Thai baht

"Baht" redirects here. For the river in Morocco, see Baht River. For the town in Uzbekistan, see Baxt.
Thai baht
บาทไทย (Thai)

Baht banknotes and coins issued by the Bank of Thailand.
ISO 4217
Code THB
Number 764
Exponent 2
1100 satang
Symbol ฿
Freq. used ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1000
Freq. used 25, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10
Rarely used 1, 5, 10 satang
Official user(s)  Thailand
Unofficial user(s)  Laos
 Malaysia (border area)
Central bank Bank of Thailand
Mint Royal Thai Mint
Inflation 1.0%
Source Inflation (annual %), World Bank, 2011-2015

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

According to SWIFT, as of October 2014, the Thai baht ranked as the tenth most frequently used world payment currency.[1]


Main article: History of Thai money

The Thai baht,[2] 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:[3][4]

Unit (RTGS)Thai spellingRelative valueValue relative to bahtNotes
Biaเบี้ย1100 at16400 Bia is Thai for cowry, the shell of which was used as a trade medium of the same value.
Solotโสฬส116 fueang1128Solot here literally means "sixteen" or sixteenth, referring to the fractional amount relative to a fueang.
Atอัฐ18 fueang164Likewise, at literally means eight.
Siao/Phaiเสี้ยว/ไพ14 fueang132 Siao means quarter.
Sikซีก12 fueang116 Sik means half.
Fueangเฟื้อง18 baht18
Saluengสลึง14 baht14
Song saluengสองสลึง12 baht12
Batบาท 1
Tamluengตำลึง4 baht4Thai version of the tael.
Changชั่ง20 tamlueng80Thai version of the catty.

That system was in use up until 1897, when the decimal system devised by Jayanta Mongkol, in which one baht = 100 satang, was introduced by king Chulalongkorn. 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 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 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.

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.[5][6][7] 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,[8] which was used in English language text on banknotes until 1925.[9]


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.[10][11] Cowrie shells from the Mekong River had been used as currency for small amounts since the Sukhothai period. 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.[12] [13] Denominations issued included 1128, 164, 132, 116, 18, 12, 1, 1 12, 2, 2 12, 4, 4 12, 8, 10, 20, 40, and 80 baht in silver and 132, 116, 18, 12, 1, 1 12, 2, and 4 baht in gold. 1 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 12, 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 12, 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 12 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.

Coins of the Thai baht

1 Thai baht (1962).
Obverse: Bust of Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Lettering: ภูมิพลอดุลยเดช รัชกาลที่๙ (English: Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX). Reverse: Coat of Arms of Siam with lettering รัฐบาลไทย พ.ศ ๒๕๐๕ หนึ่งบาท (English: Government of Thailand, face-value and year in Thai solar calendar).
883,086,000 coins minted from 1962 to 1982.
Circulating coins (Thai)
Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Obverse Reverse
1 satang 1 15 mm 0.5 g 97.5% Al, 2.5% Mg King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, Lamphun 1987
99% Aluminium 2008
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
99% Aluminium 2008
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 King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok 1986
3 g Nickel-plated steel 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 Cupronickel clad copper King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Benchamabophit, Bangkok 1988
6 g 2008
10 baht 26 mm 8.5 g Ring: Cupronickel
Center: Aluminium bronze
King Bhumibol Adulyadej Wat Arun, Bangkok 1988


  1. The 1, 5, and 10 satang are very rarely seen in circulation.[14] 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, had only 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, although they are worth only 25 eurocents. Vending machines not equipped with up-to-date coin detectors might therefore accept them as €2 coins.[15]
  5. 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 .

In February 2010 the Treasury Department of Thailand stated that it has been planning a new circulation 20 baht coin.[16]


In 1851, the government issued notes for 18, 14, 38, 12, 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.

The year 1902 marked the introduction of reforms by prince Jayanta Mongkol after his observations of banking practices in Europe, which became an important landmark in the inauguration of paper money in Thailand.[17] On September 19, 1902, the government introduced notes which were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, England, during the reigns of king 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,[18] 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;[19] English speakers continued to refer to these as "ticals".[20]

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 notes since 2003. 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.

On 27 July 2010, the Bank of Thailand announced that the 16th series banknotes would enter circulation in December 2010.[21][22] On 9 August 2012, the Bank of Thailand issued a new denomination banknote, 80 baht, to commemorate queen Sirikit's 80th birthday.[23] It was the first Thai banknote that featured Crane's Motion security thread.

