Rama V.

2009 Coin Series:


This Series included measures for reducing minting costs through change in metal composition. However, the obverse and reverse sides of all the coins issued under this Series bore the same images/designs as the earlier 1987 Series coins. These coins were first minted in 2008 and put into circulation in 2009. The difference in metal composition/size etc., however, was as under:


The specifications of the One Satang coin issued under this Series are:


Metal composition: 99.0% Aluminium. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series. 


The specifications of the Five Satang coin issued under this Series are:


Diameter: 16.5 mm; Metal composition: 99.0% Aluminium. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series. 


The specifications of the Ten Satang coin issued under this Series are:


Metal composition: 99.0% Aluminium. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series. 



Obverse of a 25 Satang coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.



The Reverse of the Twenty five Satang coin bears the image of Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat. (Determining the year of issue on this coin has been explained in the illustration under “Reading the denominational value and year of issue on the Baht & Satang coins /currency”). Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “25”.


The specifications of the Twenty Five Satang coin issued under this Series are:


Metal composition: Copper plated steel. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series. 


The specifications of the Fifty Satang coin issued under this Series are:


Metal composition: Copper plated steel. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series.



Obverse of a one Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.


The Reverse of the One Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. To determine the year of issue of this coin, look at the top right periphery of the coin. Once again we see the Thai equivalent of the alphabets “B.E.” (or the “Buddhist Era”) followed by the Thai numerals equivalent to “2555” corresponding to the Gregorian year “2012”. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “1” Baht and the Thai alphabet.


The specifications of the One Baht coin issued under this Series are:

Weight: 3.0 gms; Metal composition: Copper plated steel. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series.


The Obverse of a Two Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.


The Reverse of the Two Baht coin bears the image of Wat Saket, Bangkok.  The year of issue on this coin is mentioned as “2555” which corresponds to the Gregorian year 2012”. The denominational value of this coin is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “2”.


The specifications of the Two Baht coin issued under this Series are:


Weight: 4.0 gms; Metal composition: Aluminium bronze. The remaining specifications were the same as in the earlier Series.



The Obverse of a Five Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.



The Reverse of the above Five Baht coin bears the image of Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok. The date on this coin, going by the Thai numerals is “B.E. 2554” or after deducting 543 years from the Buddhist Era we arrive at “2011” as the Gregorian year of issue for this coin.

The specifications of the Five Baht coin issued under this Series are:

Weight: 6.0 gms. The remaining specifications were the same as the earlier Series.



Obverse of a Ten Baht coin with a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej facing left.



The Reverse of the Ten Baht coin bears the image of Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok. Once again we see the Thai numerals equivalent to “2555” corresponding to the Gregorian year “2012”. Also the denominational value is mentioned in Thai and Roman numerals “10” Baht and the Thai alphabet.


The specifications of the Ten Baht coin issued under this Series were the same as in the earlier Series. 


The 1, 5 and 10 Satang coins have been virtually put out of circulation owing to inflationary pressures.


The bimetallic 10 Baht coins have raised dots on the top periphery which correspond to Braille dots indicating the numeral “10” to facilitate the visually challenged users to identify the denomination.


Banknotes of the Thai Baht:
Recent Banknote issues:


In 2003, the “EURion Constellation” (which is an anti photo-copying feature) has been placed on the Back of all 100, 500 and 1000 Baht Banknotes as an additional security feature.


15th Series Banknotes:
The Front of all these Banknotes shows a portrait of Bhumibol Adulyadej wearing the uniform of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.




The Back of the 20 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of Ananda Mahidol (or Rama VII). Reign: 02.03.1935 – 09.06.1946: (His reign was short-lived as he was found shot to death under mysterious circumstances). 


 The size of this Banknote is 138 x 72 mm. The date of issue of this Banknote is 03.03.2003. The colour of this Banknote is green. This is the smallest denomination of Baht Banknotes presently in circulation.

the Front of the 50 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of Bhumibol Adulyadej.




The Back of the 50 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of Mongkut (or Rama IV), Chakri dynasty. Reign: 01.04.1851-01.10.1868: (He brought in Western innovations and initiated the modernization of Siam in the areas of technology and culture which earned him the nickname “The Father of Science and Technology” in his country).


The size of this Banknote is 144 x 72 mm. The colour of this Banknote is Blue. The date of issue of this Banknote is 19.03.2004. 


The Front of the 100 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of Bhumibol Adulyadej.



The Back of the 100 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of Chulalongkorn (or Rama V) Reign: 01.10.1868-23.10.1910: (He was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri. He was also known as “Phra Phuttha Chao Luang” or “the Royal Buddha” and is considered to be one of the greatest Kings of Siam, who modernized Siam, brought about immense government and social reforms.

