Thai baht: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thai baht
บาทไทย (Thai)
Baht bills and coins Aluminium coins
Baht bills and coins Aluminium coins
ISO 4217 Code THB
User(s)  Thailand
Inflation 5.1%
Source The World Factbook, 2006 est.
1/100 satang
Symbol ฿
Freq. used 25, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10
Rarely used 1, 5, 10 satang
Freq. used ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000
Central bank Bank of Thailand
Mint Royal Thai Mint

The baht (Thai: บาท, sign: ฿; code: THB) is the currency of Thailand. It is subdivided into 100 satang (สตางค์). The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Bank of Thailand.



The currency was originally known as the tical; this name was used in the English language text on banknotes until 1925. However, the name baht was established as the Thai name by the 19th century. Both tical and baht were originally units of weight and coins were issued in both silver and gold denominated by their weight in baht and its fractions and multiples.

Until 1897, the baht was subdivided into eight fuang (เฟือง), each of eight ath (อัฐ). Other denominations in use were:

Denomination Thai Value [1] Alternate meaning
bia เบี้ย 16400 Baht cowrie; a very small amount of money; a counter used in gambling
solot โสฬส or โสฬศ 1128 Baht
att or ath อัฐ 164 Baht
sio or py เสี้ยว เซี่ยว or ไพ 132 Baht a quarter (feuang)
sik ซีก or สิ้ก 116 Baht a section; a half (feuang)
feuang เฟื้อง 18 Baht
salung สลึง 14 Baht a quarter (baht)
mayon มายน or มะยง 12 Baht
baht บาท 1 Baht 1 tical, from Portuguese, from Malay tikal [2]
tamleung (of silver) ตำลึง (หน่วยเงิน) 4 baht a gourd; weight of silver equal to four baht, or ~60 grams
chang ชั่ง 20 tamleung or 80 baht a catty ~1200 gram weight of silver; as a metric unit of weight, chang luang ชั่งหลวง = 600 grams
hap หาบ 80 chang or 6400 baht ~96 kg of silver, roughly equivalent to the monetary talent; from the verb/noun (carry) a load (suspended at each end of a pole across the shoulder); as a metric unit of weight, hap luang หาบหลวง = 60 kg [3]

The decimal system devised by Prince Mahisorn, in which one baht = 100 satang, was introduced by king Chulalongkorn in 1897. However, coins denominated in the old units were issued until 1910. One hangover from the pre-decimalization system: the 25 satang (¼ baht) is still colloquially called a salueng or salung (สลึง). It is occasionally used for amounts not exceeding 10 salueng or 2.50 baht. A 25-satang coin is also sometimes called salueng coin (เหรียญสลึง, pronounced 'rian salueng').

Until November 27, 1902, the tical was fixed on a purely silver basis, with 15 grams of silver to the baht. This caused the value of the currency to vary relative to currencies on a gold standard. In 1857, the values of certain foreign silver coins were fixed in law, with the one baht = 0.6 Straits dollar and five baht = seven Indian rupees. Before 1880 the exchange rate was fixed at eight baht per pound sterling, falling to 10 to the pound during the 1880s.

In 1902, the government began to increase the value of the baht by following all increases in the value of silver against gold but not reducing it when the silver price fell. Beginning at 21.75 baht = one British pound, the currency rose in value until, in 1908, a fixed peg to the British pound was established of 13 baht = one pound. This was revised to 12 baht in 1919 and then, after a period of instability, to 11 baht in 1923. During the Second World War, the baht was fixed at a value of one Japanese yen.

From 1956 until 1973, the baht was pegged to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 20.8 baht = one dollar and at 20 baht = 1 dollar until 1978. A strengthening US economy caused Thailand to re-peg its currency at 25 to the dollar from 1984 until July 2, 1997, when the country was stung by the Asian financial crisis. The baht was floated and halved in value, reaching its lowest rate of 56 to the dollar in January 1998. It has since risen to about 33 per dollar.


Before 1860, Thailand did not produce coins using modern methods. Instead, a so-called "bullet" coinage was used, consisting of bars of metal, thicker in the middle, bent round to form a complete circle on which identifying marks were stamped.[1] Denominations issued included 1128, 164, 132, 116, 18, ½, 1, 1½, 2, 2½, 4, 4½, 8, 10, 20, 40, and 80 baht in silver and 132, 116, 18, ½, 1, 1½, 2, and 4 baht in gold. Between 1858 and 1860, foreign trade coins were also stamped by the government for use in Thailand.

In 1860, modern style coins were introduced. These were silver 1 sik, 1 fuang, 1 and 2 salung, 1, 2 and 4 baht, with the baht weighing 15.244 grams and the others weight related. Tin 1 solot and 1 att followed in 1862, with gold 2½, 4 and 8 baht introduced in 1863 and copper 2 and 4 att in 1865. Copper replaced tin in the 1 solot and 1 att in 1874, with copper 4 att introduced in 1876. The last gold coins were struck in 1895.

