February 28, 2009

More changes for Thai coins

It turns out that the new two-baht coin is only one of several changes to Thailand's circulating currency. On February 2, the Treasury Department announced changes to a number of coins. The two-baht coin just happened to be the first one released.

The most visible of the other changes (even though these coins are mostly obsolete) is that the 25- and 50-satang coins are now made with copper-clad iron instead of aluminum bronze. The new color looks something like an American penny:

Other changes are less noticeable. The one-baht coin will switch from cupronickel to nickel-clad iron. The five-baht coins will be a hair less thick, and thus will drop in mass from 7.5 to 6.0 grams. The one-, five- and ten-satang coins are also getting minor tweaks, but I'm not even sure why those are still minted at all.

And as with the two-baht coin, it appears that the portrait of the king will be updated on all coins.

I noticed a poster at 7-Eleven that explains the changes. I took a crappy picture with my phone. It's too bad they don't distribute this nice poster as a file on the actual treasury website.


  1. These changes, particularly the change in weight for the 5 baht coin, must cause big headaches for the vending-machine manufacturers.

  2. Villages in Yasothon are turning to coin-operated fuel dispensing machines as an alternative to selling emergency top-ups in glass whiskey bottles. Looks like they'll have to be hitting the bottle again. BTW, the treasury did the same thing back when coin-operated telephones first came out. Seems like they have it in for vending machines. T.I.T.

  3. My first thought at WiseKwai's comment was that coin-operated vending machines aren't really that prevalent here, though you see them in the big convention centers and such.

    But then after reading R's comment, I realized that pay phones are coin operated. Duh.

    They say public pay phones are headed for demise, too, but I wonder if TOT can afford the cost of changing all its phones everywhere. My sister-in-law just bought a condo, and the TOT guy who came to install the phone line was complaining that the company won't reimburse his travel expenses to go on-site anymore, and that the company is about to go under. บริษัทจะเจ๊ง is the phrase he used.