Thai baht บาทไทย (Thai) Baht banknotes and coins Aluminium coins ISO 4217 code THB Official user(s) Thailand Unofficial user(s) Laos
Inflation 4.17% (2011 est.), 3.3% (2010 est.), -0.9% (2009 est.), 5.4% (2006 est.) Source  Subunit 1/100 satang Symbol ฿ Coins Freq. used 25, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10 Rarely used 1, 5, 10 satang Banknotes Freq. used ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000 Central bank Bank of Thailand Website www.bot.or.th Mint Royal Thai Mint Website www.royalthaimint.net
The baht, like the pound, originated from a traditional unit of mass. Its currency value was originally expressed as that of silver of corresponding weight (now defined as fifteen grams), and was in use probably as early as the Sukhothai period in the form of bullet coins known in Thai as phot duang (Thai: พดด้วง). These were pieces of solid silver cast to various weights corresponding to a traditional system of units related by simple fractions and multiples, one of which is the baht. These are listed in the following table:
Unit (RTGS) Thai spelling Relative value Value relative to baht Notes Bia เบี้ย 1⁄100 at 1⁄6400 Bia is Thai for cowry, the shell of which was used as a trade medium of the same value. Solot โสฬส 1⁄16 fueang 1⁄128 Solot literally means sixteen, referring to the fractional amount relative to a fueang At อัฐ ⅛ fueang 1⁄64 Likewise, at literally means eight. Sio/pai เสี้ยว/ไพ ¼ fueang 1⁄32 Sio means quarter. Sik ซีก ½ fueang 1⁄16 Sik means half. Fueang เฟื้อง ⅛ baht ⅛ Salueng สลึง ¼ baht ¼ Mayon/mayong มายน/มะยง ½ baht ½ Baht บาท 1 Tamlueng ตำลึง 4 baht 4 Thai version of the tael Chang ชั่ง 20 tamleung 80 Thai version of the catty
The above system was in use up until 1897, when the decimal system devised by Prince Mahisorn, in which one baht = 100 satang, was introduced by king Chulalongkorn. However, coins denominated in the old units were issued until 1910, and the amount of twenty-five satang is still commonly referred to as a salueng, as is the twenty-five satang coin.
Until November 27, 1902, the baht was fixed on a purely silver basis, with 15 grams of silver to the baht. This caused the value of the currency to vary relative to currencies on a gold standard. In 1857, the values of certain foreign silver coins were fixed in law, with the one baht = 0.6 Straits dollar and five baht = seven Indian rupees. Before 1880 the exchange rate was fixed at eight baht per pound sterling, falling to 10 to the pound during the 1880s.
In 1902, the government began to increase the value of the baht by following all increases in the value of silver against gold but not reducing it when the silver price fell. Beginning at 21.75 baht = one British pound, the currency rose in value until, in 1908, a fixed peg to the British pound was established of 13 baht = one pound. This was revised to 12 baht in 1919 and then, after a period of instability, to 11 baht in 1923. During World War II, the baht was fixed at a value of one Japanese yen.
From 1956 until 1973, the baht was pegged to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 20.8 baht = one dollar and at 20 baht = 1 dollar until 1978. A strengthening US economy caused Thailand to re-peg its currency at 25 to the dollar from 1984 until July 2, 1997, when the country was stung by the Asian financial crisis. The baht was floated and halved in value, reaching its lowest rate of 56 to the dollar in January 1998. It has since risen to about 30 per dollar.
The baht was originally known to foreigners by the Malay/Portuguese term, tical, which was used in the English language text on banknotes until 1925.
