1000 BAHT 1949-1952 (Part 1)
In 1946 the Thai Government tried to place an order with
Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London (TdlR), but unfortunately they
were unable to receive the order as their works on Bunhill Row had been
bombed during WWII.
Thailand had great demand for
banknotes and turned to the U.S. Government for assistance. The U.S.
Bureau of Engraving prepared the printing plates and the Tudor Press
Inc. did the printing. They printed 1-, 5-, 10-, 20- and 100 Baht
Banknotes. Initially the paper used for these banknotes were watermarked
“MILITARY AUTHORITY” and later plain paper was used. More than 300
million of these notes were printed.
TdlR was able to produce banknotes
for Thailand later and the first notes were announced in 1948. The notes
had the same designs as Fourth Series, 1-, 5-, 10- and 20 Baht banknotes
produced by TdlR. The 100 Baht Fourth Series was not produced for
circulation. TdlR had produced a Specimen note of the 100 Baht for the
Fourth Series in blue, and this design was used for the 100 Baht Ninth
Series, which was red. The portrait of King Bhumibol Aduljadej, Rama IX,
was to the left on all Ninth Series denominations.
King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, was the
first Thai King who granted Royal permission to have his portrait on a
banknote. A 1000 Baht banknote was produced, but was never put in
circulation because His Majesty abdicated before it could be printed.
During the reign of King Ananda
Mahidol, Rama VIII, a 1000 Baht banknote was produced with the same
obverse design as the never issued 1000 Baht which bore the portrait of
Rama VII. The picture on the reverse was changed from Phra Samut Chedi
Temple on the Third Series to that of the Anantasamakorn Throne Hall on
the Fourth Series.
In 1948 Thailand considered
producing a 1000 Baht banknote for the Ninth Series. The size of the
1000 Baht Fourth Series was 10.5 cms x 19.5 cms and the colour was
reddish pink. For the Ninth Series this size and colour was considered.
H.H. Prince Viadhanajaya, Governor of the Bank of Thailand from 3
September until 2 December 1948, ordered the new 1000 Baht to be longer
than the 100 Baht note, the note should be 8.7 cms x 15.7 cms. Several
colours were considered. Finally, brown with a touch of green colour was
decided upon. The original artwork for the reverse was produced in this
colour, but the notes produced for circulation were printed in violet.
TdlR used the
prefix A/5 on the 1000 Baht specimen notes. The first time this
prefix was used was on the 5 Ticals/Baht First Series.
TdlR had in their archives a 1000
Baht note with a red/oval “DE LA RUE & CO LTD.” stamp on the lower left
corner. “SPECIMEN No. 24” in red stamped on the lower left margin. In
the upper left margin is a pen annunciation “HH2764”, in the middle
upper margin the date “19-1-49” and in the upper right margin the TdlR
archive reference “80D”.
A 20 Baht specimen banknote has a
pen annunciation for the date “22.4.47” on the upper right margin and
the archive reference “79K”. 10 Baht notes had an archive reference
“78”, 5 Baht “77” and the 1 Baht “76”. Later for the Ninth Series, TdlR
changed the system of their archive references.
This is a rare specimen note from
the archives of TdlR. It is perforated “CANCELLED” across with no
red/oval “DE LA RUE & CO LTD.” stamp lower left. Unfortunately this
banknote was stolen after it was sold at a Spink auction sale in London
on 25 April 2002. A reward is promised for the safe return of this rare
Other banknotes known from the
archives of TdlR with the red/oval “DE LA RUE & CO LTD.” stamp on the
lower left is “SPECIMEN No. 2, 4, 12, 21, 26, 29 and 39” stamped in red
in the lower left margin.
“SPECIMEN No. 29” was sold at a
Spink auction on 23 June 2001 as lot 173, for SG$ 21,275. In the sale
there were several banknotes from the TdlR archive. The note had the
red/oval “DE LA RUE & CO LTD.” stamp on the lower left. It also has a
small “SPECIMEN” perforated diagonally across the centre. This is the
only 1000 Baht note of this type seen with this perforation.
A collector bought “SPECIMEN No.
39” in Eur-Seree Auction #31 on 24 March 2013 for 300,000 Baht. The
banknote had traces of mounting glue in several places and two security
punched holes. The note went through a conservation process and was
later put up in Eur-Seree auction sale #45 on 28 May 2017 together with
1-, 5-, 10-, 20- and 100 Baht with a starting price of Baht 1,200,000.
This set did not find a buyer at this auction.
From 2014 until today the specimen
notes from the archives of TdlR have been sold between 300,000 Baht to
1,000,000 Baht. The best buy is probably “SPECIMEN No. 21” sold in
Eur-Seree auction #36 on 30 November 2014. It was graded by PMG to be
64, Choice Uncirculated with pencil annotation “80B”, the TdlR archive
reference, with traces of mounting on the reverse right margin. Many
specimen notes from the TdlR archives have traces of mounting. The
hammer price in the auction was 360,000 Baht.
In 1949 the Bank of Thailand
received approval from the Treasury Department to commission TdlR to
print the 1000 Baht banknote Ninth Series. A discussion as to how many
should be printed led to the Governor of the Bank of Thailand, M.L. Dej
Sanidvongs writing a letter on 26 June 1950 to the Permanent Secretary
of the Ministry of Finance with a recommendation to print 1,000,000
notes. On 18 March 1952 it was decided to print 500,000 notes. The notes
arrived in Thailand in September 1952. After the notes arrived, caution
of inflation was raised. Therefore the notes were not put in circulation
but incinerated. Approximately 100 banknotes were left as samples. One
of these banknotes can be seen in the Bank of Thailand Museum. This note
has “SPECIMEN” stamped in red in two places on the obverse, which were
also done on several of the other specimen Ninth Series notes in
When the notes were shipped from
England the printed signatures and numbers were not added. This was done
in Thailand for security reasons. The specimen notes kept by TdlR had
the prefix A/5 and the number 000000.
One note is known to have the
correct printed signatures, that of Minister of Finance General Bhau
Bienlert Boribhand Vuddakich and Governor of the Bank of Thailand Serm
Vinieehayakul. It has prefix A/1 and the number 000930. This note was
actually prepared for circulation even if it was never officially
announced. The note was bought in the 1990’s by the late well-known
collector Wichai Sangunasin who acquired the note from a dealer at the
JJ market. Circa 2003 well-known dealer and author of coin and banknote
catalogues Surachai Smitasin bought it. Surachai and his family sold it
at Eur-Seree auction #44 on the 1 & 2 April 2017. The banknote was sold
for Baht 1,500,000 in the auction. The auctioneer determined this UNIQUE
banknote to be in Very Fine condition with some folds and some stains.
Having been kept in warm and humid conditions for 65 years, this
banknote had gone through a restoration process.
"1000 BAHT 1949-1952 (Part 2)"
will continue in the next issue of the Pattaya Mail on December
4, 2020. Read about the exciting events when in 2015 other types
and colours of the1000 Baht banknote turned up in the market!
Bibliography and Sources:
The archives of Thomas de la Rue
The Bank of Thailand: 50 Years of the Bank of Thailand 1942-1992
Bank of Thailand: Centenary of Thai Banknote: 1902-2002
Bank of Thailand: BOT Museum’s Masterpieces
Peter Pugh: The Highest Perfection, A History of De La Rue
Somchai Saeng-ngern: Thai Banknotes Catalogue, Complete and
Interesting Coins and Banknotes under the hammer
Many dealers and collectors were worried about what influence the pandemic
would have on the coins, banknotes and medals market. The dealers were
worried that the market would disappear and they had to find another
profession. The collectors were worried their collections would lose their
value. Genuine collectors, also mentioned as numismatists, collect for the
history, production techniques, or for some other reason. But most of all is
their love and passion for numismatics. They also look at their collection
as an investment. Some collectors pay fortunes for their precious coins,
banknotes and medals.
Recently someone paid GBP 2,700,000, about THB
108,000,000, plus commission, for a Brutus Aureus believed to be struck
in late summer-autumn of 42 B.C. by a military mint travelling with
Brutus in the East. The 8.06 gram, 19 mm, gold coin is one of only three
known in existence. Speculations were that the coin could sell for more,
but coins in this price range have a limited number of buyers. Roma
Numismatics in London sold the coin.
During the pandemic several records were set for
coins, banknotes and medals from all over the world. The reason might be
that collectors have more time to look into their collections and
discover what is missing. Auction companies conducting their sales
behind closed doors have given collectors more options to bid.
Live bidding is poplar and several auction
companies are very professional giving buyers the option of following
the auction live and putting in their bids from wherever they might be
at the time of the sale. By doing so, more bidders around the world are
joining the online auction, thus setting new price records.
I am looking forward to when restrictions on
international travel are lifted and auctions are allowed to be conducted
with open doors again, so I can meet my fellow collectors and dealers at
auctions which are often conducted at the time of a major coin show.
The Hong Kong Coin Show had to cancel several shows
in 2020 because of the pandemic. The 8th show is planned from April 9
until April 11 2021. The Numismatic Association of Thailand’s annual
International Coin Show is scheduled to take place at the Ambassador
Hotel in Bangkok on 27-28 February next year.
The Eur-Seree auction company is scheduled to
conduct their 57th sale on 6 and 7 December 2020. This will be conducted
with open doors where stamps, arts, antiques, watches, coins, banknotes
and medals will also be on sale.
Pod Duang, Bullet Coins, are interesting coins and
were one of the most important forms of payment in Thailand for more
than 600 years. They were introduced into the Siamese economy during the
Sukhothai period and could be exchanged for flat coins and banknotes
In the Eur-Seree auction there is a beautiful 4
Baht, Tamlung, weighing 60.61 grams with a starting price of Baht
90,000. The coin was produced during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV
(1851-1868) and has the Mongkut face-mark and the Chakra top mark.
According to the weight, this is actually a broad-thaler or a double-thaler.
During the reign of King Rama IV, a flat coin of 4
Baht, Tamlung, was struck to commemorate the King’s 60th Birthday. It
was struck in both gold and silver weighing about 60.77 grams. These
coins were also permitted to be used as decorations. In the auction, a
silver 4 Baht ND (1864) graded by Professional Coin Grading Services,
PCGS, to be AU58, is on offer. AU stands for Almost Uncirculated and
coins are graded from 1 to 70, 70 being the best. The coin looks very
nice and does have a nice toning and should sell for more than the
500,000 Baht as the starting price. Another example in the same auction
is graded by PCGS as Cleaned – AU details.
It is surprising that the scratch on the reverse is
not mentioned by the grading company. Here the starting price is 400,000
Baht. Many ask if the 4 Baht King Rama IV coin is rare. A few years ago,
a well-known collector said, “Actually it is not that rare. I believe
that all of the 100 serious collectors of Thai coins have one.” This is
probably true, but it is a coin collected internationally, so there are
still many who need it in their collection.
During the reign of King Rama IV, a series of five
coins were issued with no dates (1860), from 1 Baht to 1/16 Baht. A 2
Baht was added to the series, also with ND around 1863. The coins were
struck in gold and silver, and the gold coins are much rarer than the
On the obverse of the coin is the crown with rays
flanked by Umbrellas with tree branches in the background and stars
around the border to indicate the denomination. On the reverse is the
elephant in the Chakra device with the stars around the border to
indicate the denomination. Each star represents One Fuang or 1/8 Baht.
To find the silver coins in good condition is
difficult as they were popular and have been circulated for years. In
the sale there is a 2 Baht graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation,
NGC, to be MS64. The coin has very nice toning. The starting price is
150,000 Baht. In Eur-Seree’s last sale a 2 Baht graded by PCGS to be
MS64 sold for 220,000 Baht which I found to be quite reasonable. Many
stated after the sale that they regretted not buying it. A ½ Baht in the
same series graded by NGC to be MS64 has a starting price of 40,000
Baht. It’s difficult to find in this high grade even if the1/2 Baht
turns up in a nice grade from time to time. In the last sale, one graded
by NGC to be MS63 sold for 19,000 Baht.