Images of banknotes have been removed lest they infringe copyright,[24] but may be viewed at the Thai-language article linked in the margin.

15th series banknotes
Value Dimensions Main colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse
20 baht138 × 72 mmGreen King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the uniform of the supreme commander of the armed forces King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII)3 Mar 2003
50 baht144 × 72 mmBlue King Mongkut (Rama IV)19 Mar 2004
100 baht150 × 72 mmRed King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and King Vajiravudh (Rama VI)21 Oct 2005
500 baht156 × 72 mmPurple King Nangklao (Rama III)1 Aug 2001
1,000 baht162 × 72 mmBrown King Bhumibol Adulyadej; Pa Sak Jolasid Dam25 Nov 2005
16th series banknotes **[25]
Value Dimensions Main colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse
20 baht138 × 72 mmGreen 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 stele1 Apr 2013[26]
50 baht144 × 72 mmBlue King Naresuan the Great pouring water for declaration of independence monument; Statue of king Naresuan the Great on war elephant; Phra Chedi Chai Mongkol temple18 Jan 2012[27]
100 baht150 × 72 mmRed King Taksin the Great monument in Wongwian Yai circle; Phra Ratchawang Doem (King Taksin's palace); Wichai Prasit Fortress Thonburi26 Feb 2015[28]
500 baht156 × 72 mmViolet 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[29]
1,000 baht162 × 72 mmBrown 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 Aug 2015[30]

Commemorative notes

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

Money and unit of mass

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.[37] Since the standard purity of Thai gold is 96.5%, 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, 1 baht should be more than 15.16 grams.

Exchange rates

Historical exchange rate of THB/USD since 1971
Historical exchange rate of THB/EUR since 2005

The Bank of Thailand adopted a series of exchange controls on December 19, 2006, which resulted in a significant divergence between offshore and onshore exchange rates, with spreads of up to 10% between the two markets. Controls were broadly lifted on March 3, 2008 and there is now no significant difference between offshore and onshore exchange rates.[38]

Year Average exchange rate
2003 41.34
2004 40.24
2005 40.26
2006 37.92
2007 32.34
2008 32.99
2009 34.34
2010 31.73
2011 30.48
2012 31.07
2013 30.71
2014 32.48
2015 34.25