Rama III (1824-1851) was the first king to consider the use of a flat coin. He did so not for the convenience of traders, but because he was disturbed that the creatures living in the cowry shells were killed. When he learned of the use of flat copper coins in Singapore in 1835, he contacted a Scottish trader, who had two types of experimental coins struck in England. However, the king rejected both designs. The name of the country put on these first coins was Muang Thai, not Siam Before 1860, Thailand did not produce coins using modern methods. Instead, a so-called "bullet" coinage was used, consisting of bars of metal, thicker in the middle, bent round to form a complete circle on which identifying marks were stamped. Denominations issued included 1⁄128, 1⁄64, 1⁄32, 1⁄16, 1⁄8, ½, 1, 1½, 2, 2½, 4, 4½, 8, 10, 20, 40, and 80 baht in silver and 1⁄32, 1⁄16, 1⁄8, ½, 1, 1½, 2, and 4 baht in gold. 1 gold baht was generally worth 16 silver baht. Between 1858 and 1860, foreign trade coins were also stamped by the government for use in Thailand.
In 1860, modern style coins were introduced. These were silver 1 sik, 1 fuang, 1 and 2 salung, 1, 2 and 4 baht, with the baht weighing 15.244 grams and the others weight related. Tin 1 solot and 1 att followed in 1862, with gold 2½, 4 and 8 baht introduced in 1863 and copper 2 and 4 att in 1865. Copper replaced tin in the 1 solot and 1 att in 1874, with copper 4 att introduced in 1876. The last gold coins were struck in 1895.
In 1897, the first coins denominated in satang were introduced, cupronickel 2½, 5, 10 and 20 satang. However, 1 solot, 1 and 2 att coins were struck until 1905 and 1 fuang coins were struck until 1910. In 1908, holed 1, 5 and 10 satang coins were introduced, with the 1 satang in bronze and the 5 and 10 satang in nickel. The 1 and 2 salung were replaced by 25 and 50 satang coins in 1915. In 1937, holed, bronze ½ satang were issued.
In 1941, a series of silver coins was introduced in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 satang, due to a shortage of nickel caused by WWII. The next year, tin coins were introduced for 1, 5 and 10 satang, followed by 20 satang in 1945 and 25 and 50 satang in 1946. In 1950, aluminium-bronze 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang were introduced whilst, in 1957, bronze 5 and 10 satang were issued, along with 1 baht coins struck in an unusual alloy of copper, nickel, silver and zinc. Several Thai coins were issued for many years without changing the date. These include the tin 1942 1 satang and the 1950 5 and 10 satang, struck until 1973, the tin 1946 25 satang struck until 1964, the tin 50 satang struck until 1957, and the aluminium bronze 1957 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang struck until the 1970s. Cupronickel 1 baht coins were introduced in 1962 and struck without date change until 1982.
In 1972, cupronickel 5 baht coins were introduced, switching to cupronickel-clad copper in 1977. Between 1986 and 1988, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of aluminium 1, 5 and 10 satang, aluminium-bronze 25 and 50 satang, cupronickel 1 baht, cupronickel-clad-copper 5 baht and bimetallic 10 baht. Cupronickel-clad-steel 2 baht were introduced in 2005.
In 2008, the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Thai Mint announced the 2009 coin series, which included changes in materials to reduce production costs as well as an update of the image on the obverse to a more recent portrait of the King. The two-baht coin, confusingly similar in color and size to the one-baht coin, was changed from nickel-clad low-carbon steel to aluminium bronze. New two-baht coin was the first of the new series released on February 3, 2009. Followed by satang coin in April, five-baht coin in May, ten-baht coin in June and one-baht coin in July 2009.
Circulating Coins   (Thai) Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting Diameter Mass Composition Obverse Reverse 1 satang 1 15 mm 0.5 g 97.5 %Al, 2.5% Mg H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phrathat Haripunchai, Lamphun 1987 99% Aluminium 2008 5 satang 1 16 mm 0.6 g 97.5 %Al, 2.5% Mg Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom 1987 16.5 mm 99% Aluminium 2008 10 satang 1 17.5 mm 0.8 g 97.5 %Al, 2.5% Mg Phra That Choeng Chum, Sakon Nakhon 1987 99% Aluminium 2008 25 satang 16 mm 1.9 g Aluminium bronze H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat 1987 16 mm 1.9 g Copper-plated steel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat 2008 50 satang 18 mm 2.4 g Aluminium bronze H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai 1987 18 mm 2.4 g Copper-plated steel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai 2008 1 baht 20 mm 3.4 g Cupronickel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok 1986 3 g Nickel-plated steel 2008 2 baht 21.75 mm 4.4 g Nickel-plated low-carbon steel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Saket, Bangkok 2005 21.75 mm 4 g Aluminium bronze H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Saket, Bangkok 2008 5 baht 24 mm 7.5 g Cupronickel clad copper H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok 1988 6 g 2008 10 baht 26 mm 8.5 g Ring: Stainless steel
Center: Aluminium bronze
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Arun, Bangkok 1988 2008 These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.