A series of Bullet coins was produced during the
reign of King Rama V, 2 -, 4-, 10-, 20-, 40- and 80 Baht. The 2 Baht
weighed 30.80 grams and the 80 Baht weighed from 1,185 to 1,232 grams.
The coins were produced in 1880 to commemorate the anniversary of the
death of Somdej Phra Sirintramat, the mother of King Rama V. On the 40-
and 80 Baht coins, the marks were hand-engraved, while on the smaller
denominations the marks were die-punched. In the sale there is a 10 Baht
with the weight of 153.10 grams. The starting price for this interesting
coin is 300,000 Baht.
In 1897 King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, made a journey
to Europe. During the King’s stay in France he paid a visit to the
French Mint, Monnaie de Paris, on 16 September. At the French Mint, King
Chulalongkorn sat for Chief Engraver Henri Auguste Jules Patey, who was
able to complete the portrait after just one sitting. A proof medal was
presented to the King who approved it. On the obverse the portrait of
the King faces to the left with his name on the edge and the engraver’s
name, Aug. Patey, above the King’s right shoulder. On the reverse the
inscription in Thai is, “To Commemorate the Royal Tour of Europe from
April 7 to December 16, Rattanakosin Era 116.” The medal was struck in
50 mm diameter. In the sale there is a very nice example graded by NGC
to be MS63 with a starting price of 180,000 Baht. In the last auction,
another example of the medal graded by PCGS to be SP58 sold for 140,000
In this sale there is another important medal that
has probably never before been offered in an auction, commemorating King
Chulalongkorn’s visit to the French Mint. It is a silver medal produced
in a very limited number struck in bronze and silver. On the obverse is
the building of Monnaie de Paris and on the reverse the text: “SA
MAJESTE LE ROY DE SIAM A VISITE LA MONNAIE DE PARIS LE 16 SEPTEMBRE
1897.” (His Majesty the King of Siam visited Monnaie de Paris 16th
September 1897.) The medal was presented to the King and his entourage
to commemorate their visit to the Mint. The medal is in very nice
condition and was in the collection of the well-known late Australian
Numismatist James (Jim) Noble who sold it some 40 years ago. The
starting price is 220,000 Baht.
A series of 1-, ¼ and 1/8 Baht coins was produced
with the portrait of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V on the obverse and the
State Coat-of-Arms on the reverse. Some of the undated coins (1876-1900)
were produced in proof. In the sale is a set. The coins are graded by
NGC; the 1 Baht PF62, the 1/4- and 1/8 baht are both graded to be PF66.
This popular set has a starting price of 450,000 Baht but is likely to
be sold for more.
The 1/8 Baht, Fuang, with the portrait of King Rama
V on the obverse and the State Coat-of-Arms on the reverse was not only
struck in silver but also in gold. With ND (1876-1900), they are offered
for sale quite often. In the auction, a nice coin graded by PCGS to be
MS63 has a starting price of 100,000 Baht. Another 1/8 Baht with the
date RS128 (1909) is not only a very rare coin, but the one offered in
the sale is also in an incredible grade, PCGS MS67. The starting price
is 400,000 Baht. I am sure this rarity will find a new home at this
price or maybe even higher.
In the banknote section there are two very
interesting banknotes from the First Series. A 10 Baht banknote dated 1
April 1902, the very first date for Thai Banknotes, with the prefix A/1
and the number 91072. It is graded by PCGS to be Choice Fine 15 and has
a starting price of 100,000 Baht. The price in Mr Somchai’s catalogue of
Thai Banknotes, it is estimated in Fine to have a value of 240,000 Baht.
Some years ago, a 10 Baht with a better grade and the same date and
prefix sold for 800,000 Baht. The number was 00001, the very first Thai
10 Baht banknote, actually a museum piece.
A 100 Baht in the sale, dated 1 April 1906, Type
II, graded by PCGS as Very Fine 30, also has a starting price of 100,000
Baht. In Mr Somchai’s catalogue it is valued in Fine at 220,000 Baht and
in Extremely Fine at 400,000 Baht. In my opinion, I do not agree with
PCGS in the grading. I think we are stricter in Thailand and that Mr
Somchai’s prices are based on nicer banknotes. This is the same thing in
many European countries where the grading is stricter than in the US
where the grading companies are established.
A ‘remainder’ banknote is a banknote prepared for
issue but not issued for some reason. In the sale there is a ‘remainder’
1 Baht banknote Ninth Series, Type I or II, missing the prefix, number
and signatures. The difference between Type I and II is that the prefix
and number on Type I was printed in red, while on Type II it was printed
in black. This ‘remainder’ has a starting price of Baht 120,000.
A one-sided uncut uniface progressive proof 1 baht
unevenly cut, with one complete note was sold by Spink, London some
years ago for GBP 1,700. The estimate was only GBP 100-150. These notes
should not be called specimen notes, but a ‘remainder’ and an uncut
sheet. Specimen notes did have another function. It will be interesting
to see whether the ‘remainder’ draws any interest in the auction.
In the last Eur-Seree sale held on 30 August, there
was a section with Banknotes with Solid and Lucky Numbers. This was a
great success with many record prices. This time, several Baht Banknotes
are offered commemorating the Centenary of Thai Banknotes in 2002.
The banknote was issued in 15 million pieces. The
obverse shows the portraits of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, and King
Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX. The reverse shows the very first Thai 100
Baht note First Series, with the prefix D/1 and the number 00001. It
shows the date 1 April 1902, the very first date Thai Banknotes were
Several people told me they have a very rare 100
Baht banknote from 1902 in their possession. It takes some time to
explain that it is actually from 2002 not 1902. They believe me when
they realise that even though Rama IX ruled for many years, he could not
have been the King in 1902. In the sale there are several of these
banknotes, one with the 1/A and the number 0000001, starting price
200,000 Baht. Another with the same prefix 1/A and the number 1111111
has a starting price of 250,000 Baht. Personally, I would think that the
one with A/1 and 0000001 would be more expensive as it is the first note
in the 1/A series. This is correct, but it is not the first note of this
type as the type started with prefix 0/A; the very first note of this
type would be with prefix 0/A 0000001.
In the sale there are several other great coins and
banknotes; among them are some Chinese coins. Lately Chinese coins have
been sold for new records and I will definitely be following them. The
online catalogue is available on www.eurseree.com and printed catalogues
can be ordered for 1,500 Baht from: e-mail <[email protected]>
Thai Millennium Commemorative Coins
Sometimes I’m asked if it is a good investment to buy coins, medals and
banknotes. My reply is always that I cannot foresee what will happen in the
future, but I have no problem telling what has happened during the 50 years
I have been dealing and collecting coins, medals and banknotes.
For the Millennium, Thailand authorized the Singapore
Mint to produce a series of coins.
In 2000, Thailand was still suffering from the effects
of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. In January 1998, the Baht was at an
all-time high against the US dollar when the exchange rate was 52.98 Baht to
one US Dollar. In 2002, it was around 43 Baht to One US Dollar.
Today the exchange rate is about 31 Baht to one US
Dollar. From 1998 until 2002 the price of gold fluctuated between US$250
and US$300 an ounce (31.1 grams). Today an ounce of gold is valued at
approximately US$1,900. Because of the economic crises, the beautiful
Millennium coins were difficult to sell and the mintage was lower than
The year 2000 was the year of the dragon. The obverse
of all coins minted in that series depicted His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej, Rama IX. The reverse of the coins portrayed different dragon
motives such as Royal Dragon, Joyful Dragon and Serene Dragon.
In 2001, a set of the 5-ounce gold 2500 Baht coin and
the 5-ounce silver 250 Baht coin was selling from 135,000 to 145,000 Baht.
The gold value of the 2500 Baht gold coin was about 60,000 Baht, which is
less than half the price for the full set.
Six years later, in 2007, the set was sold for
210,000 Baht in the Eurseree auction. That year the value of gold for
the 2500 Baht coin was around 96,000 Baht.
In 2008 the coin set with the gold 2500 Baht coin
and the silver 200 Baht coin sold for 250,000 Baht. A year later, in
2009, it was offered in the auction for 280,000 Baht, but no one was
interested in buying it, so it was not sold. The gold price for the 2500
Baht coin was about 165,000 Baht.
From 2010 until August 2016, several sets were
offered in auctions ranging in prices from 370,000 Baht up to 420,000
Baht, but very few were sold. In this period the gold price for the
5-ounce 2500 Baht coin was valued from 115,000 Baht up to 270,000 Baht.
On 28 May 2017, Eurseree auctions offered a set
with a starting price of 600,000 Baht. After heavy bidding, it was
hammered for 1,000,000 Baht. At the time, the gold value of the 2500
Baht coin was around 200,000 Baht. This was the first set offered in an
auction after His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, passed away
on 13 October 2016. After his death, the interest for coins, medals,
banknotes and other objects related to King Rama IX was in very high
The 5-ounce 2500 Baht gold coin and the 5-ounce 200
Baht silver coin were sold as a set. The mintage was less than 500 sets.
But as “slabbing” got popular many of the sets were split up so the
coins could be sold separately. A Third-party company does the slabbing.
The coin is graded and sealed in a plastic holder. A coin can be graded
from 1 (low) to 70 (the highest grade.)
In 2018, a 5-ounce gold 2500 Baht was sold in Eurseree
auctions for 1,550,000 Baht. The starting price was 500,000 Baht and the
gold value of the coin was about 210,000 Baht. One year later, in 2019, a
slabbed 2500 Baht gold coin graded by Professional Coin Grading Service,
PCGS, to be PR68, had a starting price of 900,000 Baht in the Eurseree
auction. This coin also sold for 1,550,000 Baht. The gold value of the coin
was now about Baht 185,000 so the buyer did not base the price on the value
of gold, but on the rarity of this beautiful coin.
A set of a 250 Baht, ½ ounce coin, and 100 Baht, ¼ Baht
ounce coin, was also produced in gold. This set was sold in 2001 for 18,500
Baht. The same set was sold in 2007 for Baht 45,000, sold in 2008 for 60,000
Baht, sold again in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for 66,000 Baht, going on to be sold
in August 2016 for 72,000 Baht. A set sold in December 2016 had a starting
price of 60,000 Baht and was sold for 145,000 Baht. In April 2017, the set
was sold for 145,000 Baht and in December 2018, a set with a starting price
of 250,000 Baht sold for 450,000 Baht.
The 100 Baht, 1/4 ounce gold coin was sold as a set
only, but the 250 Baht, ½ ounce gold coin was sold separately. In 2001, it
sold for 12,500 Baht. In 2007 the 250 Baht gold coins sold for 33,000 Baht.
From 2008 until March 2016, it sold from 35,000 to 52,000 Baht. In August
2017, the 250 Baht coin made a jump with a starting price of 90,000 Baht to
be sold for 230,000 Baht. In April 2018, the coin was graded by Numismatic
Grading Corporation, NGC, to be PF70, the highest grade.
After a starting price of 150,000 Baht, it sold for
400,000 Baht. Another coin in August 2018, graded by PCGS to be PR69,
sold for 370,000 Baht. In November 2019, the price fell, a 250 Baht
graded by PCGS to be PR70, the highest grade, sold for the starting
price of 250,000 Baht. A second 250 Baht coin, not graded, did not even
sell for the starting price of 230,000 Baht in the same auction.
