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Cambodia Currency

My Cambodian collection of currency .......

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During the ninth and tenth centuries, Cambodia imported Pyu and Mon coins from Burma and Thailand. Coins were not produced in Cambodia until the sixteenth century, and in the 1850s Ang Duong, king of Cambodia (1841-1859) issued the first machine-made coins, denominated in baht and att, following Thailand's monetary system.

Cambodia was an independent kingdom until it became a French protectorate in 1863 and was incorporated into French Indochina in 1885. On September 26, 1940, the Japanese occupied French Indochina, but left the Vichy French administration in place since nominally Vichy France was allied with Japan. On November 8, 1949 Cambodia became an autonomous state in the French Union, and on November 9, 1953 it became independent as a monarchy under Prince Sihanouk.

Cambodia issued its own coins before becoming part of French Indochina in 1863, using the Tical as in Thailand. The Tical was divisible into 8 Fuang and 64 Att. In 1884, the Piastre de Commerce was introduced, equal in value to the Mexican Trade Dollar (24.4935 grams of silver) or about 5.37 French Francs. On July 8, 1895, Piastre coins of 24.3 grams were introduced and on July 8, 1895, the import of Mexican Trade Dollars was prohibited. Piastre coins were also issued in French Cochinchina and Tonkin. On March 31, 1930, the exchange rate between the French Indochina Piastre and French Franc was fixed at 10 to 1.

The Banque de l'Indochine was established by a decree of January 21, 1875. A branch was established in Phnom Penh, which became the note-issuing bank for all of Indochina from February 22, 1891 to December 31, 1951. During the Second World War, French Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) and Thailand, though occupied by Japanese troops, did not have Japanese occupation currency; rather, they paid a kind of ransom by creating domestic currency and giving it to Japan to pay for local expenses. The Piastre was divisible into 100 Cents.

After the war, France initially revalued the Piastre to equal 17 French Francs, but the Piastre was devalued back to its old level of 10 French Francs on May 11, 1953. On December 31, 1951 the exclusivie privilege of banknote issue was transferred to the Institut d'Emission des Etats du Cambodge, du Laos et du Viet-Nam, which also had its headquarters in Phnom Penh. Although separate notes were issued for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the notes were legal tender in all three states.

Upon gaining its independence, Cambodia issued the Riel (KHO) on January 1, 1955. The Riel is divisible into 100 Sen, and was issued at par with the Piastre which was completely replaced by September 29, 1955. The Riel was used in Cambodia until 1975 when the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, eliminated all money, and introduced a barter economy. The Khmer Rouge had contracted for banknotes showing the Khmer Rouge defending the country against Capitalists, but they were never issued.

After the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1979 and the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, Vietnamese, Thai and other foreign currencies also circulated between January 1978 and March 31, 1980. On April 1, 1980, a new Riel (KHR), divisible into 10 Kak and 100 Su, was introduced. Banknotes were issued by the Banque Nationale du Cambodge from 1955 until 1975, by the Bank of Kampuchea in 1975, by the State Bank of Democratic Kampuchea from 1979 until 1990, and by the People's National Bank of Cambodia from 1990 until today.

Here is a note printed in 1972 valued at 1 Riel. The note is grayish green on multicolored underprint. The obverse features boat at the dock in Phnom-Penh (the capital and largest city of Cambodia). The reverse depicts a royal Palance throne room. This note carries signature 12.

  • Krause# Pick-P-4c
Cambodia 1 Riel 1972 obverse P-4c Cambodia 1 Riel 1972 reverse P-4c
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 50 Riels note printed between 1956 and 1975. The note is blue and orange on the obverse and blue and brown ont he reverse. The obverse depicts fishermen fishing from boats with large nets in Lake Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. The reverse features Angor Wat, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The note has a watermark featuring Buddha.

