The baht (//; Thai: บาท, pronounced [bàːt]; sign: ฿; code: THB) is the official currency of Thailand. It is divided into 100 satang (สตางค์, pronounced [sà.tāːŋ]). The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Bank of Thailand.
Baht banknotes and coins issued by the Bank of Thailand
|Plural||The language(s) of this currency do(es) not have a morphological plural distinction.|
|Freq. used||฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000|
|Rarely used||฿60, ฿70, ฿80, ฿500,000 (all commemorative)|
|Freq. used||25 satang, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10|
|Rarely used||1 satang, 5 satang, 10 satang|
|Central bank||Bank of Thailand|
|Printer||Note Printing Works of the Bank of Thailand|
China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation
|Mint||Royal Thai Mint|
|Source||Inflation (annual %), World Bank, 2011-2015|
According to Bloomberg, the Thai baht was the world's best performing currency in 2018. The SWIFT, as of January 2019, ranked the Thai baht as the 10th most frequently used world payment currency.
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 (Thai: พดด้วง). These were pieces of solid silver cast to various weights corresponding to a traditional system of units related by simple fractions and multiples, one of which is the baht. These are listed in the following table:
|Unit (RTGS)||Thai spelling||Relative value||Value relative to baht||Notes|
|Bia||เบี้ย||1⁄100 at||1⁄6400||Bia is Thai for cowry, the shell of which was used as a trade medium of the same value.|
|Solot||โสฬส||1⁄16 fueang||1⁄128||Solot 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.
Rama III (1824–1851) was the first king to consider the use of a flat coin. He did so not for the convenience of traders, but because he was disturbed that the creatures living in the cowrie shells were killed. When he learned of the use of flat copper coins in Singapore in 1835, he contacted a Scottish trader, who had two types of experimental coins struck in England. The king rejected both designs. The name of the country put on these first coins was Muang Thai, not Siam.
Cowrie shells from the Mekong River had been used as currency for small amounts since the Sukhothai period. Before 1860, Thailand did not produce coins using modern methods. Instead, a so-called "bullet" coinage was used, consisting of bars of metal, thicker in the middle, bent round to form a complete circle on which identifying marks were stamped. Denominations issued included 1⁄128, 1⁄64, 1⁄32, 1⁄16, 1⁄8, 1⁄2, 1, 1 1⁄2, 2, 2 1⁄2, 4, 4 1⁄2, 8, 10, 20, 40, and 80 baht in silver and 1⁄32, 1⁄16, 1⁄8, 1⁄2, 1, 1 1⁄2, 2, and 4 baht in gold. One gold baht was generally worth 16 silver baht. Between 1858 and 1860, foreign trade coins were also stamped by the government for use in Thailand.
In 1860, modern style coins were introduced. These were silver 1 sik, 1 fuang, 1 and 2 salung, 1, 2, and 4 baht, with the baht weighing 15.244 grams and the others weight related. Tin 1 solot and 1 att followed in 1862, with gold 2 1⁄2, 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 2 1⁄2, 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 1⁄2 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 World War II. The next year, tin coins were introduced for 1, 5, and 10 satang, followed by 20 satang in 1945 and 25 and 50 satang in 1946. In 1950, aluminium-bronze 5, 10, 25, and 50 satang were introduced whilst, in 1957, bronze 5 and 10 satang were issued, along with 1 baht coins struck in an unusual alloy of copper, nickel, silver, and zinc. Several Thai coins were issued for many years without changing the date. These include the tin 1942 1 satang and the 1950 5 and 10 satang, struck until 1973, the tin 1946 25 satang struck until 1964, the tin 50 satang struck until 1957, and the aluminium bronze 1957 5, 10, 25, and 50 satang struck until the 1970s. Cupronickel 1 baht coins were introduced in 1962 and struck without date change until 1982.
In 1972, cupronickel 5 baht coins were introduced, switching to cupronickel-clad copper in 1977. Between 1986 and 1988, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of aluminium 1, 5, and 10 satang, aluminium-bronze 25 and 50 satang, cupronickel 1 baht, cupronickel-clad-copper 5 baht and bimetallic 10 baht. Cupronickel-clad-steel 2 baht were introduced in 2005.
In 2008, the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Thai Mint announced the 2009 coin series, which included changes in materials to reduce production costs as well as an update of the image on the obverse to a more recent portrait of the king. The two-baht coin, confusingly similar in color and size to the one-baht coin, was changed from nickel-clad low-carbon steel to aluminium bronze. New two-baht coin was the first of the new series released on February 3, 2009, followed by a satang coin in April, a five-baht coin in May, a ten-baht coin in June, and a one-baht coin in July 2009.
