Coin of the Realm

The Thai Baht used to be divided into 100 Satangs. One Satang is worth about 0.014 of a British penny ā€“ not a lot. In theory there are 1, 5 and 10 Satang coins, but I’ve never seen one. The smallest coin now encountered is worth 25
Satang. There’s a 50 Satang coin, too. Both are pretty well unusable. The vast majority of shops won’t accept them. Only Tesco-Lotus and a chain of department stores in Bangkok seem to use them. Anyway, the government has finally decided to phase them out; they were costing more to manufacture than their worth. Bizarrely, however, they have also announced that they are going to phase out the 1 Baht coin, too, leaving the 2 Baht coin the smallest. In
future, nothing can cost 1 or 3 Baht. (There’ll still be a 5 Baht coin, so 5, 7 and 9 Baht will be possible. However, I suspect shopkeepers will round every price up to the nearest even number, making things just that little bit more expensive.)

The 2 Baht coin rather elusive. I’ve only ever seen a handful of them. Of course, that could be because they are almost identical in size and colour to the 1 Baht coin. (The 1 Baht coin is 20 mm in diameter; the 2 Baht coin 21.75 mm.) More than once I’ve handed over a 2 Baht coin not realising it wasn’t a one. The government, realising the problem, has announced that it will change the colour of the 2 Baht coin from nickel to bronze. Quite how the problem wasn’t anticipated when the 2 Baht coin was first minted in 2005, I’m not sure. Still, better late than never.

There are images of these coins at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_baht

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