The 200 Baht silver 5-ounce coin was also sold
separately. The price in 2001 was 7,200 Baht. In 2001, the silver value for
the 5-ounce coin was about 925 Baht. From 2008 until 2014, the auction
prices were from 19,500 to 26,000 Baht. In December 2016, the starting price
was 35,000 Baht and it sold for 66,000 Baht, at that time a new record for
In April 2017, three of the 200 Baht silver coins were
offered in the Eurseree auction. They were all graded by PSGS to be
PR68 with a starting price of 100,000 Baht. All three sold for 130,000
Baht each. In August 2017, a new record was set for the coin. The
starting price was 120,000 Baht and it sold for 155,000 Baht.
In December 2017, the 200 Baht was auctioned with a
starting price of 100,000 Baht and it sold for 110,000 Baht. The 200
baht silver 5 ounce coin sold for less in June 2020. It was graded by
PCGS to be PR68, had a starting price of 70,000 Baht, and sold for the
same price. In August 2020, the price was slightly higher, starting at
72,000 Baht for the same grade.
Today the silver value of the 200 Baht 5-ounce
silver coin is about 3,800 Baht. Less than 1500 pieces of these coins
were minted. As it was also in the gold and silver 5-ounce set produced
in less than 500 sets, the total mintage is less than 2,000 pieces.
Three variations of the 50 Baht silver coins were also
struck. The weight was 20 grams each. The mintage for the individual design
was supposed to be 4,500 pieces each. An additional 3,500 sets containing
all three coins were also planned. But eventually the numbers of both the
single coins and the sets minted were much lower.
In 2001 the single 50 Baht coins were sold for 1,300
Baht and the three-coin sets were sold for 4,700 Baht. From 2007 until
August 2016, the 50 Baht three-coin sets in silver sold from 17,500 Baht up
to 24,000 Baht. In May 2017, the sets were sold for 45,000 Baht and 48,000
In April 2017, a record of 60,000 Baht was set for
the three coins. The set dropped to 54,000 Baht in August 2017, and went
up to 58,000 Baht in December 2017. In August 2019 the three-coin set
dropped to 42,000 Baht. Today the sets are sold for around 40,000 Baht.
Sets graded in PR69 and PR 70 sell for more.
The numismatists who bought the Thai Millennium coins
in 2001 did very well. The 200 Baht, 5-ounce Silver coin was sold for 7,200
Baht in 2001. The price today is about 10 times more than that. If sold on
the top in August 2018, the price was 155,000 Baht, more than 20 times the
price sold for in 2001. But it is not easy to foresee the future.
When the 200 Baht sold for 155,000 Baht, many were
expecting it to go up to 200,000 Baht the next year. Unfortunately, the
price today of 65,000 Baht to 70,000 Baht is less than half of the top
Some time back, gold was more than US$2,000 an ounce.
Several of the experts predicted it would soon be US$3,000 an ounce.
Unfortunately, today the price is about US$1,900.
Thai Banknotes 10th Series
the last banknote Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London (TdlR)
produced for Thailand was the 100 Baht, Tenth Series, announced on May
16, 1968. This is the only banknote in the Tenth Series, so if one is in
the possession of this note, one can consider your collection of Tenth
Series of Thai Banknotes as complete.
This is not
so for those collecting solid and lucky numbers, prefixes, artwork and
collection I have the original hand executed artwork, different specimen
banknotes and specimen notes with different prefixes. The reason why
specimen notes were produced is so they could be approved by the
customer, in this case the Bank of Thailand. Specimen notes would then
be sent to other national banks so they would know what they looked like
if someone wanted to have banknotes exchanged. Specimen notes were also
kept in the archives of the producer, in this case TdlR.
Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited
London (TdlR) produced hand executed artworks for this 100 Baht dated on
the cardboards they are mounted on, September 1, 1966. The designs are
for the obverse and the reverse and are different from the issued notes.
The artwork does have the prefix E/25 and numbered 000000.
The obverse of the 100 Baht Tenth
Series banknote bears a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
Rama IX dressed in full uniform of the Supreme Commander of the Armed
Forces on the right.
The note was printed on watermarked
paper showing a profile of Rama IX in a white oval. A security thread
with micro lettering THAILAND at intervals was embedded to make
counterfeiting more difficult.
Prefix E25 was used for the 100
Baht Banknote Ninth Series, Type V. A specimen note from the archive of
TdlR has the stock number “SO4595” and the order number “G6740” written
by hand on the top left-hand corner of the banknote. The date of the
order “3-9-65” is written in the middle upper margin and on the upper
right margin the TdlR archive reference “19/5”. TdlR often used the
prefix of previous issued banknotes on artwork.
The Suphannahongse Royal Barge is
depicted on the reverse of the banknote. It is a ceremonial boat
decorated with a Hongsa, which is a mythical swan figure. The barge was
completed in 1911 in the reign of King Vajiravudh, Rama VI.
The banknotes have prefixes running
from B/1 to B/493. For each prefix there are 1 million notes printed so
altogether 493 million notes were printed with two different sets of
signatures. Notes with prefix B/1 to B/352 have the signatures of
Minister of Finance Mr. Serm Vinicchayakul and Governor of the Bank of
Thailand Mr. Puey Ungphakorn.
Notes with prefix B/353 to B/493
have the signatures of Minister of Finance Mr. Serm Vinicchayakul and
Governor of the Bank of Thailand Mr. Bisudhi Nimmanahaemin.
In the EURSEREE auction 55 held in
Bangkok on November 30, 2019, a 100 Baht issued banknote with prefix
B/418 and the lucky number 999999 was hammered for THB 96,000. Without a
solid or lucky number this banknote issued in close to uncirculated
condition sells for only 2000 to 3000 Baht. Specimen notes in good
condition sold from 30,000 to 60,000 Baht.
This prefix B/1 banknote with
SPECIMEN printed in red across on obverse and reverse has the oval
“DELARUE & Co. LTD” red stamp on the upper left and lower right corners.
On the obverse lower left margin “SPECIMEN No. 001” is stamped in red.
No signatures are printed but the hole perforations indicate the
position where the signatures were to be printed.
This prefix B/1 banknote with
SPECIMEN stamped in red across the obverse and reverse is the first
prefix for the circulating banknotes. This banknote has the printed
signatures of Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of
Thailand. The SPECIMAN stamp across this note is different to those on
prefix B/1, prefix B/101 and prefix B/269.
Specimen note with prefix B/101
with the red SPECIMEN stamped across the obverse and reverse. It has the
“DELARUE & Co. LTD” oval red stamp on the upper left and lower right
corners. On the obverse lower left margin “SPECIMEN No 001” is stamped
in red. No signatures are printed but the hole perforations indicate the
position where the signatures were to be printed.
Specimen note with prefix B/101 and
perforated “SPECIMEN OF NO VALUE”. No signatures printed. This is
probably the most rare of the specimen 100 Baht banknotes 10th Series.
Also known is the one with prefix B/1 perforated “SPECIMEN OF NO VALUE.”
Specimen note with prefix B/269
with the red SPECIMEN stamped across the obverse and reverse. It has the
“DELARUE & Co. LTD” oval red stamp on the upper left and lower right
corners. On the obverse lower left margin “SPECIMEN No 013” is stamped
in red. No signatures are printed but the hole perforations indicate the
position where the signatures were to be printed.
Specimen note with prefix B/269
with the red SPECIMEN stamped across the obverse and reverse. It has the
“DELARUE & Co. LTD” oval red stamp on the upper left and lower right
corners. On the obverse lower left margin “SPECIMEN No 034” is stamped
in red. No signatures are printed but the hole perforations indicate the
position where the signatures were to be printed. On the upper right
margin the TDLR archive reference “341/3” is written by hand.
In 1949 The Ministry of Finance
permitted the Bank of Thailand to place an order with Thomas de la Rue &
Company Limited, London (TdlR) for a 1000 Baht banknote. 500,000 pcs of
these notes arrived in Thailand in 1952. Some of the government
officials were worried that a 1000 Baht banknote would cause inflation,
so the note was never put in circulation. Subsequently the banknotes
The Bank of Thailand kept about 100
notes as samples and TdlR stored some of them in their archives. In 1969
TdlR produced the artwork for an 800 Baht banknote, which was never
produced for circulation. Why an 800 Baht banknote? Probably it was
believed that 800 Baht would cause less inflation than a 1000 Baht
At one time Thomas de la Rue &
Company Limited London (TdlR) had a unique artwork of a never issued 800
Baht banknote dated March 10, 1969. The obverse bears a portrait of the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX dressed in full uniform of the
Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces on the right. The blank space on
the left was deliberate so that the water mark would be visible on the
preproduced water mark paper.
Wat Benjamabopit Dusitwanaram or
the Marble Temple is depicted on the reverse. The artwork has the prefix
B/1, same as the first 100 Baht banknotes in the 10th Series.
This was the last artwork Thomas de
la Rue & Company Ltd. London produced for Thailand. Subsequently The
Bank of Thailand built its own Note Printing Works which was inaugurated
by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX on June 24, 1969.
Lucky Prizes for Banknotes with Lucky Numbers
In the Eur-Seree Collecting Auction 56, there was a
section of banknotes with solid and lucky numbers. The interest for these
banknotes has really taken off during in the last few years. Some years ago,
during an exhibit, the Bank of Thailand arranged a lottery and auction for
charity. The bank had picked out banknotes with solid and lucky numbers. The
more interesting banknotes were auctioned off, while for the other notes,
tickets could be bought for 2,000 Baht for the lucky draw. The ones who
bought banknotes in this auction and those participating in the lucky draw
had a lucky day compared with the prices in the Eur-Seree auction.
The most expensive solid and
lucky banknotes sold for 490,000 Baht and had a starting price of
380,000 Baht. It was a 5 Baht Second Series Type II dated 1st
July 1934 during the reign of King Prajadhipok, Rama VII. The banknote
has the super solid prefix and number K/7 77777. Banknotes with the same
number as the number of the reigning King draw the most interest amongst
collectors and dealers.
A 100 Baht banknote, series XI,
with the super solid prefix and number 99/L 999999 had a starting price
of 180,000 Baht. Several bidders were interested and the buyer had to
pay 410,000 Baht for this note issued during the reign of King Bhumibol,
Rama IX. The very same note was sold in Eurseree auction 51 on 1st
December 2018 for Baht 350,000.
Some of us remember using the 10
Baht banknotes. A 10 Baht Series XI, announced June 18, 1969, had the
super solid prefix and number 9/F 9999999. The starting price was
135,000 Baht and with many bidders involved, it was knocked down at Baht
So far, I have mentioned some of
the most expensive notes. But several of the banknotes with solid and
lucky numbers were sold for less than 10,000 Baht. For example, the
starting price for a 20 Baht, Series 12 banknote in uncirculated
condition with the prefix 34/U and solid number 444444 was 5,000 Baht
with the winner bidder paying 6,400 Baht.
rare Hundred Baht banknote First Series Type I dated 1st
April 1902 was set at 10,000 Baht, but the buyer ended up paying 74,000
Baht. The condition was described as Very Good, minor margin torn away
as usual, split at folding and graffiti. This note is not beautiful, but
very interesting. On the back of the banknote it is a pencil notion
The translation is “Got since April 27, R.E. 125. This note is surely
fake, therefore keeping it so that it won’t continue to be used
be a contemporary fake? As I have not seen the banknote, only seen the
picture in the catalogue and on the net, it is difficult to make a
judgement. In my collection I do have a specimen note from the archives
of the producer Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London. It would be
interesting to compare. As it might be a contemporary fake, the
watermarked paper can give some indications. At the time it was very
difficult to produce perfect watermarked paper. Anyway, a contemporary
fake is also interesting for a collector and could even be included in a
would be interesting to know the story about this banknote and where it
was printed. If genuine, then it must have been printed in London,
shipped to the Ministry of Royal Finance in Bangkok. The signatures were
then printed on the banknotes here. But if it is a fake, it would be
interesting to know who the producers were and if they were caught.
