Friday, August 5, 2011

BANKNOTES OF BURMA

(Chapter 1 and 2)


Introduction

Chapter 1. Background
(a) A Brief Modern History of Burma
(b) Monetary History of Burma

Chapter  2. British Colonial Period (1824-1942)
(a) Government of India banknotes for Burma
i. Uniface series
ii. King Portrait series
(b) Banknotes following Burma’s separation from India 
i. Provisional issued banknotes
ii. Reserve Bank of India banknotes

Chapter  3. Japanese Occupation and British Military Administration Period (1942-1947)
(a) Banknotes of the Japanese Government
(b) Banknotes of the Burma State Government
(c) Banknotes for the Military Administration
(d) Banknotes of the Burma Currency Board
i. Provisional issued banknotes
ii. Overprinted banknotes of India 
iii. Burma Currency Board banknotes

Chapter  4. Post Burma’s Independence Period (1948-1988)
(a) The Government of Burma banknotes
(b) The Government of Union of Burma banknotes
(c) The Union Bank of Burma banknotes
(d) The Peoples Bank of Burma banknotes
(e) Banknotes of  the “Shan State Government”
(f) The Union of Burma Bank banknotes
(g) Unusual denomination banknotes of the Union of Burma Bank

Conclusion

Appendix
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INTRODUCTION
I never get tired of looking at the illustrations, images, designs and colors of banknotes. I see the rich cultures, dignity and quality of different societies by looking at their banknotes. Studying these diverse banknotes arouses my interest in their countryís background and political history. I discovered the most fascinating history and extraordinary beauty of designs by looking through its banknotes. 
When I was young, I saw that my parents rolled the large size paper money and put it inside cans. There was no bank in our village and they had never experienced putting money in a bank. These banknotes were as beautiful as paintings for me. Since I like drawing, I copied the scenes of Burma, peacock and the portrait of General Aung San from these banknotes many times. Once, I even drew an entire banknote and colored it. When I showed it to my friends, they liked it very much and I was so happy to be praised by friends and teachers.
One day when I returned home from school, I found my mother crying. I was told that all the money my parents put inside the cans would no longer be allowed to be used as currency. These banknotes, which were my favorite paintings, and this money that my parents had saved for a novitiate ceremony of their first son (me), was demonetized. It was 1964. As a consequence my parents could never afford the highly religious donation ceremony in their lifetime. 
Nevertheless, the designs and illustrations of the banknotes still interested me and the portrait of General Aung San became even more meaningful to me. Later, unusual denomination banknotes were issued and the portrait of General Aung San was replaced with new leaders. 
On September 5, 1987, the Government annnounced that banknotes in denominations of 25, 35 and 75 were demonetized. That demonetization hurt all the Burmese people, especially poor civilians. My grandmother still kept her valueless 25-kyat notes. She thought that one day these notes would be revalued. 
After a long period of suffering economic hardship, unfair and unjust treatment by the rulers, anti-government demonstrations by the people broke out in 1988. The government’s response to their requests for political and economic reforms was to arrest, torture and kill thousands of innocent civilians. A group of army generals seized power of the country on September 18, 1988. 
I love Burma as my mother land. I love all things about Burma and my admiration for its banknotes continues to grow. When doing research on the banknotes of Burma, I found it very challenging to locate facts, information and actual banknotes from the past.
In this book I have tried to present as much information as possible and to include images of Burma’s banknotes. Experts and numismatic specialists may have additional information and facts which I haven’t yet covered. I would appreciate any suggestions and advice towards providing more complete knowledge about the banknotes of Burma.

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CHAPTER  I

(A) A BRIEF MODERN HISTORY OF BURMA

British and Lower Burma (1824-1852)

In the first Anglo-Burmese war of 1824-1826, the East India Company annexed the Burmese provinces of Arakan and Tenasserim. They were attached to British India. In the “Treaty of Yandaboo”, signed on February 26, 1826, the Burmese King ceded these territories. In the second Anglo-Burmese war of 1852, the East India Company Governor General Lord Dalhousie declared lower Burma annexed on December 20, 1852. The administrative center was established at Rangoon. (The Burmese King did not sign any treaty recognizing the British annexation). In 1853 King Mindon Min (1852-1878) ascended to the throne; he established a new capital at Mandalay, and modernized the administration of the country. In 1862, Britain and Upper Burma established diplomatic relations. In 1867 a treaty was signed regulating trade and diplomatic relations with Upper Burma.
Under Mindon Min’s successor King Thibaw, Anglo-Burmese relations deteriorated. The British resident in Mandalay was withdrawn. The third Anglo-Burmese war of 1885 was a very short affair and the whole of upper Burma became nominally under British rule. 