In 2018, the Royal Thai Mint and the Ministry of Finance issued a new series of general circulation coins, featuring the same standard specifications, but feature a portrait of its current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn.
|Coins of the Thai baht (Rama IX)   (in Thai)|
|Value||Technical parameters||Description||Date of first minting|
|1 satang 1||15 mm||0.5 g||97.5% Al, 2.5% Mg||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, Lamphun||1987|
|5 satang 1||16 mm||0.6 g||97.5% Al, 2.5% Mg||Wat Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom||1987|
|16.5 mm||99% Aluminium||2008|
|10 satang 1||17.5 mm||0.8 g||97.5% Al, 2.5% Mg||Wat Phra That Choeng Chum, Sakon Nakhon||1987|
|25 satang||16 mm||1.9 g||Aluminium bronze||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat||1987|
|16 mm||1.9 g||Copper-plated steel||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phra Mahathat, Nakhon Si Thammarat||2008|
|50 satang||18 mm||2.4 g||Aluminium bronze||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai||1987|
|18 mm||2.4 g||Copper-plated steel||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai||2008|
|1 baht||20 mm||3.4 g||Cupronickel (1986-2008)||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok||1986|
|3 g||Nickel-plated steel (2008–present)||2008|
|2 baht||21.75 mm||4.4 g||Nickel-plated low-carbon steel||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Saket, Bangkok||2005|
|21.75 mm||4 g||Aluminium bronze||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Saket, Bangkok||2008|
|5 baht||24 mm||7.5 g||Copper nickel-clad copper||King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok||1988|
|10 baht||26 mm||8.5 g||Outer Ring: Copper-nickel
Center Plug: Aluminium bronze
|King Bhumibol Adulyadej||Wat Arun, Bangkok||1988|
|Coins of the Thai baht (Rama X)|
|Image||Value||Composition||Description||Date of minting|
|1 satang||Aluminum||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|5 satang||Aluminum||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|10 satang||Aluminum||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|25 satang||Copper-plated steel||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|50 satang||Copper-plated steel||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|1 baht||Nickel-plated steel||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|2 baht||Aluminum bronze||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|5 baht||Copper nickel-clad copper||King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
|10 baht||Outer Ring: Copper nickel
Center Plug: Aluminium bronze
|King Maha Vajiralongkorn||Monogram of Maha Vajiralongkorn||2018|
- The 1, 5, and 10 satang are used only internally between banks and are not in circulation.
- Older coins, some of which are still in circulation, had only Thai numerals, but newer designs also have Arabic numerals.
- The standard-issue 10-baht coin has, at the 12 o'clock position on the reverse, raised dots corresponding to Braille cell dot 1 and dots 2-4-5, which correspond to the number 10.
- 10-baht coins are very similar to 2–euro coins in size, shape and weight, and are likewise bi-metallic, although they are worth only 25 eurocents. Vending machines not equipped with up-to-date coin detectors might therefore accept them as €2 coins, old Italian 500 lira coins as well..
- Many commemorative 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht coins have been made for special events. There also are 20, 50, 100 baht base metal commemorative coins and higher denomination precious metal coins as well.[which?]
In February 2010 the Treasury Department of Thailand stated that it has been planning a new circulation 20 baht coin.
In 1851, the government issued notes for 1⁄8, 1⁄4, 3⁄8, 1⁄2, and 1 tical, followed by 3, 4, 6, and 10 tamlueng 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 tamlueng, 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 which were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, England, during the reigns of Kings Rama V and Rama VI, denominated 5, 10, 20, 100, and 1000 ticals, still called baht in the Thai text — each denomination having many types, with 1 and 50 tical notes following in 1918. In 1925, notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 100, and 1,000 baht with the denomination in both Arabic and Thai numerals without English text; English speakers continued to refer to these as "ticals".
On 27 July 2010, the Bank of Thailand announced that the 16th series banknotes would enter circulation in December 2010. On 9 August 2012, the Bank of Thailand issued a new denomination banknote, 80 baht, to commemorate queen Sirikit's 80th birthday. It was the first Thai banknote that featured Crane's Motion security thread.
In 2017, the Bank of Thailand announced a new family of banknotes in remembrance of its late king Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). The notes are the same size and dimensions as the "Series 16" banknotes, with the front designs as before, but the back designs featuring images of the king's life in infancy, adolescence and maturity. The new family of banknotes were issued on September 20.
In 2018, the Bank of Thailand announced a new family of banknotes featuring a portrait of its current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn. The main colors and dimensions of the notes are the same as before, with the back designs featuring images of the Kings of Thailand from past to present. The 20, 50 and 100 baht banknotes were issued on Chakri Memorial Day, April 6, 2018. The final two denominations, 500 and 1,000 baht were issued on the anniversary of the birth of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, July 28, 2018.