Actually, they could be considered as artists, but unfortunately using
their talent for illegal activities which could result in heavy
beautiful 2 Baht ND (1863) Mongkut - Elephant graded by PCGS to be MS64,
a very high grade for this coin, struck during the reign of King Mongkut,
Rama IV, was auctioned. The starting price was 150,000 Baht and it sold
for 220,000 Baht. This was a very good buy comparing with the one sold
in May by Stacks in Hong Kong for US$ 9,300 graded by PCGS to be MS63.
In the Hong Kong sale, Stacks sold five of this popular coin depending
on grade for US$ US 2,200 to US$ 14,400.
Nowadays, coins, medals and banknotes are often sent to third grading
companies to be graded. The best grade is 70 and the worst grade is 1.
So far, I have never seen anything graded at 1, but I have seen objects
graded as low as 3. They are not so nice looking, but graded because of
the rarity and to get a guarantee that the object is authentic.
auction, there were three small gold coins, the Fuang, 1/8 Baht struck
during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V. The obverse of the coin
has an image of the portrait of the King and on the reverse the Coat of
Arms. They were all graded. The first was graded by NGC, Numismatic
Guaranty Corporation to be MS64, with a starting price of 170,000 Baht
and sold for 240,000 Baht. The second was also graded by NGC to be AU55
and had a starting price of 100,000 Baht, but with no one bidding higher
was sold for that price. The third was graded by PCGS, Professional Coin
Grading Services, to be Rim Damaged, but AU detail. The starting price
was 30,000 Baht and it sold for 47,000 Baht. Probably if they were sold
“raw,” not graded, the price difference wouldn’t have been that much.
price of gold has gone up 25% in the past year but this does not reflect
on collectors gold coins. In the Eur-Seree
auction conducted on 21 June 2020, a 1951 1000 Baht Government Gold Bond
weighing 173.89 grams in Uncirculated condition had a starting price of
640,000 baht and was sold for 900,000 Baht.
this auction, another 1,000 Baht Government Gold Bond weighing 172.279
grams was sold. Graded by PCGS to be MS62, it also had a starting price
of 640,000 and sold for 820,000 Baht.
me, this coin looked nicer than the one sold in June. Though the price
of gold is higher, it does not influence the price as the gold value for
this interesting coin is around Baht 300,000. The probable reason that
it did not fetch a higher price was that the person who bought the last
one did not bid for this one.
and very popular coin is the 6000 Baht gold 1984 commemorating the 84th
Birthday of King’s Mother. There was one coin in proof in the auction,
mintage 264 pcs., graded to be in perfect condition with a starting
price of 100,000 Baht, it sold for Baht 350,000. The same coin in UNC
condition, mintage 835 pcs. graded by NGC to be MS67 had a starting
price of 70,000 Baht, sold for 78,000 Baht.
The section of solid and lucky
numbers featured 143 lots with 17 unsold lots. The total starting price
was 5,511,100 Baht and sold for a total of 9,811,600 Baht. This means
sales were 78% more than the starting prices.
In the section of Graded Coins &
Medals there were 333 lots with 87 unsold lots. They sold for 16,889,300
Baht, 27% more than the starting prices.
380 registered for bidding and
about 30 of them were new bidders for Eur-Seree
auctions. At the 2-day auction, 305 successful bidders paid a
total of 57,297,100 Baht for the prized items.
The pandemic does not seem to
affect most keen numismatists who have more time to go through their
collection during the ‘stay at home’ period. The market for the graded
coins and banknotes is still as popular as ever, which is reflected in
the value and higher bids for similar items. The market is very healthy,
especially on the better and premium items, showing a jump of 400-500%
on the same items during the past 5-6 years.
For prices realised go to
Eurseree Auction #56
At the Eurseree auction #55 in
June this year, a world record was set for a Thai banknote with a solid
or lucky number. It was a 100 Baht Banknote Fifth Series with the serial
number 88888. The bidding started at Baht 250,000 and the buyer ended up
paying Baht 800,000. When records like this are set, collectors and
others who are in possession of some banknotes often have a closer look
at their banknotes hoping to find a treasure.
And many do find something that
might be of interest to others. CEO of Eurseree Collecting Vitoon
Eurtivong decided in Auction #56 to have a special section in the
auction called “Solid Numbers and Lucky Numbers” which resulted in an
impressive group of 143 lots in this category. These banknotes will be
sold on Sunday, 30 August 2020, at the Narai Hotel in Bangkok.
From First Series, there is
offered a 5 Baht Banknote dated 15 July 1919. It does have the prefix
A/28 and the number 33333. The starting price is Baht 300,000. It is
graded to be VF, Very Fine. In the same auction, there is offered a 5
Baht First Series dated 1 December 1913 in the same condition but no
solid number. For this, the starting price is Baht 100,000. It will be
interesting to see how much more a collector is willing to pay for a
solid number compared with a regular number.
The highest starting price for a
banknote with a solid number in the sale is Baht 380,000. It is for a 5
Baht banknote Third Series described having a super solid number, prefix
K/7 and 77777. The banknote has the portrait of King Prajadhipok, Rama
VII. The note is dated 1 July 1934 and graded by PCGS, Professional Coin
Grading Services, to be 35, VF. 70 is considered to be the best grade.
Rama VII was the first Siamese King to give his permission to have an
image of his portrait on a banknote.
In the sale there is another 5
Baht Third Series with Rama VII portrait dated 18 February 1935 graded
to be VF. With no solid number the starting price is Baht 25,000.
Actually, this note is printed after 2 April 1935 when the printer
Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London was instructed by the Ministry
of Finance in Bangkok to ante-date all banknotes of the Third Series to
be printed prior to 2 March 1935 when Rama VII abdicated.
A 20 Baht Ninth Series, Type VI,
also has a super solid number with prefix Y/333 and number 333333. The
starting price is Baht 100,000 and it is graded by PCGS to be 64. If it
is not too important to have a super solid number and can accept a
banknote with a different number in the prefix, those banknotes have
starting prices of around Baht 5,000 depending on the grade. But those
looking for banknotes with the number 999999 and a different prefix
number must expect to pay quite a lot more. A 20 Baht Ninth Series with
prefix Y/45 and number 999999 has a starting price of Baht 50,000.
The banknote with the highest
starting price is an 1874 Royal Siamese note, an emergency issue, One
Att. It is graded by PCGS to be 30 Details VF. The starting price is set
at Baht 500,000.
The first Thai Banknotes issued
for Thailand were the First Series announced on 7 September 1902.
The Minister of the Royal
Treasury, H.R.H. Prince Kitiyakara Vorolaksana of Chanthaburi showed
great interest in the production of banknotes. The Prince was regularly
in contact with the producer, Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London.
In the early years when a new series, banknote or a change was to take
place of the artwork, banknotes and watermarked paper were sent to
Bangkok for approval. This was very time consuming and not very
practical. H.R.H. Prince Kitiyakara arranged so that this was the duty
of the Siamese Ministers, Ambassadors to the United Kingdom, to approve
banknotes and the watermarked paper as long as it was not a major
change. For major changes the approval was to take place in Bangkok.
One important part of the
security measures for banknotes at the time was the watermarked paper.
This was also in most cases approved by the Siamese Ministers in London.
H.E. Phya Sudham Maitri was the Siamese Minister to the United Kingdom
for 8 years and approved many of the First Series artworks, watermarked
papers and specimen notes. In the auction there are three watermarked
papers, 5 Ticals, 10 Ticals and 20 Ticals. The 5-and 10 Ticals are the
most interesting as both are originally signed as approved by H.E. Phya
The producer Thomas de la Rue &
Company Limited London would deliver three pieces of what was needed to
be approved to the Siamese Legation in London. After they were signed
and dated as approved, the Minister would return one example to Thomas
de la Rue & Company Limited London, one would be sent to the Ministry of
Royal Finance in Bangkok and one would be kept by the legation.
The three watermarked papers in
the auction are in aging tone as they have been kept in Thailand, either
the ones kept by the Siamese Legation in London and transferred to
Thailand or the ones from the archives of the Ministry of Royal Finance.
This is often the case for banknotes kept in a humid country.
Those kept in the archives of
the producer Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London are normally in a
very nice original condition. The signed and dated 5 Ticals, July 18,
1914, have a starting price of Baht 120,000. The 10 Ticals, not signed
or dated, starts at Baht 100,000 and the 20 Ticals, signed and dated 14
January 1913 starts at Baht 120,000.
Another section in the sale is
called “Graded Thai Coins and Medals”. In this section there are 333
lots of high graded material. The 2019 “Coronation of Rama X” Platinum
proof medal, weighing 240 grams, with the King’s portrait on the obverse
and the Royal Seal on the reverse has a starting price of Baht
1,250,000. The mintage was announced to be not more than 1,000 pieces,
but it is believed that just over 200 were struck. The medal is graded
by NGC, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation to be in the highest grade 70.
A very popular coin is the 2
Baht ND (1863) struck during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. It is
graded by PCGS to be MS64 and is an excellent strike and tone on both
sides. The starting price is Baht 150,000, but I assume the buyer will
have to pay more because of the pleasing appearance of the coin.
For collectors of King
Chulalongkorn, Rama V, flat coin, there is on offer the one Baht ND
(1900) with the “Short Tail”. This is missing in many collections and it
is offered graded by PCGS to be MS65+. The starting price is Baht 40,000
but I assume the price will be much higher both because of rarity and
the high grade. The one with “Long Tail” is also offered in the sale
graded by PCGS to be MS64, starting price at Baht 15,000.
King Chulalongkorn, Rama V,
visited Europe in 1907 during which time he spent quite some time in
Norway. His Majesty went all the way up to North Cape where His Majesty
engraved his initials on a stone. The stone is still exhibited at the
“Sala Thai” at the North Cape plateau. In 1997 a medal was produced to
commemorate 90th Anniversary of the visit. On the obverse are
the portraits of H.M. King Chulalongkorn and H.M. King Haakon. The
reverse shows the stone at North Cape where King Chulalongkorn, his
entourage and the craftsmen who actually engraved the initials on the
stone. A gold proof medal, 43mm, is offered with a starting price of
Baht 140,000 graded by PCGS to be PR70DC, the highest grade. The mintage
is only 20 and this is number 14.
There is a great interest for
old Thai coins. Pod Duang, Bullet Coins are unique in their more than
600-year history. Several of these are offered in the sale. From 1200
A.D. to 1700 A.D. Northern ancient money Kakim (Jiang Money) was
produced. They were produced in different towns and the one in the sale
is from Rung in beautiful condition. Starting price is Baht 60,000.
Previous auctions conducted
after the pandemic broke out, mostly behind closed doors, have resulted
in record prices. It will be interesting to see the result of this
auction and whether the economy will influence the result. The price of
gold during the past year has gone up around 30%. Probably this will
influence the interest in buying gold coins, even though in the sale
there are mostly collector’s coins which are sold for quite a lot more
than the gold price.
The catalogue for the auction
can be found on
www.eurseree.com. During the two-day Eurseree Collecting sale on 29
and 30 August 2020, there will also be a great variety of stamps,
antiques, documents, books, coins, medals and banknotes on sale. The
sale will be conducted by floor bidding, by absentee bids, postal, mail,
fax and telephone.
Siamese Coup d’état, Abdication and Banknotes
King Prajadhiphipok, Rama VII, was the son of
King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, and the Brother of King Vajiravudh,
Rama VI. Rama VII reigned from November 25, 1925 until March 2,
During the reign of Rama VII the Siamese revolution
or Siamese coup d’état took place on June 24, 1932. The country ended almost
800 years of absolute monarchy and was transformed into a constitutional
Rama VII signed a temporary charter on June 27, 1932
beginning with “the highest power in the land belongs to all the people”. He
later signed and proclaimed the permanent constitution on December 10, 1933.