  • Krause# Pick-P-7d
50 Riels 1956-1975 obverse P-7d 50 Riels 1956-1975 reverse P-7d
Obverse Reverse

This note, printed between 1957 and 1975, is valued at 100 Riels. The note is brown and green on multicolored underprint. The obverse features the Statue of Lokesvara (Smiling Lokesvara Bodhisattva Image Adorning the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia). The reverse shows a long boat with rowers. The note has a watermakr featuring Buddha.

  • Krause# Pick-8c
100 Riels 1957-1975 obverse P-8c 100 Riels 1957-1975 reverse P-8c
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 5 Riels note from 1972. The note is red on multicolored underprint. The obverse features the Bayon stone 4 faces of Avalokitesvara. Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. The reverse depicts the royal palace entrance of Chanchhaya (is a complex of buildings which are the royal abode of the Kingdom of Cambodia). This note has a watermark of Buddha and carries signature 12.

  • Krause# Pick-10c
Cambodia 5 Riels 1972 obverse P-10c Cambodia 5 Riels 1972 reverse P-10c
Obverse Reverse

This note, printed between 1973and 1975, is valued at 500 Riels. The note is green and black on multicolored underprint. The obverse features a girl carrying a water vessel on her head. The reverse depicts a rice paddy scene. The note has a watermark of a mans head.

  • Krause# Pick-16a
500 Riels 1973-1975 obverse P-16a 500 Riels 1973-1975 reverse P-16a
Obverse Reverse

This 500 Riels note was printed in 1975. Thenote is green and black on multicolored underprint. The obverse features a local woman with a vessel atop her head in the center and an example of some local stonework to the right. The reverse depics workers in a rice paddy. There is a watermark on this note depicting a man's head. This note has signature 15.

  • Krause# Pick-16b
Cambodia 500 Riels ND (1973-75) obverse P-16b Cambodia 500 Riels ND (1973-75) reverse P-16b
Obverse Reverse

State Bank of Democratic Kampuchea

The following notes, P-25 though P-32 were all issued on March 20th 1980. They were issued by the Vietnamese backed regime of Heng Samrin which overthrew Pol Pot in 1979.

Heng was born in Prey Veng province, Cambodia. He became a member of the Khmer Rouge communist movement led by Pol Pot, and became a political commisar and army division commander when the Khmer Rouge took over the government in 1975. In 1978, he defected from the Khmer Rouge, which was backed by China, and fled to Vietnam. Later that year, Heng returned to Cambodia, leading a rebellion which was backed by Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

Here is a note valued at .1 or 1/10th of a Riel, or 1 Kak, and dated 1979. The note is olive-green on light blue underprint. The obverse features the national coat of arms in the center. The reverse depicts a group of water buffalos.

  • Krause# Pick-25a
1/10th Riel 1979 obverse P-25a 1/10th Riel 1979 reverse P-25a
Obverse Reverse

This 1979 dated note is valued at 1/5th or .2 Riel, or 2 Kak. The note is grayish green on tan underprint. The obverse shows the national coat fo arms in the center. The reverse depicts a rice field with workers.

  • Krause# Pick-26a
1/5th Riel 1979 obverse P-26a 1/5th Riel 1979 reverse P-26a
Obverse Reverse

This note is dated 1979 and valued at 1/2 Riel, or 5 Kak. The note is red-orange on tana nd gray underprint. The obverse depicts the national coat of arms to the left and a passenger train to the right. The reverse shows fishermen employing nets to catch fish.

  • Krause# Pick-27a
1/2 Riel 1979 obverse P-27a 1/2 Riel 1979 reverse P-27a
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 1 Riel note dated 1979. The note is brown on yellow and multicolored underprint. The obverse depicts the coat of amrs amid an intricate design. The reverse depicts a rice field with some women harvesting the crop.

  • Krause# Pick-28a
1 Riel 1979 obverse P-28a 1 Riel 1979 reverse P-28a
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 1979 note valued at 50 Riel. The note is deep red on yellow-green and multicolored underprint. The obverse features the coat of arms to the left and on the right the Bayon Stone Head (which is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII). The reverse depicts Angkor Wat - Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. This note has a watermark of the coat of arms.