See also


  1. "50 countries are now using the RMB for more than 10% of their payments value with China and Hong Kong" (PDF). SWIFT. Retrieved 2015-01-28.
  2. "Currencies in South East Asia". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  3. "The History of Siamese Money". Welcome to Chiangmai & Chiangrai. Jun 16, 2010. Archived from the original on Mar 28, 2010. Retrieved Sep 22, 2011.
  4. "เหรียญกษาปณ์ของไทย (Coins of Thailand)". Thai Heritage Treasury (in Thai). Ministry of defense of Thailand. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  5. "จากระบบอัตราแลกเปลี่ยนอิงตะกร้าเงินสู่ระบบอัตราแลกเปลี่ยนลอยตัว (From Monetary FOREX system to floating FOREX), เศรษฐสาร Vol. 11 No. 7 July BE 2540 (1997)" (PDF) (in Thai). Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  6. "ลดค่าเงินบาทในภาษาที่ทุกคนเข้าใจ โดย เสรี ทรัพย์เจริญ นิตยสารผู้จัดการ พฤศจิกายน 2527" (in Thai). November 1984.
  7. วิวัฒนาการธนบัตรไทย (Evolution of Thai Banknotes) โดย ธนาคารแห่งประเทศไทย (Bank of Thailand) ธันวาคม 2530|language=Thai |date=December 1987
  8. de Campos, J. J. (1941). "The Origin of the Tical" (PDF). Journal of the Siam Society. Siam Heritage Trust. JSS Vol. 33.2c. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 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.
  9. "Banknotes, Series 1". Banknotes > History and Series of Banknotes >. Bank of Thailand. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. ...each denomination had many types which were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, England.....
  10. "1835 Rama III unadopted design copper coin "Lotus - MuangThai"".
  11. เงินตรา (in Thai). Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  12. อันซีน "พิพิธภัณฑ์มีชีวิต ธนบัตรมีเรื่องราว" แห่งเดียวในประเทศไทย (Unseen living museum - Banknotes have stories from the unique museum in Thailand). Matichon (in Thai). Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  13. เบี้ย บาท กษาปณ์แบงค์. (Cowrie, Baht, Coins, and Bank) โดย นวรัตน์ เลขะกุล. (Nawarat Lekhakum), สำนักพิมพ์สารคดี (Sarakhadee Press) 2552|language=Thai |date=2009
  14. Eliot, Joshua. Thailand Handbook. 2003 Footprint Travel Guides page 32.
  15. Gibbs, William T. (Feb 11, 2002). "Thai bahts causing euro problems - 10-baht coins work in place of 2-euro coins in machines". Coin World. Amos Press. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009.
  17. Wararat; Sumit (Feb 26, 2012). "Thai Banknote Evolution". Bank of Thailand. By Royal Command, the Siamese Currency Notes Act, R.E. 121 was promulgated on June 24, 1902.
  18. "Banknotes, Series 1". Bank of Thailand. Feb 26, 2012. The design was printed only on one side; so the note was called 'Uniface banknote'. There were 7 denominations....
  19. "Banknotes, Series 2". Bank of Thailand. Feb 26, 2012. on the back side was the picture of the Royal Ploughing Ceremony. This type of banknote was called "Ploughing Ceremony Note".
  20. Duncan Stearn (27 June – 3 July 2003). "Rise of state-sponsored militarism and socialism". Pattaya Mail. Pattaya: Pattaya Mail Publishing Co. XI (26). Retrieved 18 Feb 2012. Does Japan dominate Siam?" I asked a leading Englishman in Bangkok. He laughed quietly: "Have you any Siamese money?" he asked. I drew out a five-ticul note (about 2 dollars 50c). "Read what is printed at the foot of the note", he commanded. I read, "Thomas de la Rue and Co., London". With calm confidence he said: "As long as the word 'London' stands on that Siamese bill, it is not Japan but another little island which will have the larger say in the Kingdom of Siam.
  21. "New banknotes coming in December". The Nation. 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-28. new Thai banknote will circulate in December 2010
  22. Thailand to issue new note family in December 2010
  23. 1 2 3 "The Introduction of Two Commemorative Banknotes on the Auspicious Occasions of Her Majesty the Queen's 80th Birthday Anniversary 12 August 2012 and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn's 5th Cycle Birthday Anniversary" (PDF). Press release no. 36/2012. Bank of Thailand. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  24. Wararat, service manager. "Reproduction of Thai banknotes". Bank of Thailand. Retrieved 27 Nov 2011. 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.
  25. "ธปท.เปิดตัวแบงก์ 50 ใหม่ เริ่มใช้ 18 ม.ค.-ปลอมยาก!". ASTV Manager Daily. Retrieved 12 Jan 2012.
  26. "ธปท.ออกใช้ธนบัตรชนิดราคา 20บาท แบบใหม่". Than Setthakij. Retrieved 28 Mar 2013.
  27. Press release announcing the issuance of the Series 16 100 baht banknote Bank of Thailand ( Retrieved on 2015-02-24.
  28. Press release announcing the issuance of the Series 16 500 baht banknote Bank of Thailand ( Retrieved on 2014-05-08.
  29. Press release announcing the issuance of the Series 16 1,000 baht banknote Bank of Thailand ( Retrieved on 2015-08-18.
  30. Thailand new 100-baht commemorative note confirmed. Banknote News. April 3, 2015. Retrieved on 2015-04-09.
  31. Thailand new 70-baht commemorative note reported for 09.06.2016 introduction May 30, 2016. Retrieved on 2016-05-30.
  32. The Bank of Thailand to Launch Commemorative Banknote in the Seventieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne 9th June 2016 Bank of Thailand ( Retrieved on 2016-05-30.
  33. "Banknote to commemorate King's 70-year reign". Bangkok Post. 2016-05-30. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  34. The Bank of Thailand to Launch Commemorative Banknote in the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of Her Majesty the Queen's 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 12th August 2016 Bank of Thailand ( Retrieved on 2016-08-01.
  35. Thailand new 500-baht commemorative note (B187) reported August 1, 2016. Retrieved on 2016-08-01.
  36. "A sure bet or fool's gold?", Bangkok Post 2010-01-10
  37. "UPDATE 1-Onshore and offshore Thai baht converge, seen". Reuters. 3 March 2008.
  • 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.; 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. 
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