Rama VII left Thailand for Europe on December 12,
1933 for an eye treatment. During the next few years, Rama VII, the first
Constitutional Monarch tried his best to exert a constructive influence on
the process of political transition. But when negotiations failed, he
abdicated the throne. He sent his letter of abdication from England on March
2, 1935 where he was recuperating from his eye operation.
In Rama VII’s abdication letter he wrote, “…I am
whole heartedly willing to relinquish the powers vested in me from the times
past to the general populace. However, I will not relinquish them to any one
person or group so that it may be used absolutely without listening to the
real voices of the people.”
When Second Series of Thai Banknotes was to be
designed the printer Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London (TdlR)
suggested to have a portrait incorporated on the banknotes. This would make
it more difficult to produce counterfeits. TdlR did in 1924 produce
hand-executed designs for the 5-, 10- and 20 Baht with an image portraying
King Vajiravudh, Rama VI. The King did not give his permission; instead he
wanted to have an image of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony on the back of the
Rama VII was the first Thai King to give Royal
permission for an image of his portrait to be printed on a banknote. The
designs from 1924 were presented where the portrait of Rama VI was replaced
with the portrait of Rama VII. But the King did not accept the design
because he wanted an enface portrait.
The change was done by photogravure and accepted by
His Majesty and printed for circulation. This specimen 20 Baht banknote
Third Series, Type I, is initialled as approved by Royal Ministry of
After the coup d’état the name of the Royal Ministry
of Finance was changed to Ministry of Finance. In 1934 the printer TdlR was
instructed to change the title of the Minister of Royal Finance to Minister
of Finance since he was the one authorised to sign the banknote. The change
was done on the plates for the 5-, 20- and never issued 100 Baht, and prints
of the main front plates were sent to the Ministry of Finance to be
initialled as approved.
On April 2, 1935 the Siamese Minister to the United
Kingdom H.E. Phya Subarn Sompati instructed TdlR to “…ante-date all
Currency Notes in course of being printed prior to March 2, 1935.” The
Ministry of Finance sent these instructions to H.E. Phya Subarn Sompati by
telegraph. The reason was obvious. It would not be proper to have dates on
the banknotes with King Rama VII’s portrait on them after the King’s
As an example all 20 Baht banknotes with prefix P/3
to P/10 dated from January 20, 1935 until February 25, 1935 are all printed
after April 26, 1935. The 1 Baht banknotes with prefix B/1 to B/100 dated
from November 21, 1934 to February 28, 1935 are all printed after April
1935.To fill the order of 10 million banknotes TdlR had to date the notes
utilising every day from November 21, 1934 until February 28, 1935. The
majority of the notes were dated prior to when the orders were given. It
would be really fascinating having a collection complete with all the notes
with prefix B/1 till B/100, all antedated.
In a letter dated April 27, 1935 TdlR received new
instructions from The Minister to the United Kingdom on behalf of the
Ministry of Finance; “Portrait of the ex-King in circle was to be replaced
by reproduction of Ananda Samakom Throne Hall (as per photograph enclosed);
the rest of the design unchanged.”
On May 2, 1935 TdlR confirmed to the Siamese Minister
in the United Kingdom that they were preparing impressions incorporating the
Throne Hall instead of the ex King’s portrait. TdlR in the letter pointed
out that in their opinion “both from an aesthetic point of view and from the
point of view of security against forgery, the suggested picture is not
altogether suitable”. TdlR asked if it was possible to use the head of some
famous personage in Siamese history.
The next day TdlR sent two impressions, one of the 1
baht value and one of the 100 Baht value, on which the portrait had been
replaced by a view of the Throne Hall. To produce these TdlR had cut out the
portrait on a specimen 1 Baht note with prefix A/100 dated 20th
November 1934 and the specimen never issued 100 Baht with prefix E/100 dated
February 11, 1933.
New instructions were given TdlR on October 16, 1935.
The Throne Hall was to be replaced by a portrait of the present King. A
photograph would be sent to TdlR directly from Lausanne by His Majesty’s
Personal Secretary. TdlR received the photograph of King Ananda Mahidol,
Rama VIII on December 31, 1935 and on January 2, 1936 an order for 500,000
Five Baht and 1,000,000 Ten Baht banknotes with the new portrait were
placed. Photogravure of the 5 baht and 10 baht was produced dated January 9,
The engraving of the original portrait die would take
6 to 8 weeks. A further 6 weeks would be required to incorporate the
engraving in the 10 Baht die and manufacture the new printing plates. It
would therefore take 5 months before a shipment of banknotes with the new
portrait could be despatched.
On January 18, 1936, the Ministry of Finance asked
TdlR to try their utmost to ship the 10 Baht banknotes with the new portrait
within 4 months. The 10 Baht was initialled as approved by the Siamese
Minister to the United Kingdom H.E. Phya Rajawangsan on April 7, 1936 and
announced on August 13, 1936. The 1- and 5 Baht was also announced in 1936,
while the 20 Baht was first announced on December 15, 1937. These four
denominations were initialled as approved by the Siamese Minister to the
United Kingdom H.E. Phya Rajawangsan.
King Prajadhipok, Rama VII, Museum opened on November 12, 2001. Part of my
banknote collection was exhibited and I had the great honour to explain
about the banknotes to Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana. The
Princess noted that some of the banknotes were dated prior to March 2, 1935
as her brother King Ananda, Rama VIII, was recognised as King by the
National Assembly in March of 1935.
She told me
they must have been quite sure her mother Princess
Srinagarindra would agree
that her son would be the next Thai monarch. I explained that, actually
artwork and specimen banknotes are given a random date, sometimes the date
of the former issue. This photogravure which was never issued was produced
for the Fourth Series with the portrait of Rama VIII. It does have the
prefix P/10 and the date 25th February 1935 which is the last
prefix and date of the issued 20 Baht Third Series with the portrait of Rama
Auction conducted with open doors
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many
auctions around the world have been conducted behind closed doors. The
Bangkok based Eur-Seree auction house had planned their auction, sale #55,
for April 4 and 5. The CEO of Eur-Seree, Vitoon Eurtivong, hoped to have his
many clients present in the auction room as they are used to. He therefore
decided to delay the auction till the authorities gave the permission to do
The auction took place on June 20
and 21 at the Novotel Bangkok in their 700 square meters Benjasiri Ballroom.
Temperatures of all attendees were taken and most of the participants were
seated at 180 cm long tables allowing two people at each table. Snacks and
food were served in individual plates or boxes.
Since the auction catalogue had been
sent out several months ago the collectors had plenty of time to study the
catalogue. This reflected on the prices and several records were set.
A gold one Baht bullet coin, Pod
Duang, sold in 2009 for Baht 300,000 was offered with a starting price of
Baht 300,000. This time the coin was sold for Baht 560,000. It seems like
the interest for collecting bullet coins is increasing. Bullet coins were
used in Thailand for more than 600 years and are an important part of Thai
history. The last bullet coins were produced in 1886, except for a few
commemorative issues. They could be exchanged for flat coins until 1908.
Gold coins had a huge price jump in
the sale. A Government Gold Bond 1,000 Baht 1951 with the weight of 173.879
grams and purity 0.995 had a starting price of Baht 640,000. The coin was
sold for Baht 900,000. The gold value is about Baht 300,000 so the buyer is
not basing the price of the gold value. The gold bond coins were struck in
50-, 100- and 1000 Baht values to repay gold bond loans launched in 1943/44.
Gold bars with the value of 10,000 Baht were also produced. Only one is
known to be privately owned, which in 2015 was sold in the Eur-Seree auction
for Baht 5,400,000.
A 5000 Baht 1974 gold proof coin
struck for the “World Wildlife Preservations Series” sold for a new record
of Baht 320,000. The starting price was Baht 240,000. The coin was graded by
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) to be PF69UC and it is only struck in
623 pieces. A similar graded coin was sold in 2017 for Baht 220,000. The
obverse of this popular coin has the portrait of King Bhumibol, Rama IX, and
on the reverse is the White Eyed River-Martin. In Thailand, with royal
permission, it is named after Princess Sirindhorn. The bird was believed to
be extinct, but rediscovered on February 10, 1968 in Nakon Sawan Province.
A world record was set for a gold
6000 Baht struck in 1982 for Queen Sirikit’s 50th Birthday. Only
99 pieces were struck. It was graded by Professional Coin Grading Service,
PCGS, to be PR69DC. The minimum price was Baht 400,000 and it sold for Baht
Another word record was set for a
rare gold coin struck in 1983 with the low mintage of 253. The 6000 Baht
coin commemorates the “700th Anniversary of the Thai Alphabet.”
In 2017 it was graded by PCGS as PR69DC and sold for Baht 150,000. This time
in a similar grade it sold for three times more, Baht 450,000.
Third part grading has had large
influence on the pricing of coins, medals and banknotes. Some like Third
Party Grading, others do not like it and find that the grading sometimes is
not accurate. From my experience graded coins do sell for higher prices than
raw, ungraded material. In this auction several high-grade silver ¼ Baht
coins with no date, struck from 1976-1900, were sold. They are part of a
popular series from the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V.
In grade MS65 the coin was sold for
Baht 15,000, graded in MS63 it was sold for Baht 6,800 and in MS62 it sold
for Baht 6,000. Sometimes the owner of a coin is not happy with the grading
and takes it out of the slab. The slab is the hard-plastic holder the
third-party grading companies insert the coin into after it is graded. The
owner again sends the coin in for grading hoping it will be graded higher.
This is a gamble, most of the time the coin is graded as before or sometimes
lower and one might be lucky to get a higher grade. To have coins graded,
the companies charge a fee depending on several circumstances like value.
Many collectors collect banknotes
with lucky numbers. In Thailand banknotes with the number 9 are very
popular, the reason can be that nine pronounced in Thai “gao” can mean,
“moving forward”. In China and Japan, the number 8 is very popular, probably
because number eight is the symbol of infinity and good fortune in their
In the auction was a Fifth Series
100 Baht Banknote with the series number 88888 with the portrait of King
Ananda, Rama VII, to the right. The starting price was Baht 250,000 and the
buyer after fascinating bidding ended up paying Baht 800,000 for the
banknote, which were printed in Japan for Thailand during WWII. The
catalogue price for this banknote in uncirculated condition like the one
sold but not a lucky number is Baht 160,000.
A Tenth Series 100 Baht banknote
announced in 1968 with the serial number 999999 had a starting price of Baht
50,000, and was sold for Baht 90,000. The Tenth Series was the last
banknotes Thomas de la Rue & Company Limited London officially produced for
Thailand. 493 million of these beautiful designed banknotes were printed for
circulation. To the right is the portrait King Bhumibol, Rama IX. In nice
condition these banknotes are sold for about Baht 2,000 without the lucky
number or the specimen notes.
A silver coin dated 1987 struck for
the 25th Anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund should have the
face value of 200 Baht. In the auction there was one error or pattern coin
showing the face value of 2500 Baht. The regular coin minted in 22,500
pieces sells for about Baht 5,000 but the error or pattern sold for Baht
600,000. Another of this error or pattern 2500 Baht coin was sold in 2016
for Baht 300,000.
Volapattavechoti, (left) Vice President of Thai medals Association with
Vitoon Eurtivong CEO of Eur-Seree.
Vitoon Eurtivong, the CEO of
Eur-Seree auctions, was happy with the results of the auction. The total
value for Arts, Antiques, Books, Documents, Stamps, Coins, Medals and
Banknotes which changed hands during the 2-day event amounted to Baht 63
million. There were 440 bidders, 360 of them were seasoned bidders and out
of the 80 new registered bidders, 35 of them bought something. Many were
bidding by telephone during the two-day auction sale, more than the double
number experienced from previous auctions. Many did not attend in person
this time because of the present situation, so there was a huge number of
absentees, more than twice the normal number.