Through his policies he ceded territorial concessions to the British Empire and French Indo-China, however, he managed to save Siam from being colonized by Western powers. His reforms were focused on the survival of Siam against Western dominance, earning him the endearment of the Siamese characterized as “Phra Piya Maharat” (or “the great beloved King”). 

Also seen on this Banknote is a portrait of:
  King Vajiravudh (King Rama VI) 01.01.1880 – 25.11.1925):  He is known to create and promote Siamese Nationalism. His reign is characterised by Siam’s movement further towards democracy.

 The size of this Banknote is 150 x 72 mm. The colour of this Banknote is Red. The date of issue of this Banknote is 21.10.2005. 


The Front of 500 Baht note shows a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.




The Back of the 500 Baht banknote shows a portrait of Nang Klao or Jessadabodindra (or Rama III) Reign: 21.07.1824-02.04.1851: During his reign, the military hegemony of Siam was established by putting down the Laotian rebellion during 1826-1829).


The size of this Banknote is 156 x 72 mm. The colour of this Banknote is purple. The date of issue of this Banknote is 01.08.2001. 

The Front of the 1000 Baht Banknote shows a portrait of King Bhumibol Aduljadej.




 The Back of the 1000 Baht banknote, also, shows a portrait of Bhumibol Adulyadej. The size of this Banknote is 162 x 72 mm. The colour of this Banknote is brown. The date of issue of this Banknote is 25.11.2005.

This Series of Banknotes is presently in circulation.

16th Series Banknotes:




The Front of the 50 Baht Banknote issued under this Series shows Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Royal House of Chakri gown. The size of this Banknote is 144 x 72 mm and its colour is blue. This Banknote was issued on 18.01.2012.



The Back of the 50 Baht Banknote shows Naresuan.


Naresuan: Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat or Somdet Phra Sanphet II (1555-1605) was the King of the Ayutthaya kingdom from 1590 to 1605. Also known as the “Black Prince” (primarily on account of the fact that he ruled with an iron-hand), he is one of the most revered monarchs of Siam primarily on account of the numerous wars which he fought to free Siam from Burmese rule. 

During his reign, Siam extended its territories to a very large extent. After the Second Burmese Siamese War the Kingdom of Sukhothai was annexed as a vassal state to Burma. The Black Prince and his brother Ekathotsarot (known as the “White Prince” due to his kind-heartedness) were taken as hostage to Pegu in Burma. At Pegu he was trained in martial arts and war strategy in Burmese and Portuguese styles of warfare. 

Posted on 10.07.2016: 
The following Banknotes are also from 16th Series of Banknotes:


On the Front of the 100 Baht Banknote is depicted a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Royal House of Chakri Gown.
 On the Back of the 100 Baht Banknote is depicted King Taksin the Great monument in Wongwian Yai Circle, Phra Ratchawang Doem (King Taksin’s palace) and  Wichai Prasit Fortress Thonburi.

Taksin the Great (28.12.1767 – 06.04.1782): He was the only King of the Thonburi Kingdom and was of Thai Chinese heritage. He was instrumental in the liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation after the second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 and the unification of Siam after it fell under various warlords. He established Thonburi as the new capital. His reign was marked by numerous wars fought to repel new Burmese invasions and to subjugate the Northern Thai kingdom of Lanna, the Laotian Principalities and Cambodia. He paid a lot of attention to politics, administration, economy and welfare of the country. He promoted trade and fostered relations with foreign countries including China, Britain and the Netherlands. He renovated temples, revived literature and the Arts like drama, painting, architecture, handicrafts etc. He also promoted education and religious studies. He was given the title “Maharaj” (meaning the “Great King”).  He was executed and succeeded by his long-time friend Maha Ksatriyaseuk, who became the founder of the Rattanokosin Kingdom and the Chakri dynasty, which rules Thailand present day.

The Size of this Banknote is 150 mm x 72 mm and its colour is Red. It was first issued on 26.02.2015.



On the Front of the 1000 Baht Banknote is depicted a portrait of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Royal House of Chakri Gown.
 On the Back of the 1000 Baht Banknote is depicted King Chunla Chom Klao the Great (King Rama V) monument, Ananta Samakhom throne hall, Dusit palace ground King’s monument and end of slavery in Siam.

