Thailand P-New - Foreign Paper MoneyInv# FM2100 Foreign Paper Money
500 Bahts, P-New.
The baht (//; Thai: บาท, pronounced [bąːt]; sign: ฿; code: THB) is the official currency of Thailand. It is divided into 100 satang (สตางค์). The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Bank of Thailand.
The Thai baht, like the pound, originated from a traditional unit of mass. Its currency value was originally expressed as that of silver of corresponding weight (now defined as 15 grams), and was in use probably as early as the Sukhothai period in the form of bullet coins known in Thai as phot duang. These were pieces of solid silver cast to various weights corresponding to a traditional system of units related by simple fractions and multiples, one of which is the baht. These are listed in the following table:
|Unit (RTGS)||Thai spelling||Relative value||Value relative to baht||Notes|
|Bia||เบี้ย||1⁄100 at||1⁄6400||Bia is Thai for cowry, the shell of which was used as a trade medium of the same value.|
|Solot||โสฬส||1⁄16 fueang||1⁄128||Solot here literally means "sixteen" or sixteenth, referring to the fractional amount relative to a fueang.|
|At||อัฐ||1⁄8 fueang||1⁄64||Likewise, at literally means eight.|
|Siao/Phai||เสี้ยว/ไพ||1⁄4 fueang||1⁄32||Siao means quarter.|
|Sik||ซีก||1⁄2 fueang||1⁄16||Sik means half.|
|Fueang||เฟื้อง||1⁄8 baht||1⁄8||The smallest silver bullet coins available in the market.|
|Salueng||สลึง||1⁄4 baht (0.25 baht, 25 satang||1⁄4||Thai version of the Mace (unit).|
|Song salueng||สองสลึง||1⁄2 baht (0.50 baht, 50 satang)||1⁄2|
|Tamlueng||ตำลึง||4 baht||4||Thai version of the tael.|
|Chang||ชั่ง||20 tamlueng||80||Thai version of the catty.|
That system was in use up until 1897, when the decimal system devised by Prince Jayanta Mongkol, in which one baht = 100 satang, was introduced by his half-brother King Chulalongkorn along with the demonetization of silver bullet coins on 28 October 1904 after the end of silver bullet coin production by the opening of Sitthikarn Royal Mint in 1857. However, coins denominated in the old units were issued until 1910, and the amount of 25 satang is still commonly referred to as a salueng, as is the 25-satang coin.
Until 27 November 1902, the baht was fixed on a purely silver basis, with 15 grams of silver to the baht. This caused the value of the currency to vary relative to currencies on a gold standard. In 1856 - 1864, the values of certain foreign silver coins were fixed by law, with the five baht = 3 Spanish dollar and five baht = seven Indian rupees along with the bulk rate of 100 Spanish dollar for 166 silver Baht. 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 pound sterling, the currency rose in value until, in 1908, a fixed peg to the British pound sterling was established of 13 baht = one pound. This was revised to 12 baht in 1919 and then, after a period of instability, to 11 baht in 1923. During World War II, the baht was fixed at a value of one Japanese yen on 22 April 1942 by setting the exchange rate of 1 Baht to 0.25974 grams of pure gold.
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 2 July 1997, when the country was affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The baht was floated and halved in value, reaching its lowest rate of 56 to the dollar in January 1998. It has since risen to about 30 per dollar.
The baht was originally known to foreigners by the term tical, which was used in English language text on banknotes until the series 2 1925.