World War II: Burma

Burma was detached from British India in April 1937 a separate administrative unit was formed, with Rangoon as a capital. The country was given political autonomy, and a constitution, providing a representative assembly and self-government. During this period, historic tensions between the different communities were dangerously inflamed by the divided rule separations of the British colonial government. Students, workers, and Buddhist monks kept up the nationalist agitation, clearly demonstrating that British rule was not acceptable to the people of Burma. In 1940, Aung San and thirty young Burmese (thirty comrades) went to Japan and received military training to oppose British rule. 
In December 1941, Japan demanded Thailand grant free passage for it’s troops, and this was granted enabling the Burma Army and the Japanese to march into Burma to drive out the British. The British left Burma in 1942. General Aung San became a prominent leader for independence. The Japanese installed a Burmese puppet government headed by Dr. Ba Maw. In April 1945 the British, under the command of Lord Mountbatten, launched an offensive and expelled the Japanese from most of Burma except the Tenasserim province.

Burma (1947-1962)

In a 1944-1945 campaign, Burma was liberated from the Japanese, and the country was placed under a British Military Administration. In 1947 independence fighter and prominent political leader General Aung San and his cabinet were assassinated by a political rival. In 1948, Burma gained her independence and a government was formed under Prime Minister U Nu. In domestic policy, U Nu promoted the elevation of Buddhism to state religion, as well as regional autonomy for the outlying areas. In 1958 the ruling party split and General Ne Win formed a caretaker government. Even though U Nu won the 1960 elections, General Ne Win ousted him in a 1962 coup d’etat.
Burma (1962-1988)

In 1962 General Ne Win ousted the democratically elected administration headed by U Nu. The Ne Win administration reduced Burma’s ties to the outside world and pursued the Burmese Way to Socialism. Nationalization of economic enterprises took effect without compensation and a “one party state” was established in 1964. A new constitution went into force that declared Burma a socialist state in 1974. After the economic hardships and numerous currency demonetizations, the entire nation massively demonstrated against the military controlled government. One party system, the “Burmese Way to Socialism” had ended and the military took power over the country again in 1988.


(B) MONETARY HISTORY OF BURMA

Archaeological evidence has shown that the people of Burma started using coins as money circa 500 BC. The Pyu, the Mon and the Arakan are the main cultures which coins reflected. As Burma is borderd by India, the social, culture and economy life styles of Burma are related to Indians. Images and information on coins reflect the social and culture life of those days. Kings were key persons who controled the monetary system. Officially there was no bank system and no banknotes were issued at that time. 
In 1852, Mindon, the next to the last king of Burma, established the Royal Mint in Mandalay. Silver coins were minted in denominations of 1 pe, 1 mu (2 pe), 1 mat (4 pe), 5 mu (10 pe) and 1 kyat, with gold 1 pe and 1 mu. The obverses bore the Royal Peacock Seal, from which the coins got their name. The reverses contained the denomination and mint date (in the Burmese era, which starts from A.D. 638). 
In the 1860s and 1870s, lead coins were issued for 1/8 and 1/4 pya, with copper, brass, tin and iron 1/4 pe (1 pya) and copper 2 pya. Gold coins were issued in 1866 for 1 pe, 2 1/2 mu and 1 kyat, with 5 mu issued in 1878. In 1952, coins were introduced for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 pya and 1 kyat. 1 pya coins were last minted in 1966, with the 5 pya last minted in 1987.
The kyat was a denomination of both silver and gold coinages in Burma until 1889. It was divided into 20 pe, each of 4 pya, with the mu and mat worth 2 and 4 pe, respectively. Nominally, 16 silver kyat equal 1 gold kyat. The silver kyat was equivalent to the Indian rupee, which replaced the kyat after Burma was occupied by the British. 
No paper money was issued before the Indian banknotes were used at the time of the British invasion. As part of the British Empire, Burma used Indian silver rupees until April 1, 1937, when it issued the first Burmese rupee. The Burma State Bank issued notes for 1, 5, 10 and 100 rupees in 1944, followed by another issue of 100 rupees notes in 1945. The Burmese rupee remained at par with the Indian rupee until World War II. During Japanese occupation, Malayan military dollars were used as the currency, but the country reverted  back to rupees as soon as the war ended. 
Six different banknote issuer names were used since Burma has issued its own banknotes (not included the current name).
1. “Burma State Bank” issued 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat notes in 1944-45.
2. After Burma gained independence in 1948, the title of the banknote issuer had changed to “Government of Burma.” Only 1 rupee and 5 rupees notes were issued under that name. 
3. In 1949, the banknote’s name changed to “Government of the Union of Burma.” Only 10 rupees and 100 rupees banknotes were introduced under that banknote issuer’s name.
4. In 1952, “Union Bank of Burma” took the responsibility of banknote issuing. And the 1, 5, 10, 100 rupees banknotes were issued. Later these “rupees” notes were replaced with “kyat” but the designs did not change. In 1958, the peacock image from these banknotes was replaced with Aung San, and the new 20 and 50 kyats notes were introduced. 
On February 27, 1963, the Revolutionary Council lead by Gen. Ne Win announced an order and nationalized the 31 banks (16 foreign banks and 15 banks of Burmese natioinalities.) 
Kyat notes have been demonetized on a number of occasions with the ostensible aim of fighting black marketing, starting with the demonetization of 50 and 100 kyat notes on May 15, 1964. This was the first of several demonetizations, ostensible carried out with the aim of fighting black marketeering. 
5. Three years after the “Burmese Way to Socialism” was established, the “Peoples Bank of Burma” took over note production in 1965 with an issue of 1, 5, 10 and 20 kyat notes.
6. In 1972, the “Union of Burma Bank” resumed note production, with notes introduced between 1972 and 1979 for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 kyats. 
On November 3, 1985, the 50 and 100 kyat notes were again demonetized and replaced with new kyat notes in the unusual denominations of 25, 35 and 75 kyats. Smaller denominations remained legal tender and each family was, in theory, given up to 5000 kyat as compensation.
Only two years later, on September 5, 1987, the government issued an order signed by Sein Lwin, the secretary of the state cuncil, the kyats 25, 35 and 75 banknotes were demonetized without compensation  that wiping out 80% of the country’s circulation. Banknotes 15, 45 and 90-kyats were introduced on September 22, 1987. The ensueing economic disturbances led to serious demonstrations and eventually ended up with a coup in 1988 by the army.
A new series of notes was introduced in 1989 following the change of the country’s name to Myanmar, and the name of the banknote issuer became “Central Bank of Myanmar.” This time, the old notes were not demonetized, but simply allowed to fall into disuse through inflation as well as wear and tear. 
The military dictator General Ne Win appeared to be jealous of the people’s respected national leaders especially Aung San, and it is believed that he ordered the avoidance of the hero on the late issued banknotes. Consequently, all banknotes containing representations of Aung San, widely considered the founder of modern Burma, were modified with images of landmarks in Rangoon and depictions of traditional Burmese life.