In 1897, the first coins denominated in satang were introduced, cupronickel 2½, 5, 10 and 20 satang. However, 1 solot, 1 and 2 att coins were struck until 1905 and 1 fuang coins were struck until 1910. In 1908, holed 1, 5 and 10 satang coins were introduced, with the 1 satang in bronze and the 5 and 10 satang in nickel. The 1 and 2 salung were replaced by 25 and 50 satang coins in 1915. In 1937, holed, bronze ½ satang were issued.

In 1941, a series of silver coins was introduced in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 satang, due to a shortage of nickel caused by WWII. The next year, tin coins were introduced for 1, 5 and 10 satang, followed by 20 satang in 1945 and 25 and 50 satang in 1946. In 1950, aluminium-bronze 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang were introduced whilst, in 1957, bronze 5 and 10 satang were issued, along with 1 baht coins struck in an unusual alloy of copper, nickel, silver and zinc. It should be notes that several Thai coins were issued for many years without changing the date. These include the tin 1942 1 satang and the 1950 5 and 10 satang, struck until 1973, the tin 1946 25 satang struck until 1964, the tin 50 satang struck until 1957, and the aluminium bronze 1957 5, 10, 25 and 50 satang struck until the 1970s. Cupronickel 1 baht coins were introduced in 1962 and struck without date change until 1982.

In 1972, cupronickel 5 baht coins were introduced, switching to cupronickel-clad copper in 1977. Between 1986 and 1988, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of aluminium 1, 5 and 10 satang, aluminium-bronze 25 and 50 satang, cupronickel 1 baht, cupronickel-clad-copper 5 baht and bimetallic 10 baht. Cupronickel-clad-steel 2 baht were introduced in 2005.

In 2008, the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Thai Mint announced the 2009 coin series, which included changes in materials to reduce production costs as well as an update of the image on the obverse to a more recent portrait of the King. The two-baht coin, confusingly similar in color and size to the one-baht coin, was changed from nickel-clad low-carbon steel to aluminium bronze. New two-baht coin was the first of the new series released on February 3, 2009. Followed by satang coin in April, five-baht coin in May, ten-baht coin in June and one-baht coin in July 2009.



Circulating Coins (2009 series) [4] [5] (Thai)
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Obverse Reverse Diameter Mass Composition Obverse Reverse
1 satang obverse1 satang reverse 1 satang 1 15 mm 0.5 g 99% Aluminium H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Haripunchai Temple, Lamphun 1987
5 satang obverse5 satang reverse 5 satang 1 16.5 mm 0.6 g Phra Patom Temple, Nakhon Pathom 1987
10 satang obverse10 satang reverse 10 satang 1 17.5 mm 0.8 g Phrathat Chungchum Temple, Sakon Nakhon 1987
25 satang obverse25 satang reverse 25 satang 16 mm 1.9 g Copper-plated steel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahathat Temple, Nakhon Si Thammarat 1987
50 satang obverse50 satang reverse 50 satang 18 mm 2.4 g Doi Suthep Temple, Chiang Mai 1987
Obverse of 1 baht coinReverse of 1 baht coin 1 baht 20 mm 3 g Nickel-plated steel H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Phra Kaew Temple, Bangkok 1986
Obverse of 2 baht coinReverse of 2 baht coin 2 baht 21.75 mm 4 g Aluminium bronze H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Saket Temple, Bangkok 2005
Obverse of 5 baht coinReverse of 5 baht coin 5 baht 24 mm 6 g Cupronickel clad copper H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Benchamabophit Temple, Bangkok 1988
Obverse of 10 baht coinReverse of 10 baht coin 10 baht 26 mm 8.5 g Ring: Cupronickel
Center: Aluminium bronze
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej Arun Temple, Bangkok 1988
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.


  1. The 1, 5 and 10 satang are very rarely seen in circulation [2]. Even though the satang-denominated coins are legal tender, small shops usually don't accept them anymore.
  2. Older coins, some of which are still in circulation, only had Thai numerals, but newer designs also have Arabic numerals.
  3. The standard-issue 10-baht coin has, at the 12 o'clock position on the reverse, raised dots corresponding to Braille cell dot 1 and dots 2-4-5, which correspond to the number 10.
  4. 10-baht coins are very similar to 2–euro coins in size, shape and weight, and are likewise bi-metallic. Vending machines not equipped with up-to-date coin detectors might therefore accept them as €2 coins.[3]
  5. Many commemorative 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht coins have been made for special events.


