In the history of Thai currency, the money that was most
enduring was Pot Duang or bullet money.This first appeared during
the Sukhothai era, 13th 14th centuries. Pot Duang money were
hand-made coins. Metal strips were bent and folded into spheres very
much like a bullet, thus the name, bullet money.
Bullet money was in circulation for 600 years from the
Sukhothai era to Rattanakosin until its withdrawal from circulation
in 1904 during the reign of King Rama V.
The most profound
changes in the history of Thai currency occurred during the
Rattankosin era in the reigns of King Rama IV and King Rama V.
Standardized factory minted coins and printed bank notes were
During the reign of King
Rama IV, when foreign trade and diplomatic relations expanded, paper
money, in the form of royal promissory notes, was issued in 1853.
These were followed by bank notes issued by the foreign banks to
facilitate trade clearance.
In 1857, Queen Victoria of Britain presented Thailand with the
first minting machine and the minting of the first Thai silver
coins commenced. In 1858, a minting machine was purchased from
Britain to set the Royal Mint in the Grand Palace. The minting of
coins went ahead full steam.
In the reign of King Rama IV, money was denominated in satang, tho,
phi, padueng and baht.
During the reign of King Rama V, or King Chulalongkorn, coinage was
streamlined. The numerous denominations were reduced to only two,
satang and baht, based on the metric system, which remain till this
day. Bank notes issued were in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 40,80,
100, 400 and 800 baht.
Today, the denominations have been streamlined to 25, 50
satang coins, 1, 2, 5, 10 baht coins and 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000
The history of Thai currency goes
back more than 1,000 years, evolving from ancient beads and
bracelets to the modern baht thats in current use.
The old Thai currency
can be viewed at the http://tour-bangkok-legacies.com/bank-of-thailand-museum.html
About The Author: The author, Eric Lim, is a freelance writer who
lives in Bangkok. This article first appeared in http://tour-bangkok-legacies.com
a historical travel site on people, places and events that left
their mark in the landscape of Bangkok.
For more please see http://tour-bangkok-legacies.com/bangkok-museums.html