It is interesting to notice that
with the pandemic and the economic situation in Thailand and worldwide seems
to have not affected the collecting markets as expected. This is not only
experienced in Thailand, but in several auctions worldwide having taken
place behind closed doors.
Vitoon expressed that after talking
to several of the bidders the “Stay Home Policy” had given more time for
enthusiastic collectors to study their collections and find out what is
missing and what to invest further. Some medium and low value items in the
latest auction sale were affected by the economic difficulties, but it did
not seem to have any effect on high end buyers’ hobby. Vitoon also added
that the Thai collecting circle looks very healthy right now.
Eur-Seree plans their 56th auction
at the Narai Hotel in Bangkok on August 29 and 30, 2020. At this auction
Live Bidding will be possible. The complete 55th auction and
prices realised can be found on
HKINF World Coins Signature Auction
The Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair
was supposed to take place from 13-15 July but had to be
cancelled to keep in line with the government’s latest COVID-19
disease prevention measure. The fair is now scheduled to take
place on 11-13 December 2020.
Heritage Auctions is in Hong Kong
preparing to conduct their auction on 11-13 July 2020. If all goes well
regarding relaxation of the coronavirus restrictions, they hope to conduct a
floor-auction. If that is not possible, they will conduct an online auction.
In the meantime, pre-bidding via
Internet will begin on 17 June onwards until the actual auction day where
the Live Internet bidding will also take place.
Some very interesting Thai coins
from the Dr. Norman Jacobs Collection will be auctioned. At the time of
printing, only a preview was available on www.ha.com. No estimates are
published so far, but I have put some estimates to the value of the coins.
They could sell for more, which would make the consigners happy, or they
could sell for less, making the buyers even happier.
Dr. Norman Jacobs’ was an active
collector and researcher until he passed away in 2004. His collection
includes coins from China, Japan, Korea and Thailand. In 2008, a part of Dr.
Norman Jacobs’ collection was sold by Baldwin and Ma Tak Wo in Hong Kong for
US$3,371,800. Since 2011 his Japanese and Korean coins were sold by Heritage
in Long Beach, USA, for US$6.8 million. In the upcoming Hong Kong sale there
will be 31 Thai rarities from Dr. Norman Jacobs’s collection up for sale.
More information and estimations can
be found on www.ha.com/3084
This ‘2 Keeping’ CS1197
(1835) is from the reign of Rama III. According to Ronachai Krisaladaolarn’s
book “The Evolution of Thai Money” tokens were struck in two different
designs, lotus flower and elephant. The Heaton Company in Birmingham struck
the tokens. A theory is that Robert Hunter, an important British trader in
Siam, ordered the tokens.
They were produced for trade with
Singapore as a replacement for the bullet coins. King Nangklao, Rama III,
rejected the tokens, of which 500 pieces were each struck. The one with the
elephant is the most popular and it is offered in the auction. It is graded
by NGC to be PR64. The buyer must probably spend some THB 300,000 to acquire
this token considered by many to be the first flat Thai coin.
The production of bullet coins, ‘pot
duang’ was very time-consuming. So to be able to have coins in
circulation as soon as possible, the Siamese government countermarked the
Mexican 8 Reales with the Mongkut (crown) and the Chakra
(wheel) and were used as legal tender from 1858-1860.
At the auction there is only one
piece dated 1856 graded by NGC to be VF35. These interesting coins are not
often seen for sale, so it would not surprise me if the new owner must pay
more than THB 200,000 for it even though the grade is not the very best.
Queen Victoria presented King
Mongkut, Rama IV, with a hand-driven minting machine. A One Baht coin was
one of the coins produced in 1857-58 on this machine and referred to as
Bannakarn, Royal Gift. The dies were produced in England and during the
voyage became rusty. The imperfections can be distantly seen on the coins
struck in Bangkok with these dies.
2,400 pieces of the One Baht
Bannakarn coin were produced and circulated together with the One baht
1860, which were struck in large numbers on the steam-powered minting
machine ordered from England. The difference between these two coins was
undetected and stayed in circulation together throughout.
When the coins were taken out of
circulation, the Bannakarn coins amongst them were also destroyed.
Hence they are considered a rare coin and not easily found. The One Baht
Bannakarn, Royal Gift, is graded by NGC to be AU55 and will probably
sell for THB 150,000-200,000.
For King Mongkut, Rama IV’s 60th
Birthday, a 4 Baht coin was struck in 1864, both in gold and silver. It is
an impressive coin weighing 60.77 grams.
On the obverse of the 4 Baht coin,
there is the Crown with rays flanked with umbrellas and three branches in
the background, and bordered by 32 stars, each star representing one
Fuang (1/8 Baht).
The reverse has the inscription,
Krung Siam enclosed within a frame and the Chinese legend Cheng Ming
Tung Pao outside the frame. “Cheng Ming” is the name of King Rama
IV in Chinese and “Tung Pao” means “lawful money”. There are two
types; one with the double-lined frame and dots around the rim, and the
other with a single-lined frame without dots.
These coins were used for
presentation purposes, and the King also permitted them to be used for
decorations. The coin in the sale is in silver and graded by NGC to be AU55.
The coin is not considered to be extremely rare but very popular and could
sell for THB 600,000-800,000.
For King Chulalongkorn, Rama V,
several patterns were produced. In the sale, a 2 Baht in nickel graded by
NGC to be in MS63 is being offered. This is a very good grade, but patterns
are normally seen in good condition as they were not intended for
circulation. The larger patterns are more rare and popular and the buyer
will probably be willing to pay about THB 500-700,000 for this pattern.
Royal portrait coins of King
Chulalongkorn, Rama V are very popular. On the reverse is the Siamese Coat
of Arms. A 2 Baht, ½ Tamlung, silver pattern in proof condition are
being offered for sale. The 1-, ¼- and ⅛ Baht in proof are also rare but can
be seen offered in the market from time to time.
For the three denominations in nice
condition, one is expected to pay about THB 500,000-600,000. The two Baht
coin, which was not put in circulation, was also produced in off metal
strikes such as copper and white metal. The one in silver offered in the
auction is extremely rare and popular. It is graded by NGC to be PR62 and
will probably be the most expensive Thai coin in this sale. The price can
reach THB 2.5-3 million.
When King Chulalongkorn, Rama V,
visited Paris during his second European journey, he paid a visit to the
Paris Mint. The King modelled for the chief engraver of the Paris Mint
Henri-August Patey and a 1 Baht coin was produced for circulation.
The 1 Baht coins dated RS 127 (1908)
were never put in circulation because they arrived in Thailand after the
King had passed away and were distributed at his cremation ceremony. The
Essai Patterns of this popular coin were produced for the ¼-, ½ - and 1
Baht. All three denominations for the Essai are offered in the sale. The ½
Baht offered are dated 128 (1909) and is the rarest denomination of these
The one offered in the sale is by
NGC graded to be MS64. One of these ½ Baht coins was reportedly sold in
Singapore at a Taisei auction in 1997 for US$23,000. Another of this rare
coin was sold privately some time back. Probably the price in the Heritage
auction will be more than THB 2 million.
Successful Spink auction in Hong Kong
Spink & Son was founded in the UK in 1666 and
today have companies in USA, Switzerland, China, Singapore and
Japan. The China Company was established in Hong Kong in 2011.
Spink is well known in South East Asia having been conducting
joint auctions with other well-known companies from the 1980s.
The latest Spink coin and banknotes
auction in Hong Kong took place on May 10 and 11. The auction took place
because of the pandemic.
This did not actually reflect
negatively on the prices. The total sales were HK$18,550,320, or more than
THB 75 million. The banknotes sold for a total value of HK$13,179,180 and
coins were sold for a total of HK$5,371,149.
The most expensive banknote was a Hong
Kong, Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, 10 Dollar denomination
dated 1st January
1905. The note sold for HK$696,000 even it was only graded by Paper Money
Guaranty, PMG, to be 20, which is Very Fine. Only three of these banknotes
are known to exist. Last time it was sold was 20 years ago, so for this note
collectors cannot be picky. The printer of the note was W.W. Sprague & Co.
In recent years interest for specimen
banknotes have got the attention of many collectors. It can be assumed that
some of the banknote printers have sold from their archives, so material
never seen before has become available. At the Spink sale a specimen 500
dollar ultra rare Hong Kong, Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China
dated 1.3.1912 sold for HK$600,000 even with 6-hole punch cancelations. The
note was printed by Waterlow & Sons Ltd., England and graded by PMG to be
40, Extremely Fine.
From the Republic of China, a One
Dollar Specimen coin 1921 struck in gold with the portrait of President Xu
Shi Chang sold for HK$600,000. On the reverse of this Commemorate Coin is
the Huai Ren Hall. The coin was struck for the inauguration of President Xu
in the Tenth Year of the Republic of China.
Another One Dollar Specimen coin from
1924 struck in gold was sold for HK$624,000. On the obverse is the portrait
of President Duan Qi Rui. The inscription on the reverse reads “He Ping” in
Chinese, meaning Peace.
Banknotes from Peoples Republic of
China are popular. A 5000 Yuan 1951 issue showing a traditional Mongolian
Yurt. I understand it is a portable, round tent covered with skins and used
as dwellings by nomadic groups in the steppes of Central Asia. The banknote
was graded by PMG to be 30, Very Fine, and sold for HK$300,000.
Kelvin Cheung, Global Head of
Banknotes, Spink China, expressed that the COVID-19 has not affected the
local Banknote market. The Chinese and Hong Kong coins have even gone up
more in value. Since the auction was behind closed doors and viewing was
restricted, Spink China uploaded short video clips of important items so
prospective bidders could view them in different angles under natural light.
Spink China is conducting an e-auction
on the 12th of July, and plans a floor auction on 18th and 19th of August
2020 in conjunction with the Hong Kong Coin Show held from 21st to 23rd of
The Eur-Seree Collecting Co in Bangkok
planned their Sale #55 to be conducted April 4 and 5, and the catalogue was
printed. The dates were postponed to April 25 and 26 because of the
pandemic. Depending on Government restrictions Vitoon Eurtivong, CEO of
Eur-Seree, hopes to conduct the sale at the end of June or beginning of
Some years ago, Eur-Seree had as many
as 1,000 floor bidders in the room for a sale. Normally 400 to 500 hundred
collectors and dealers turn up for the popular sales. Vitoon Eurtivong plans
for the coming sale to have some 20 of his staff operating telephones for
prospective bidders not being able to attend. In the future the company will
also be conducting live auctions.
Vitoon Eurtivong is of the opinion that
in Thailand the buyers prefer to be at the auctions for inspection and
bidding. At the sales other dealers are invited to exhibit what they have
for sale so the ones attending do have a chance to buy something at fixed
prices. Of great importance also at the auction is meeting other collectors
and dealers to exchange information and have a social gathering.
Successful auction in Hong Kong
In these difficult times coin shows and auctions are often
postponed or cancelled. Some coin auctions are successfully
conducted behind closed doors.
In 1978, when I started with coin and banknote auctions
in Oslo, Norway, there were three options to bid. Mail bids, telephone bids
and personally attending the auction. Today professional auction companies
have the three mentioned options, but in addition they have Internet
Absentee or Proxy Bidding, Email, Fax and iBid Live bidding.
My favourite is iBid Live Bidding where you can sit in
the comfort of your home, office or any other place and see what is
happening in the auction room. To put in your bid, you press on the bidding
sign or add the amount of your bid. One can also use mobile devices such
smart phones or tablets.
