the official currency of the beautiful land of
smiles—Thailand. The currency was introduced by
Thailand’s former ruler, King Chulalongkorn the
Great, during his reign in 1897. Thailand Baht was
formerly known as “tical”, which is actually a unit
of measurement for weight.
It was just adapted to
monetary use because in the olden days,
denominations for gold and silver coins were
determined by their weight.
example, one tical (approx. 15 grams or so) was
equivalent to one baht; one “gourd” (60 grams) was
equivalent to 4 baht or what they call tamleung; one
“catty” (1200 grams) of silver equaled
to 80 baht or 20 tamleung, which was further grouped
in a bigger denomination called “chang”;
baht, or 80 chang, which measured 96 kg of silver,
was called one “hap”.Before
1897, one baht was equivalent to eight (8) fuang.
Other smaller denominations were: mayon, which is ½
baht; salung, quarter baht; sik, ½ fuang; and py or
sio, quarter fuang.
further divided in much smaller denominations and
they are: ath or att; solot; and att.
wasn’t until Prince Mahisorn, the Father of Thai
Banking, devised a decimal system for financial use
did Baht was officially divided into 100 of what is
now known as “satang”.
they say, old habits die hard. 25 satang, or ¼ baht,
is still called “salung” today by Thai locals.
the 1800s, Thai people didn’t have the means for the
production of modern coins.
They only used
what they call then “bullet coins”, which were made out of
very short silver bars bent to form a circle like a seal
coins were only introduced in Thailand during the
1860s. The early coins were struck in gold, tin and
copper and only in small denominations such as sik,
fuang and salung.
also only in 1897 when the Thai government started
minting coins in baht denominations. The metals
aluminum, bronze, copper, nickel, cupronickel, and
zinc were also subsequently introduced for coinage,
sometimes in combinations, in the succeeding years.
value of Thailand Baht rose and fell in relation
with the value of silver over the years. It was at
its best from 1984 to 1997 when it traded at 25 Baht
for one U.S. dollar.
After which, it
went down to its lowest at 56 Baht for one U.S. dollar in
1998. But it quickly bounced back and is enjoying around 30
Baht for every U.S. dollar rate until today.