Images of banknotes have been removed lest they infringe copyright, but may be viewed at the Thai-language article linked in the margin.
|15th series banknotes|
|Value||Dimensions||Main colour||Description||Date of issue|
|20 baht||138 × 72 mm||Green||King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the uniform of the supreme commander of the armed forces||King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII)||3 March 2003|
|50 baht||144 × 72 mm||Blue||King Mongkut (Rama IV)||19 March 2004|
|100 baht||150 × 72 mm||Red||King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and King Vajiravudh (Rama VI)||21 October 2005|
|500 baht||156 × 72 mm||Purple||King Nangklao (Rama III)||1 August 2001|
|1,000 baht||162 × 72 mm||Brown||King Bhumibol Adulyadej; Pa Sak Jolasid Dam||25 November 2005|
|16th series banknotes**|
|Value||Dimensions||Main colour||Description||Date of issue|
|20 baht||138 × 72 mm||Green||King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Royal House of Chakri gown||King Ram Khamhaeng the Great on the Manangkhasila Asana Throne monument; invention of the Thai script; Ramkhamhaeng stele||1 April 2013|
|50 baht||144 × 72 mm||Blue||King Naresuan the Great pouring water for declaration of independence monument; Statue of king Naresuan the Great on war elephant; Phra Chedi Chai Mongkol temple||18 January 2012|
|100 baht||150 × 72 mm||Red||King Taksin the Great monument in Wongwian Yai circle; Phra Ratchawang Doem (King Taksin's palace); Wichai Prasit Fortress Thonburi||26 February 2015|
|500 baht||156 × 72 mm||Violet||King Buddha Yodfa Chulalok the Great (King Rama I) monument; Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn (Wat Pho); Phra Sumen Fort (Bangkok city wall)||12 May 2014|
|1,000 baht||162 × 72 mm||Brown||King Chunla Chom Klao the Great (King Rama V) monument; Ananta Samakhom throne hall, Dusit palace ground king's monument, end of slavery in Siam||21 August 2015|
|17th series banknotes|
|Value||Dimensions||Main colour||Description||Date of issue|
|20 baht||138 × 72 mm||Green||King Maha Vajiralongkorn in the uniform of the commander of the Royal Thai Air Force and wearing Order of the Nine Gems||Kings Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) and Phra Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II)||6 April 2018|
|50 baht||144 × 72 mm||Blue||Kings Nangklao (Rama III) and Mongkut (Rama IV)||6 April 2018|
|100 baht||150 × 72 mm||Red||Kings Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and Vajiravudh (Rama VI)||6 April 2018|
|500 baht||156 × 72 mm||Purple||Kings Prajadhipok (Rama VII) and Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII)||28 July 2018|
|1,000 baht||162 × 72 mm||Brown||Kings Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) and Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X)||28 July 2018|
Money and unit of massEdit
Ngoen (เงิน) is Thai for "silver" as well as the general term for money, reflecting the fact that the baht (or tical) is foremost a unit of weight for precious metals and gemstones. One baht = 15.244 grams. Since the standard purity of Thai gold is 96.5 percent, the actual gold content of one baht by weight is 15.244 × 0.965 = 14.71046 grams; equivalent to about 0.473 troy ounces. 15.244 grams is used for bullion; in the case of jewellery, one baht should be more than 15.16 grams.
The Bank of Thailand adopted a series of exchange controls on 19 December 2006, which resulted in a significant divergence between offshore and onshore exchange rates, with spreads of up to 10 percent between the two markets. Controls were broadly lifted on 3 March 2008 and there is now no significant difference between offshore and onshore exchange rates.
|Year||USD/THB average exchange rate|
(Source 1999-2013: usd.fx-exchange.com)
(Source 2014-2020: Bank of Thailand) 
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY TWD|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY TWD|
|From XE.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY TWD|
|From OANDA:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY TWD|
|From fxtop.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD INR CNY TWD|
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From the earliest times in Southern Burma, the weight adopted were not the Chinese liang or tael or its variants, but the Indian bahur and the viss, the latter being divided into 100 ticals. It is this Burmese tical, which was and continues to be in Burma the designation of a definite weight of uncoined silver or its compound, that throws light on the problem of the Thai tical.
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...each denomination had many types which were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, England....
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The design was printed only on one side; so the note was called 'Uniface banknote'. There were 7 denominations....
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In Thailand, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has the sole right to design, produce, issue, circulate and manage Thai banknotes. The reproduction of Thai banknotes is protected by the Copyright Act B.E. 2537 Ch.1 Pt.5 §27 (2) communication to public.
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- Cecil Carter eds.[clarification needed], The Kingdom of Siam 1904, reprint by the Siam Society 1988, ISBN 974-8298-13-2, chapter X Currency and Banking
- Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th 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.
- (in Thai) Compare exchange rates of the Thai Baht from many bank in Thailand.
- (in English, German, and French) The banknotes of Thailand