  • Krause# Pick-32a
50 Riel 1979 obverse P-32a 50 Riel 1979 reverse P-32a
Obverse Reverse

This 5 Riels note is dated 1987. The note is red and brown on light yellow and light green underprint. The obverse features 4 Cambodian people on the left, each representing a different occupation, and the national coat of arms to the right. The reverse is red on pale yellow underprint and depicts the Independence Monument from France. The monument is now known as Victory monument. Built in 1958 following the country's independence from France, it was designed by the influential Cambodian modern architect Vann Molyvann.

  • Krause# Pick-33
Cambodia 5 Riels 1987 obverse P-33 Cambodia 5 Riels 1987 reverse P-33
   

This note is dated 1987 and valued at 10 Riels. The note is green on light blue and multicolored underprint. The obverse features workers harvesting fruit to the right, and the national coat of arms to the left. The reverse is deep green and lilac on light blue unerprint and depicts a local school.

  • Krause# Pick-34
Cambodia 10 Riels 1987 obverse P-34 Cambodia 10 Riels 1987 reverse P-34
   

Peoples National Bank of Cambodia

This 50 Riel note is dated 1992.The note is dull brown on multicolored underprint. The obverse features a male portrait to the right and the coat of arms in the center. The reverse depicts ship at the docks. The note has a watermark of stylized lotus flowers.

  • Krause# Pick-35a
50 Riel 1992 obverse P-35a 50 Riel 1992 reverse P-35a
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 200 Riel note dated 1992. The note is dull olive-green and tan on multicolored underprint. The obverse shows a river and its floodgates. The reverse depicts a Bayon sculpture in Angkor Wat (which has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag). The note has a watermark of stylized lotus flowers.

  • Krause# Pick-37a
200 Riel 1992 obverse P-37a 200 Riel 1992 reverse P-37a
Obverse Reverse

National Bank of Cambodia

This 200 Riels note is dated 1995. The note is dark olive-green and brown on multicolored underprint. The obverse features a river with floodgates to the left, and the national coat of arms to the right. The reverse depicts a Bayon sculpture in Angkor Wat in the center. The note has a watermark depicting stytlized lotus flowers.

  • Krause# Pick-42a
Cambodia 200 Riels 1995 obverse P-42a Cambodia 200 Riels 1995 reverse P-42a
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 50 Riel note, dated 2002. The note is dark brown and tan on multicolor underprint. The obverse shows the Preah Vihear Temple (a Khmer temple situated atop Pey Tadi, a 525-metre (1,720 ft) cliff in the Dângrek Mountains in the Preah Vihear Province of Cambodia and near the border of Amphoe Kantharalak, Sisaket Province in northeastern Thailand). The reverse shows a dam. This note carries the signatures of Chea Chanto ('Le Gouverneur') and Tieng Seng ('Le Caisser General').

  • Krause# Pick-52a
50 Riels 2002 obverse P-52a 50 Riels 2002 reverse P-52a
Obverse Reverse

This is a 100 Riel note dated 2001. The note is purple, brown and green. The obverse features the Independance Monument (in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 following the country's independence from France) to the right and a sculpture from Naga tot he left. The reverse depicts a school with its students. This note has signature #17.

  • Krause# Pick-53a
  • Signature: Chea Chanto / Tieng Seng
100 Riel 2001 obverse P-53a 100 Riel 2001 reverse P-53a
Obverse Reverse

Here is a 2004 dated note valued at 500 Riels. The note is red and purple on multicolored underprint. The obverse features the Angkor Wat temple complex in the center and naga heads scultpure to the right of the serial. The reverse depicts a bridge spanning the Mekong river at Kampong Cham. A watermark for this note depicts the Baylon sculpture in Angkor Wat.

  • Krause# Pick-54b
Cambodia 500 Riels 2004 obverse P-54b Cambodia 500 Riels 2004 reverse P-54b
Obverse Reverse


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