In 1851, the government issued notes for ⅛, ¼, ⅜, ½ and 1 tical, followed by 3, 4, 6 and 10 tamlung in 1853. After 1857, notes for 20 and 40 ticals were issued, also bearing their values in Straits dollars and Indian rupees. Undated notes were also issued before 1868 for 5, 7, 8, 12 and 15 tamlung, and 1 chang. One att notes were issued in 1874.

In 1892, the Treasury issued notes for 1, 5, 10, 40, 80, 100, 400 and 800 ticals, called baht in the Thai text. On September 19, 1902, the government introduced notes for 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 ticals, with 1 and 50 tical notes following in 1918. In 1925, notes were issued with the denomination baht used in the English text, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 100 and 1000 baht.

In 1942, the Bank of Thailand was founded and took over responsibility for the issuance of paper money. 50 baht notes were briefly reintroduced in 1945, with 50 satang notes issued in 1946. The one baht note was replaced by a coin in 1957 and the five baht was replaced in 1972. 50 baht notes were again reintroduced in 1985, with the 10 baht note replaced by a coin in 1988. The EURion constellation has been used on the reverse of 100 and 1000 baht note since 2003 issue. Older notes are occasionally still found in circulation, for example 10 baht notes, and these can usually be spent without problem. In any case, they can be exchanged for free in banks.

Currently Circulating Banknotes [6]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
20 baht 20 baht 20 baht 138 × 72 mm Green H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the uniform of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces H.M. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) 3 March 2003
50 baht 50 baht 50 baht 144 × 72 mm Blue H.M. King Mongkut (Rama IV) 1 October 2004
100 baht 100 baht 100 baht 150 × 72 mm Red H.M. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) 21 October 2005
500 baht 500 baht 500 baht 156 × 72 mm Purple H.M. King Nangklao (Rama III) 1 August 2001
1000 baht 1000 baht 1000 baht 162 × 72 mm Brown H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej 25 November 2005
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

It is considered rude to put baht banknotes in a wallet that sits in the back pocket, as this allows someone to sit on the image of the king, which is considered highly disrespectful. Similarly, stepping on a baht banknote (or coin) is considered disrespectful. Some shops in Thailand, especially in rural areas, display low-denomination banknotes in front of the shop, both as a charm for wealth and out of respect for the king.

In addition to the banknotes currently in circulation (above) numerous commemorative notes have been issued:

  • 60 baht – 1987 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th birthday
  • 50 baht – 1990 – Princess Mother Srinagarindra's 90th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 50 baht notes)
  • 500 baht – 1990 – Princess Mother Srinagarindra's 90th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 500 baht notes)
  • 1000 baht – 1992 – HM Sirikit's 60th birthday (commemorative text added to regular 1000 baht notes)
  • 10 baht – 1996 – 120th anniversary of the ministry of finance (commemorative text added to regular 10 baht notes)
  • 50 baht – 1996 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 50th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne
  • 500 baht – 1996 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 50th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne
  • 1000 baht – 1999 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 72nd birthday (a different emblem)
  • 50 baht – 2000 – Wedding Anniversary Commemorative
  • 500,000 baht – 2000 – Identical previous, except denomination
  • 100 baht – 2002 – 100th anniversary of Thai Currency
  • 100 baht – 2004 – H.M. Sirikit's 72nd Birthday
  • 60 baht – 2006 – H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej's 60th Anniversary of Accession to the Throne

Unit of mass

The baht is also a unit of weight for gold, commonly used by jewellers and goldsmiths in Thailand. One baht = 15.244 grams.[4] Since the standard purity of Thai gold is 96.5%, the actual gold content in one baht is 15.244 × 0.965 = 14.71046 grams, or about 0.4729523 troy ounce. 15.244 grams is used for "raw" gold or bullion; in the case of jewellery, 1 baht should be more than 15.16 grams.

Exchange rates

There was no significant difference between offshore rate and onshore rates until they were introduced by Reserve Requirement on Short-Term Capital Inflows on December 19, 2006. Since then, the divergence has become marked, with the smaller offshore rates being up to 10% or more higher than large turnover onshore rate. It seems that ATM withdrawals get the onshore rate.[citation needed]

Current THB exchange rates


See also


  1. ^ The History of Siamese Money
  2. ^ Eliot, Joshua. Thailand Handbook. 2003 Footprint Travel Guides page 32
  3. ^ William T. Gibbs, COIN WORLD Staff (2002-11-02). "Thai bahts causing euro problems". COIN WORLD (Amos Press, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-03-10. "10-baht coins work in place of 2-euro coins in machines" 
  4. ^ "A sure bet or fool's gold?", Bangkok Post 2010-01-10
  • Cecil Carter eds., The Kingdom of Siam 1904, reprint by The Siam Society 1988, ISBN 974-8298-13-2, Chapter X Currency and Banking
  • Krause, Chester L. and Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed. ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501. 
  • Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9. 

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address