Thai Banknotes 10th Series

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Officially, 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.



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This is not so for those collecting solid and lucky numbers, prefixes, artwork and specimen notes.

In my 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.




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 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.

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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.

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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.”

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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 were incinerated.

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 banknote.

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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.