Paper Money

The Bank of Thailand confirms error notes with mismatched numbers

Earlier Bank of Thailand 10-baht notes with mismatched serial numbers include the ones shown here, offered at auction in August.

Images courtesy of Jan Aamlid and EURSEREE Auctions.

Officials of the Bank of Thailand admitted on Sept. 29 that there was a mismatch in the Thai and English numerals in the serial numbers of a lot of 20-baht bank notes.

The bank’s deputy governor, Wachira Aromdee, said the lot, which was printed by De La Rue International Limited, has different Thai and English numerals in the serial numbers and that after the discrepancy was discovered, it ordered a halt to the release of the remaining notes to commercial banks. The central bank is now retrieving the 20-baht notes from the lot already in circulation.

Wachira said the public did not need to panic as the notes with the printing error could be used as normal cash, and perhaps naively added that if anyone finds notes with the serial number discrepancy, they could exchange them at commercial banks or financial institutions with no charge.

She attributed the notes escaping detection under the normal process to the unusual nature of the error and said De La Rue pledged to cooperate with the central bank to investigate the cause to prevent similar occurrences in the future. She said that De La Rue would work with the central bank to address the issue.

This is not the first time such an error has occurred. In fact, says dealer Jan Aamlid, who lives in the Thai city of Pattaya, and whose firm, House of Coins Ltd., specializes in the coins, medals, and paper money of Scandinavia and Thailand, says it has happened before.

Four examples of mismatched 10-baht notes with Thai numerals not matching the Arabic ones and produced by De La Rue were offered in Eurseree auction number 61 on Aug. 13 and 14 this year in Bangkok. A two-piece lot, a pair of error mismatched number notes with one note having the Arabic number W600 888056 and the Thai number W603 888034 and second one with Arabic number W600 888065 and Thai number W603 888034, both Uncirculated, sold for 92,000 baht (or $2,443) after opening at 60,000 baht. Another mismatch in Very Fine condition with Arabic number W536 700000 and Thai number W536 600000 sold for its opening price of 40,000 baht ($1,062). The fourth error, in Uncirculated condition, with Arabic number W600 888020 and Thai number W603 888022 opened at 20,000 baht but did not sell.

Aamlid recently visited the Note Printing Works, Bank of Thailand. He says he was told the polymer for the new 20-baht note was produced in Australia and the printing was done in Thailand. “From this it seems like Thomas de la Rue is also printing the new polymer 20 Baht banknote. During the years this mistake has happened at several occasions, and they are highly collectible,” but he adds, “I do not believe the value of the mismatching new 20 Baht polymer banknotes found in circulation will sell for as much as the ones in August.”

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