- The 1, 5 and 10 satang are very rarely seen in circulation. Even though the satang-denominated coins are legal tender, small shops usually don't accept them anymore.
- Older coins, some of which are still in circulation, only had Thai numerals, but newer designs also have Arabic numerals.
- The standard-issue 10-baht coin has, at the 12 o'clock position on the reverse, raised dots corresponding to Braille cell dot 1 and dots 2-4-5, which correspond to the number 10.
- 10-baht coins are very similar to 2–euro coins in size, shape and weight, and are likewise bi-metallic. Vending machines not equipped with up-to-date coin detectors might therefore accept them as €2 coins.
- Many commemorative 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht coins have been made for special events. There also are 20, 50, 100 baht commemorative coins as well.
In February 2010 the Treasury Department of Thailand has stated that it is planning a new 20-Baht coin.
In 1851, the government issued notes for ⅛, ¼, ⅜, ½ and 1 tical, followed by 3, 4, 6 and 10 tamlung in 1853. After 1857, notes for 20 and 40 ticals were issued, also bearing their values in Straits dollars and Indian rupees. Undated notes were also issued before 1868 for 5, 7, 8, 12 and 15 tamlung, and 1 chang. One att notes were issued in 1874.
In 1892, the Treasury issued notes for 1, 5, 10, 40, 80, 100, 400 and 800 ticals, called baht in the Thai text. On September 19, 1902, the government introduced notes for 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 ticals, with 1 and 50 tical notes following in 1918. In 1925, notes were issued with the denomination baht used in the English text, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 baht.
In 1942, the Bank of Thailand was founded and took over responsibility for the issuance of paper money. 50 baht notes were briefly reintroduced in 1945, with 50 satang notes issued in 1946. The one baht note was replaced by a coin in 1957 and the five baht was replaced in 1972. 50 baht notes were again reintroduced in 1985, with the 10 baht note replaced by a coin in 1988. The EURion constellation has been used on the reverse of 100 and 1000 baht note since 2003. Older notes are occasionally still found in circulation, for example 10 baht notes, and these can usually be spent without problem. In any case, they can be exchanged for free in banks.
- Images of banknotes have been removed lest they cause misunderstanding of the Royal Institution, but may be viewed at the Thai-language article linked in the margin.