Today ‘Live Bidding’ in person is difficult because of
the coronavirus pandemic. The auction companies have to follow directives
given by local mandates at the time of the auction and for many it is
difficult or impossible to travel.
Attending auctions in person is very effective, not
only for the bidding, but handing in your consignments, meeting colleagues
and collectors with the same collection interests and getting valuable
information from other professionals.
Even though many auction companies today have the
coins, medals and banknotes graded by a third party grading company, traders
find it of great importance to see the actual object. Many coin enthusiasts
are eagerly looking forward to being able to attend auctions in person
Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio conducted an auction sale
in Hong Kong on 4 -7 May 2020. The company is well established in Asia for
the past 10 years and have a very good reputation. They have professional
bidding options and listed almost 6000 objects for the sale in two gigantic
catalogues, one for coins and medals and the other for banknotes.
Nirat Lertchitvikul, Director of Asian Operation, a
Thai citizen, has worked with Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio in Hong Kong since
the day the company established in Asia. He said that even though the world
was suffering an economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, the coin
and banknote market is still thriving, even if auctions had to be conducted
behind closed doors.
In the four-day sale, Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio sales
amounted to US$13,265,604 (THB about 423,438,000). The sale of coins and
medals amounted to US$12,287,832 and the banknotes sales were US$977,772.
This is the second largest coin and banknote auction conducted in Asia. In
August 2011 Stack’s Bowers sold coins and banknotes for more than
The most expensive coin in the sale was a Chinese
Silver Dollar Pattern Year 18 (1929) produced by the Rome Mint. This
magnificent and extremely rare pattern was estimated at US$90,000 to
US$120,000 and sold for US$252,000.
Several banknotes were sold for record prices. The most
expensive was a China-Empire, Ta-Ching Government Bank, 10 Dollar, No Date
(1910). Estimation was US$20,000 to US$25,000 and sold for US$60,000.
A China, Kweichow Auto Dollar, Year 17 (1928) in high
grade sold for US$120,000. The estimation was US$50,000 to US$70,000. The
coin was produced to commemorate the completion of the Kweichow (Guizhou)
Provincial Highway and reportedly features Governor Zhou Xicheng’s personal
automobile. It is said that the automobile was imported from the United
States and arrived before the Highway was completed. On arrival to China it
was dissembled, carried on foot over the mountains to Kweichow, and
reassembled so Zhou was able to drive it around. Today the interest of
collecting coins depicting cars is popular. The most reasonable Auto Dollar
in the auction was sold for US$16,800.
A very popular Thai Medal was the most expensive of the
Thai materials. The estimation was US$7,000 to US$10,000, and the buyer had
to pay US$38,400, more than 1.2 million baht. The Haw Campaign Silver Medal
was produced in CS 1246 (1884) during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama
The 2 Baht Silver Crown, ND (1863) produced during the
reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV, is not very rare, but very popular. Not only
because of the nice design, but also because for years it was the only crown
sized Thai coin and therefore collected internationally. In the sale there
were several pieces, the most expensive was graded by NGC to be MS65 and
sold for US$14,400. This was lower than expected because of the high grade,
but as the coin had carbonized dots on the obverse, not remarked by the
grading company, it was sold for the reserve price. These carbonized dots
can get bigger in the future. The spots could have been caused by planchet
imperfections prior to striking the coin or improper storage. These spots
are very difficult or impossible to remove.
In May last year Stack’s Bowers sold a 2 Baht ND
(1863), also graded by NGC and to be MS64, a lower grade than the one sold
this year. The coin in the lower grade sold for US$16,800 last year. This
coin has a very nice natural patina, which is appreciated by many
collectors. The famous American collector Virgil Brand was known to have
collected coins with natural patina only.
In the sale this month the most reasonable 2 Baht ND
(1863) was sold for US$2,100 graded by NGC as UNC Details – Stained.
Director of Asian Operations Stack’s Bowers, Nirat
Lertchitvikul, was impressed that twelve of the Chinese coins in the auction
were sold for more than US$100,000.
One of the currency notes, which stands
out from the other series, is the 1-Baht note, which was announced June 3,
1946. The note was produced by Thomas de da Rue & Company Limited, London (TdlR)
and ordered by St. Luke’s Printing Works (Bank of England) on behalf of the
During that period the Japanese
Imperial Army controlled the economy in Siam which also included the
circulation of banknotes. So, in 1945 the Allied Forces set a plan in motion
to print new 1-Baht notes which would look very different to the ones in
use. They would then circulate these new banknotes in those areas that they
seized back from the Japanese as a symbol of liberation.
This plan was kept secret from the
Siamese Government, as they did not want their invasion strategy leaked to
On August 20, 1945, the War Office
planned to produce 7 different denominations.
25 Satang - 10 million pcs
50 Satang -12 million pcs
1 Baht - 100 million pcs
5 Baht - 60 million pcs
10 Baht - 30 million pcs
20 Baht - 15 million pcs
100 Baht - 1 million pcs
The face value for all the planned
notes printed amounted to Baht 1,108,500,000. - (Over 1 Billion Baht).
These quoted numbers are validated by
of a letter dated January 16, 1946 written by St. Luke’s Printing Works to
Thomas de da Rue & Company Limited.
Though photographic gravure for all the
denominations (except for 50 satang) were produced and approved by the
British War Office, but as far as I know the original artwork was produced
for the 1 Baht and 100 Baht note only.
On August 10, 1945 St. Luke’s Printing
Works (Bank of England) gave instructions to Thomas de da Rue & Company
Limited, London (TdlR) to print 10 million 1-Baht notes.
The other denominations were never
printed. Thus the 1-Baht note is the only note that was actually printed.
On January 24, 1946 TdlR presented a
quotation for the printing of 1, 5, 10, 20 & 100 baht notes, but apparently
because the war had ended, there was no more need for the Invasion Notes, so
the plan was put on hold.
After the war, the Siamese Government
was in urgent need of banknotes, but TdlR was unable to print any notes for
Siam at that time. Sadly, during the war, their building in London, where
the printing press was located, was heavily damaged by aerial bombardment,
incapacitating their production capabilities immensely. Another reason was,
they had a prior commitment to fulfil a very large order from China.
The Siamese Government learned that
there were already 10 million 1-Baht Invasion Notes printed. They
requested the British War Office to give them the notes, which were put into
circulation on June 3, 1946.
But before the notes were put into
circulation, a small change was made. The words, ‘Thai Government’
were superimposed over the words ‘Issued in Siam’. Below that,
the words ‘This note is legal tender in accordance with the law’
Third Party Grading, NGC and PCGS
American Numismatic Association Coin Grading (ANACS),
was established in 1972 and started grading coins in 1979. In
1986 Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) started and a year
later in 1987, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) was
Today PCGS and NGC are the market
leaders in coin grading. Both companies also grade banknotes and medals. And
what do they do?
Actually, it was a revolution in coin
collecting. Experts graded the coin and it is encapsulated in a clear
plastic holder known as a “slab” with a label identifying the coin and the
grade of the coin. Some coins cannot be graded because of damages like
hairlines, environmental damage, artificial toning and edge damages to
mention only a few.
In the early days I must admit that I
hated graded coins. Whenever I bought a graded coin, I would take it out of
the slab immediately. Taking a coin out of the slab is not easy. One has to
put the plastic holder into a cloth and hammer gently on the edge to crack
it. It is important to be very careful so the plastic holder does not damage
The reason why I did not like slabbed
coins is that sometimes I disagreed with the grading and wrong
identification. This was the case in the early days when the grading
companies started grading not only US coins but also foreign coins.
Later, when I attended coin shows in
Hong Kong and China, I saw it was almost impossible to sell ungraded coins,
also called “raw” coins. The reason was that the market was floating with
fakes and copies produced in China, not only Chinese coins were faked, also
The grading companies are giving a
financial guarantee that the grade is correct and that the coin is genuine.
If it is later found out and proved that the grade is not correct or a coin
is a fake, the buyer is paid the true value of the genuine coin by the third
With third grading it is also saves a
lot of discussions between the seller and buyer about the grade. With “raw”
coins there are often long discussions about the grade, the seller often
thinks the grade is better and the buyer is of the opinion that the coin
grades less. The price difference is significant. A better grade coin in
cost much more than a lower grade coin.
Coins are graded from 1 to 70 with 70
being the highest. In catalogues, coins are now often graded with numbers,
which were formerly graded as Good, Fine, Very Fine, Extremely Fine and
Uncirculated. As an example of prices, the Standard Catalogue of World Coins
1701-1800, 7th Edition, states that a Flowing Hair Dollar graded VF40 is
valued at US$300,000 while the MS60 grade is valued at US$1,000,000.
Another example is the Norway 2 kroner
1907 Independence, graded MS64. (pictured) In the Standard Catalogue of
World Coins 2019 it is valued in MS63 at US$295. In VF20 it is valued at
US$50. The pictured coin is graded MS64, so it can be sold for quite a lot
more than the one in the catalogue graded at the best MS63.
A very popular Thai coin is the Tamlung,
4 baht, with no date, struck in 1864 to commemorate King Mongkut, Rama IV’s
60th Birthday. Inside the frame on the reverse it has the inscription Krung
Siam, Kingdom of Siam. Outside the frame the inscription is Cheng Ming,
which is the name of the King in Chinese, and Tung Pao, which means lawful
money. In the Standard Catalogue of Coins 1801-1900, 8th Edition it is
valued in MS60 up to US$24,000.
The pictured coin is graded to be AU55
so the value according to the catalogue is worth less.
The pictured one Baht 1876-1900 is
graded to be MS66. In the Standard Catalogue of Coins 1801-1900, 8th
Edition, the coin is graded from F12 to MS60. In MS60 it is valued at
US$250. Why it is not valued in the higher grades like the MS66 is because
it very rarely turns up in this grade. Probably the auction price of a one
Baht in MS66 would sell for between US$2,000 to US$3,000.
The Thailand 1 Baht 1876-1900 was also
struck in PROOF meaning that it was struck with polished dies. Those were
presentation pieces and in PF60 grade it is valued at US$6,000. Probably the
pictured coin graded in PF65 could be sold for more.
The pictured Great Britain Gothic Crown
graded PF60 has a catalogue value of US$6,000. As the pictured coin is
graded in PF58 it is worth less.
The pictured Netherlands, Utrecht gold
Ducat 1724, is from the ship Akerendam that sank off Runde Island on the
coast of Norway in 1725. The shipwreck was found by divers in 1972 and 6,505
pieces of the Ducat was salvaged. Prior to the wreck of the Akerndam only
one Ducat 1724 was known to exist, so I assume the owner must have been
disappointed when several thousands more were available in the market. This
pictured coin is graded in MS65. This is one of the best of the rescued
coins and is only graded in the catalogue in MS60 at US$850, so I assume a
MS65 would be sold for quite a lot more.
PCGS also put two or three coins in one
slab, the ones with two coins are called duo-holders. Pictured is the Thai
gold 200 Baht and silver 2000 Baht 1997 UNICEF. Only 1290 pieces of the gold
coin and 2123 pieces of the silver coin were minted. Both coins are graded
to be PR70, the highest grade, and I assume the value is around US$1,200.
Some dealers and collectors like
grading while others do not. The ones who do not like it argue that one
should be able to have “contact” with the coin and think that coin
collecting is too commercialized. They have the enjoyment of doing the
investigation themselves as a part of the hobby. They also argue that graded
coins take up much more space.
The ones who like the grading are
sometimes the ones with less knowledge and look at coin collecting as an
investment. They do not want to spend the time discussing the grade with the
seller and like to have the financial guarantee from the third-party grader
of the quality and that the coin is genuine. From my experience graded coins
are often sold for at higher prices than raw coins.
