Coins of the Realm: Thai Banknotes Second Series, Type II

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On Type I under the legend “Government of Siam” in Thai the banknotes Second Series Type I had the legend “Promise to pay the bearer on demand in Siamese Currency”.  Both Series I and II had a depiction of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony on the back.

According to the book “CENTENARY OF THAI BANKNOTES: 1902-2002” published by the Bank of Thailand: “Until the currency Act of 1928 was promulgated on April 15, 1928, it was specified that the country`s money consisted of banknotes and coins, with the monetary units of Baht and Satang.” In Article 9 of this Act, it was stated that banknotes and coins were deemed as legal tender without limit causing the legend printed on banknotes to be altered to: “This note is legal tender in accordance with the law.”



LEGEND USED ON SECOND SERIES, TYPE I

LEGEND USED ON SECOND SERIES, TYPE II

Thomas de la Rue & Co. Ltd, London (TdlR) were instructed in 1928 to change the legend on the banknotes from “Promise to pay the bearer on demand in Siamese Currency” to “This note is legal tender in accordance with the law”.

Prince Varnvaidyakara Voravarn, the grandson of King Mongkut, Rama IV, had in 1927 been appointed Siamese Minister to the United Kingdom.

He approved several of the Second Series Type II banknotes with the new legend “This note is legal tender in accordance with the law”. The first Type II banknotes were printed from the main front plate and the Minister in London approved them by initialling it with a “V”.



The 1 Baht, Type II, with the new legend printed from the main front plate initialled as approved by the Siamese Minister in London with the “V”.

In upper right margin written with pencil the date “1928”.



First Secretary at The Siamese Legation in London, Phra Bides, signed the 5 Baht printed from the main front plate with the new legend on the back as approved 20th September 1928.



The 10 Baht, Type II, with the new legend printed from the main front plate initialled as approved by the Siamese Minister in London with the “V”. Exhibited at Bank of Thailand Museum “CENTENARY OF THAI BANKNOTE: 1902 – 2002”. Registration number J13.

The 20 Baht, Type II, with the new legend printed from the main front plate initialled as approved by the Siamese Minister in London with the “V”. Exhibited at Bank of Thailand Museum “CENTENARY OF THAI BANKNOTE: 1902 – 2002”. Registration number J16.


The 1000 Baht, Type II, with the new legend printed from the main front plate initialled as approved by the Minister of Royal Treasure H.H. Prince Subhayok Kasem in Bangkok with an “S”.



TdlR had an archive of printed notes where the banknotes had a number written in the upper right margin with a pencil. As new prints took place a letter was added after the number. Sometimes the banknotes for the archives were removed from the production line and therefore had a regular serial number intended for regular circulation. This 1 Baht dated 5th November 1932 with prefix H/7 and number 00000 has the word “SPECIMEN” perforated on it. In the upper right margin it has the TdlR archive number “76D” written with a pencil. The 1 Baht 1st February 1918, First Series, with prefix Z/1 and serial number 00000 has archive number “76”.



In the TdlR archives there were rarely some colour trials with numbers written by pencil in the upper right margin. One of the few is this 20 Baht 1st October 1930, prefix T/1 and number 00000. The colour is purple with light green under print. No green floral works in the rays. This note does have the word “SPECIMEN” rubber stamped in violet  in the lower right margin. In the upper right margin TdlR archive number “79C” written with a pencil. The 20 Baht 1st April 1902, prefix C/1, number 39103 has TdlR archive number “79”. 20 Baht 1st November 1916 prefix C/15, number 17746 has TdlR archive number “79A”.



20 Baht 5th November 1932 with prefix P/55 and number 00000. Prefix P/55 is the last produced 20 Baht Second Series Type II. It has the word “SPECIMEN”, perforated in it and the word “SPECIMEN” rubber stamped in violet in the lower margin. In upper right margin TdlR archive number “79E” is written with a pencil. Exhibited at Bank of Thailand Museum “CENTENARY OF THAI BANKNOTE: 1902 – 2002”. Registration number J17.



100 Baht 5th November 1932 with prefix S/3 and number 00000. Prefix S/3 is the last produced 100 Baht Second Series, Type II. It is perforated with the word “SPECIMEN” and rubber stamped “SPECIMEN” in violet in lower margin. In the upper right margin TdlR archive number “253E” is written with a pencil. The 100 Baht 1st April 1902, prefix D/1, number 14921 has TdlR archive number “253”.



LAST BANKNOTES SECOND SERIES TYPE II

The Siamese Minister in London, Prince Damras Damrong, placed an order on 13th October 1931on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Bangkok. The order was for 10,000,000 One Baht Currency Notes, Serial numbers G/1 to G/100. The One Baht with serial number G/100 was the last One Baht Second Series, Type II, produced.

In the same order was 1,000,000 Five Baht Currency Notes, Serial numbers K/41 to K/50.The Five Baht with Serial number K/50 was the last Five Baht Second Series, Type II, produced. The order was confirmed by TdlR on 15th October and confirmed that they would submit Serial letters, dates for the banknotes and printing scheme for approval as quickly as possible. This took place on 30th October. The Siamese Minister in London returned one of the three copies he had received on 5th November as duly initialled and approved. In this correspondence the denomination was referred to as Baht, not Tical as was done previously.



COLOUR TRIALS SPECIMEN BANKNOTES TYPE II  

1 Baht banknote printed from the main front plate in blue. Three perforated holes.



1 Baht 20th March 1931, prefix F/100, number 00000. Oval black TdlR stamp “SPECIMEN DE LA RUE & Co LTD” at lower right corner. In the lower left margin “SPECIMEN no. 2”, Brown with green floral works in the rays. Yellow under print.



20 Baht 1st October 1930, prefix T/1, number 00000. Oval red TdlR stamp “SPECIMEN DE LA RUE & Co LTD” in lower right corner. In lower right margin “SPECIMEN No. 2”. Violet and light green under print. No green floral works in the rays.



1000 Baht 1st October 1930, prefix T/1, number 00000. Oval red TdlR stamp “SPECIMEN DE LA RUE & Co LTD” in lower right corner. In lower right margin “SPECIMEN No. 2”. Brown with yellow under print. No green floral works in rays.



SECOND SERIES TYPE II PUT IN CIRCULATION

All the denominations Second Series, Type II, were announced, put in circulation on 19th February 1929.

According to the book “CENTENARY OF THAI BANKNOTES: 1902-2002” the Ministry of Finance on November 20, 1946, announced that the 20 Baht Second Series, would be withdrawn. They were no longer legal tender from December 1, 1946.

The Savings Bonds in Times of Crises Act 1945, announced in the Royal Gazette on February 9, 1945, that the 1000 Baht Second Series was withdrawn from circulation and they were thus no longer legal tender.



Acknowledgments:
Thank you to Pratheep S. Malhotra for your valuable help.

References:

  • The archives of Thomas de la Rue & Company, Limited, London
  • 50 Years of the Bank of Thailand 1942-1992.
  • The Treasure Department, Coinage of the Rattanakosin Era AD 1782-1982”
  • Bank of Thailand, “Centenary of Thai Banknotes: 1902-2002”
  • Bank of Thailand, BOT Museum’s Masterpieces
  • Somchai Saeng-ngern, “Thai Banknotes Catalogue, Complete and Updated Edition”
  • Illustrations of banknotes from Jan Olav Aamlid collection

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