15th series Banknotes  Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue Obverse Reverse 20 baht 138 × 72 mm Green H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the uniform of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces H.M. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) 3 March 2003 50 baht 144 × 72 mm Blue H.M. King Mongkut (Rama IV) 1 October 2004 100 baht 150 × 72 mm Red H.M. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) 21 October 2005 500 baht 156 × 72 mm Purple H.M. King Nangklao (Rama III) 1 August 2001 1000 baht 162 × 72 mm Brown H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej 25 November 2005 These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
In addition to the banknotes currently in circulation (above) numerous commemorative notes have been issued:
- 5 baht – 1969 – Date of the inauguration of the Note Printing Works, Bank of Thailand (commemorative text added to regular 5 baht notes)
- 10 baht – 1969 – Date of the inauguration of the Note Printing Works, Bank of Thailand (commemorative text added to regular 10 baht notes)
- 60 baht – 1987 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th birthday
- 50 baht – 1990 – Princess Mother Srinagarindra's 90th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 50 baht notes)
- 500 baht – 1990 – Princess Mother Srinagarindra's 90th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 500 baht notes)
- 1000 baht – 1992 – H.M. Queen Sirikit's 60th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 1000 baht notes)
- 10 baht – 1996 – 120th anniversary of the ministry of finance (commemorative text added to regular 10 baht notes)
- 50 baht – 1996 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 50th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne (polymer note)
- 500 baht – 1996 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 50th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne (polymer note)
- 500 baht – 1996 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 50th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne (a different emblem)
- 1000 baht – 1999 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 72nd birthday (a different emblem)
- 50 baht – 2000 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's and H.M. Queen Sirikit's 50th Anniversary of Royal Wedding
- 500,000 baht – 2000 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's and H.M. Queen Sirikit's 50th Anniversary of Royal Wedding
- 100 baht – 2002 – The Centenary of Thai Banknotes
- 100 baht – 2004 – H.M. Queen Sirikit's 72nd Birthday
- 100 baht - 2005 - Centennial of the Abolition of Slavery
- 60 baht – 2006 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne
- 16 baht – 2007 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 80th birthday (1, 5, 10 baht)
- 100 baht – 2010 – H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th Anniversary of Coronation Day and H.M. King's and H.M. Queen Sirikit's 60th Anniversary of Royal Wedding
Money and unit of mass
์์Ngern (เงิน) is Thai for silver as well as the general term for money, reflecting the fact that the baht (or tical) is foremost a unit of weight for precious metals and gemstones. One baht = 15.244 grams. Since the standard purity of Thai gold is 96.5%, the actual gold content of one baht by weight is 15.244 × 0.965 = 14.71046 grams, or about 0.473 troy ounce. 15.244 grams is used for bullion; in the case of jewellery, 1 baht should be more than 15.16 grams.
The Bank of Thailand adopted a series of exchange controls on December 19, 2006, which resulted in a significant divergence between offshore and onshore exchange rates, with spreads of up to 10% between the two markets. Controls were broadly lifted on March 3, 2008 and there is now no significant difference between offshore and onshore exchange rates.
Current THB exchange rates
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- ^ "The History of Siamese Money". Welcome to Chiangmai & Chiangrai. June 16, 2010. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. http://www.royalthaimint.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=160%3Athai-coins-history&catid=44%3A2010-03-27-17-09-13&Itemid=117&lang=en. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- ^ "เหรียญกษาปณ์ของไทย (Coins of Thailand)" (in Thai). Thai Heritage Treasury. Ministry of Defense. http://www1.mod.go.th/heritage/nation/krasab/index1.htm. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- ^ ."The History of Siamese Money". Welcome to Chiangmai & Chiangrai. June 16, 2010. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. http://www.royalthaimint.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=160%3Athai-coins-history&catid=44%3A2010-03-27-17-09-13&Itemid=117&lang=en. Retrieved September 22, 2011. "Cowry shells from the Mekong River had been used as currency for small amounts since the Sukhothai period. Rama III (1824-1851) was the first king to consider the use of a flat coin"
- ^ Eliot, Joshua. Thailand Handbook. 2003 Footprint Travel Guides page 32
- ^ Gibbs, William T. (February 11, 2002). "Thai bahts causing euro problems - 10-baht coins work in place of 2-euro coins in machines". Coin World. Amos Press. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20090302014633/http://coinworld.com/news/021802/news-5.asp.
- ^ http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/32096/20-baht-coins-may-substitute-banknotes.
- ^ "New banknotes coming in December". The Nation. 2010-07-28. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/07/28/national/New-banknotes-coming-in-December-30134701.html. Retrieved 2010-07-28. "new Thai banknote will circulate in December 2010"
- ^ Thailand to issue new note family in December 2010
- ^ "A sure bet or fool's gold?", Bangkok Post 2010-01-10
- ^ "UPDATE 1-Onshore and offshore Thai baht converge, c.bank seen". Reuters. 3 March 2008. http://in.reuters.com/article/idINSP20869920080303.
- Cecil Carter eds., The Kingdom of Siam 1904, reprint by The Siam Society 1988, ISBN 974-8298-13-2, Chapter X Currency and Banking
- Krause, Chester L. and Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed. ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.
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