King Chulalongkorn or Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua (20.09.1853 – 23.10.1910): He was the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri. He was known as “Phra Phuttha Chao” (meaning “The Royal Buddha”). His reign was characterised by the modernisation of Siam, government and social reforms. He also ceded territories to the British Empire and French Indochina. As Siam was threatened by European expansionism, he through his policies and actions, managed to save Siam from being colonised.

All his reforms were focussed on ensuring Siam’s survival in the face of Western colonialism which earned him the epithet “Phra Piya Maharat” (meaning “The Great Beloved King”).

The Size of this Banknote is 162 mm x 72 mm and its colour is Brown. It was first issued on 21.08.2015.


Emblem of Thailand:


                  A version of the Garuda emblem

        A version of the Garuda emblem with the Royal Warrant below it.
The National Emblem of Thailand is called “Phra Khrut Pha” (meaning “Garuda as the vehicle” (In Hindu Mythology, Garuda – a large hybrid half-man and half-bird creature is the “vahana” (vehicle) of Vishnu or Narayana, one of the Trinity of Gods). The Garuda was officially adopted as the National emblem by King Rama VI in 1911. 

Nevertheless, the Garuda has been officially used as a symbol of Royalty in Siam for several centuries. Kings of Siam/Thailand have for centuries believed in Divine Kingship and considered themselves to be the incarnation of the God Vishnu or Narayana. Thus the Garuda is synonymous with divine power and a symbol of authority of the King. This symbolism also illustrates the belief that the Government (represented by the garuda) is the vehicle (or instrument) of the King. 

No law has prescribed a specific design of the Garuda for use in Government departments, as such several variations are used.


The King is “Sacred”:


The King of Thailand is legally considered inviolable and “lese majeste” i.e. any offence against the dignity of the monarch can be punished by law.


The notion that the king is sacred (in Latin “Rex Sacrorum”), believes that the King does not rule through his religious authority, rather, he has a temporal position which itself has a religious significance.


When we visited Ghana in February 2013, we learnt that in sub-Saharan Africa there were Shaman Kings who were treated as having links to the Gods themselves, and they were credited with bringing prosperity through rains and assurances to their tribes of perpetual good fortune. 

On the flip side, sometimes, the King had to suffer himself and atone for his people by being offered as a human sacrifice himself, to the Gods. Among the Ashanti, (where we stayed for the most part learning about their language, culture and Adinkra symbols), there was a practice that a new Ashanti King was flogged before being enthroned just to remind him of his duties to his people.


On the other hand, this is not so with King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who is protected by Law in a manner that dissidence or Inquiry is rendered punishable. A point of interest is that he has constantly figured in Forbes magazine’s “The World’s Richest Royals” from 2008 onwards with personal assets of over US $ 35 billion with no one to legally question his sources of wealth!!

Posted on 03.11.2015:


On 02.04.2015, on the occasion of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 5th Cycle Birth Anniversary, 10 million Commemorative Banknotes of 100 Baht Commemorative Banknotes denomination were issued.

On the Front of this 100 Baht commemorative Banknote the image is identical to the 16th series of 100 Baht Banknotes.


On the Back of this 100 Baht commemorative Banknote there is a portrait of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and a scene of Royal duties of King Bhumibol Adulyadej together with Queen Sirikit. There are also two flowers (Magnolia Siridhorniae Noot and Chalermglin and Exacum affine Balf.f.) both named after the Princess.


The colour and size of these Banknotes remained unchanged. The size of this Banknote is 72 mm x 150 mm and its colour is predominantly red.


The Security features on this Banknote include:

A watermark of King Bhumibol Adulyadej; Latent image of a hidden numeral “100” inside the copper-coloured element; Iridescent Ink in which Arabic numeral “100” and Thai patterns are printed vertically; Hologram foil stripe containing the Royal Emblem with Arabic numeral “100” which changes into the Thai numeral “100” upon tilting; Windowed Colour-shifting Security thread embedded on the Back, which changes from magenta to green upon tilting.

In addition, a special yellow-coloured ink printed on the portrait of the Princess and the surrounding area fluoresces into yellow when viewed under UV light.






(The Banknotes are from the collection of Jayant Biswas, while the Coin images are from the collection of both Ajit George and Jayant Biswas. Additionally, Jayant has brought a set of the Thailand coins as well as a few Banknotes for my collection as well. Banknotes & Coin images scanned and article written and researched by Rajeev Prasad). 

Links:
 1) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Maghapuja Day(Part I)
 2) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales  & celebrating Asalha Puja Day(Part II ) 
3) Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Vishakha Puja Day (Part III)

4)  Postage stamps from Thailand commemorating Buddhist Jataka Tales & celebrating Magha Puja Day (Part IV)




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