So, what happens in the market after
the coins are graded? It seems like everyone wants to have coins top graded
from AU55 to MS70. They do command very high prices at auctions unless they
are very rare, while the ones in less quality are often not sold even when
they are nice coins.
Sometimes it is better to sell the
coins, which are not in the top grades raw, as someone might be of the
opinion that it is actually better than when graded by the auctioneer and
will be graded higher by the third-party grader.
The first Thai banknotes
(Copyright Bank of England)
History records that the first paper banknotes
were issued during the Chinese Tang and Song dynasties in the 7th century
In 1661, Sweden was the first European
country to issue banknotes. The Bank of England was established in 1694, and
issued banknotes in 1695.
Jorgen Thor Mohlen, a wealthy merchant
in Bergen, Norway, received permission from King Christian V of Denmark and
Norway to issue the very first bank notes in Norway in 1695.
The notes were printed on one big piece
of paper and about one third of the right side was ripped off. This part
stayed with the issuer to prevent forgeries and could be matched when the
notes were to be redeemed. This project was not a success as people who
owned these notes used them to pay tax. Having collected a lot of tax, the
King presented the notes to Thor Mohlen to get silver in exchange.
Unfortunately, during that period Thor
Mohlen incurred heavy losses on colonial trade and the Great Fire of 1702
and could not pay. He was declared bankrupt.
Foreign banks operating in Thailand
produced the first banknotes issued in Thailand. These were Hongkong &
Shanghai Banking Corporation, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia & China
and the Banque de l’Indochine.
In 1891 Thai banknotes were printed by
Giesecke & Devrient Co. in Berlin, Germany.
Unfortunately, the notes were not put
in circulation. Navarat Laekhakula, author, economist and an expert on the
history of Thai currency, explained in his book “Bia, Baht, Coin, Banknotes”
that in 1893 (RE112), “a conflict arose between Thailand and France. The
French government dispatched gunboats to confront Thai armed forces, causing
Thailand to cede the territories on the left bank of the Mae Khong River (in
Laos) to France. Thailand was also required to pay compensation of three
million Francs in coin. The situation put a halt to the adoption of treasure
notes.” The notes printed in Germany were destroyed. Only a small number
were kept as samples and these are very popular and valuable among
On September 7, 1902 the first Thai
banknotes, First Series, were put into circulation. The notes were produced
by Thomas de la Rue & Company, Limited, London, and had the denominations of
5-, 10-, 20- 100- and 1,000 Baht. The other circulating denominations were
For years the Bank of England had only
printed one-sided banknotes. The last one-sided note was issued in 1957 and
ceased to be legal tender in 1961. As the Thai notes were to be printed in
England it was suggested to the Royal Thai Treasury department to have the
First Series printed on one side only.
The prefixes used for the First Series
of Thai Banknotes were: 5 Baht-prefix A, 10 Baht-prefix B, 20 Baht-prefix C,
100 Baht-prefix D and 1000 Baht-prefix E in front of the serial number. This
is the very first printed 10 Baht note with prefix B1 and the serial number
00001. Many collectors do appreciate the first printed banknotes and the
last printed banknotes. Banknotes with a solid number are also very popular.
In Thailand, the number 999999 is prized and in high demand.
Before a run of notes was to be
printed, a specimen note had to be approved by the Royal Thai Treasury
Department in Bangkok. In the early years this process was very time
consuming, so the Minister (Ambassador) at the Thai Legation in London was
assigned to the task H.E. the Minister could only approve notes already
circulating, so new designs had to be sent to Bangkok for approval. On
February 7, 1911, this 1,000 Baht note was signed as approved by H.E. Phya
Akaraj Waradhara. The last banknote First Series was dated in 1923. The
first notes in the Second Series, printed on both sides, was announced
February 18, 1925.
Eur-Seree Collecting Auction 55
Eur-Seree will be conducting their
55th auction at the Narai Hotel in Bangkok on April 4 and 5, 2020. 2880
Lots are to be sold in the auction.
A variety of collector’s objects
are to be sold, including, documents, books, photographs, watches,
stamps, coins medals and banknotes to mention but just a few.
About 20 dealers will be exhibiting
their collections during the viewing and the auction. So if you have no
luck in buying your favourite choice at the sale, you might find
something interesting from the exhibiting dealers.
The catalogue can be seen on
The auction catalogue can be bought
for 1500 Baht inside Thailand or sent oversees by airmail for US$ 35.
For more information please contact
There are many collections of Royal
Photographs and when signed are even more popular and are in high
demand. For example a signed photograph of Rama VI is offered. The
signature “Maha Vajiravudh 1907” is prominent on the front and
the words “The King of Siam given to the Dean of Gloucester” is
inscribed on the back. The starting price is 175,000 Baht.
For collectors of autographs there
is good chance to get signed Royal documents. In Lot 52 there is a
document signed by H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Thai about land
mortgage. It is a nice document and the starting price is only 8,000
A gold Pod Duang, bullet
coin, 1 Baht, from the period 1851-68 is offered with a starting price
of 300,000 Baht. It is in an Almost Uncirculated condition and
both marks are very clear. The very same coin was sold in the Eur-Seree
auction in 2009 for the same as the starting price in this auction.
Should be a very good buy.
Silver Pod Duang, bullet
coins, can be bought for less than 1,000 Baht. In Lot 1466 there are 13
pieces of 1 Baht coins and the starting price is 7,000 Baht. The coins
are from the reign of King Rama III, 1824-51. The weight of one coin is
around 15 grams. If one is interested in bullet coins it is worth
spending some time to study the catalogue.
In recent years the interest for
copper coins in high grades has increased. Prior to this, most of the
collectors were concentrating on the silver coins. But many realized
that it was actually harder to find a copper coin in good condition.
The reason being, in the reign of
King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, it was the copper coins that were being
circulated the most.
In this sale there is also a 2
Att, Seo, from RS109 (1890) graded by the Professional Coin
Grading Service (PCGS) to be MS63RB, which is the same as
Uncirculated. If it can be bought for the starting price of 10,000
Baht, it is a very good buy.
In 1907 King Chulalongkorn, Rama V,
paid a visit to Norway. The King visited Oslo and went all the way up to
North Cape. In Oslo His Majesty stayed at the palace with King Haakon,
Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav.
In 1997 a commemorative medal was
produced to mark the 90th anniversary
of the visit. The obverse depicts the portrait of King Chulalongkorn and
King Haakon and the reverse shows King Chulalongkorn standing with his
entourage around the large rock at North Cape on which he had engraved
his name to commemorate his visit.
Today the rock can be seen at the
Thai Museum at North Cape. The medal was produced in collaboration
between the Royal Thai Mint and the Royal Norwegian Mint. At the
Eur-Seree auction, one large 42 mm silver medal is offered with a
starting price of 7,000 Baht.
The banknote with the highest
starting price of 600,000 Baht is a 1,000 Baht note produced by Thomas
de la Rue & Company Limited, London. The note arrived in Thailand in
1952, but for various reasons was never put in circulation. The
speculated reason is, probably that some thought a bank note with such a
high denomination would lead to inflation. Out of the 500,000 notes
printed about 100 were kept as samples. The rest were destroyed by
A very popular series of coins is
the 2000 Millennium “Year of Dragon” coins. A 5 ounce 200 Baht
coin produced by The Singapore Mint is also featured in the sale. On the
obverse is the portrait of the HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej and on the
reverse is a colourful design with dragons. The starting price is 70,000
4 Baht 1864 commemorative coin and Tamlung bullet coin
The 4 Baht 1864 commemorative coin.
The 4 Baht Tamlung, Pod Fuang or
bullet coin with Mongkut and Chakra.
Up to the year 2000, the 4 baht 1864 with a
diameter of 45 mm was the largest flat coin produced for
In 2000 A.D. the slightly larger
Millennium coins were produced by the Singapore Mint for Thailand. They were
the 65 mm Silver 200 Baht and the 55 mm Gold 2,500 Baht coins.
The 4 Baht 1864 coin was struck in gold
and silver to commemorate the 60th Birthday
of King Mongkut, Rama IV. The coins were used for presentation purposes and
the King also permitted them to be used for decorations.
On the obverse of the 4 Baht coin there
is the Crown with rays flanked with umbrellas with three branches in the
background, and bordered by 32 stars, each star representing one Fuang (1/8
The reverse has the inscription,
Krung Siam enclosed within a frame and the Chinese legend Cheng Ming
Tung Pao outside the frame. “Cheng Ming” is the name of King Rama
IV in Chinese and “Tung Pao” means “lawful money”. There are two
types; one with the double-lined frame and dots around the rim, and the
other with a single-lined frame without dots.
The descriptions of the obverse and
reverse are from the book “Coinage of the Rattanakosin era 1782-1982 AD”.
The gold 4 Baht coin is very rare and
during the last 30 years only a few transactions have taken place. One
collector had two pieces in his collection bought during the last 30 years.
He later sold both sets, one by private treaty and one in an auction sale.
The 4 baht coin turns up in auctions
from time to time. The price is varied, based on the quality. The prices I
have seen have been from 300,000 Baht to 500,000 Baht. For a 4 Baht coin in
perfect condition the price might be considerably higher. Because of the
size and weight, a little more than 60 grams, this coin is considered a
If one would like a Thai 4 Baht coin in
their collection, the alternative would be to buy a 4 Baht Tamlung, Pod
Fuang or bullet coin also issued during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama
4. This very nice coin is from 1851 and originally struck for the coronation
of Rama IV. The price of this bullet coin is from 50,000 Baht to 150,000
Baht depending on the quality.
Silver and Gold 1997
UNICEF commemorative coins
UNICEF 2000 Baht Gold commemorative coin.
UNICEF 200 Baht Silver commemorative coin.
The United Nations Children’s Fund is a United Nations
agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to
children around the world. It was established in 1946 as the United
Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) by the U.N.
General Assembly to provide immediate hunger relief and healthcare to
children and mothers in countries devastated by World War II. In 1950,
UNICEF’s mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children
and women in developing countries, and in 1953 it became a permanent
part of the United Nations System.
In 1989, the UN General Assembly passed
the “Convention on the Rights of Children” (UNCRC) which is a human rights
treaty setting out the civil, political, economic, social, health and
cultural rights of children. The Convention defines a child as any human
being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained
earlier under national legislation.
On the 50th anniversary of UNICEF in
1997, many countries minted commemorative coins to mark the auspicious
Thailand aimed to mint the Silver 200
Baht and the Gold 2000 Baht coins. But due to a lack of capacity to mint the
coins here, the Royal Thai Mint commissioned the Royal Norwegian Mint to
produce the coins on their behalf.
The original plan was to produce two
types and denominations of the coins. The first was for 10,000 gold coins
with a portrait of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX on the obverse.
The reverse would depict an image of a studious girl from a bygone Siamese
The second type was for 25,000 silver
coins. The obverse would depict a portrait of the late king Bhumibol
Adulyadej, Rama IX and the reverse would show children playing a traditional
Thai game called “Mark Keb”.
Unfortunately, in 1997 the Asian
financial crises gripped East Asia and South East Asia. Thailand was no
exception. In May of 1997 the Thai Baht was hit by massive speculative
attacks. In January 1998, the Thai Baht which had an exchange value of 25 to
the US Dollar tumbled alarmingly down to 56 Baht to the US Dollar.
The economic situation was rather
gloomy, which also sent the coin market into doldrums. Because these special
UNICEF coins were produced only on order, only 2123 pieces of the 200 Baht
Silver Coins and 1290 pieces of the 2000 Baht Gold coins were produced and
This was one of the lowest numbers of
Thai coins ever sold.
But the numismatic world is unique, and
as fate may have it, those who bought the UNICEF coins back in 1998 can
cherish in the fact that their investment is now worth 3-5 times more than
what they paid for them.