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CHAPTER  II

British Colonial Period (1824-1942)

Map of India and Burma

A.  BANKNOTES OF INDIA FOR BURMA (1824-1937)

Prior to annexation by the British Empire Burma had no banking business or banknotes. Following the three Anglo-Burmese annexations, Burma was incorporated into the British empire, not as an independent new colony but as a province of India. Banknotes of India were used in Burma following the British occupation of lower Burma in 1824. 
The Indian monetary unit is the “rupee.” Rupee derives from the Sanskrit word ‘rupyakam’ meaning  ‘silver coin.’
The concept of issuing paper money in India was proposed in 1859 by Sir James Wilson, and adopted by his successor Samuel Laving in 1861. The first notes with payment guaranteed by the government were introduced through the Indian Paper Money act of 1861.  
Prior to 1862 banknotes of India had been issued by the Presidency Banks of Bengal, Bombay and Madras. The Presidency Bank of Bengal opened branches in Rangoon in 1861, in Moulmein in 1865 and in Akyab in 1866. The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China had branches at Rangoon in 1862-63. 
After the Indian Paper Money Act was passed, the issuing of Banknotes in India was taken over by the Government of India on March 1, 1862. 
In the original proposal for paper money the whole area was divided into areas called circles:  M for Madras, A for Cawnpore, K for Karachi, B for Bombay, R for Rangoon, C for Calcutta, and L for Lahore, and notes were printed in each circle. Local languages were added to the language panel of each circle’s issued notes. The circles had multiple sub-circles under them. These were designated areas for the circulation of notes, those circulated in one circle not being available in another. 

1. UNIFACE series

 (a) Victoria Portrait Series : 

These notes were the first issued notes from the Government of India and they bear the Portrait of Queen Victoria on the top left corner. These notes were signed by Lord Canning, Viceroy of India and Samuel Laving, Finance Minister. These were “unifaced” notes, carried two language panels and were printed on hand-moulded paper manufactured at the Laverstock Paper Mills (Portals) and were printed in London. The security features incorporated the watermark GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, RUPEES, two signatures and wavy lines), the printed signature and the registration of the notes. These Victoria notes are denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 & 1000 rupees. 

 (b) Green Underprint Series : 

The Victoria Portrait series were soon being forged in various part of the country. They had to be withdrawn in the wake of a spate of forgeries and replaced by the unifaced ‘Underprint Series’ which were introduced in 1867. Thus the Underprint notes came into existence. These notes had a better security feature, a Green Underprint denoting the denomination, use of guilloche designs and alterations in the quality of the paper and the watermark. The watermark now incorporated a code which denoted the date of manufacture of the paper. Initially, notes were legally encashable only in the Currency Circle in which they were issued. In deference to public demand, notes in the denomination of Rupees Five were introduced. These green underprint notes are denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 & 10000 rupees. 

In the early twentieth century it was realized that paper money was becoming more popular and the rigidity that currency was only cashable within one circle was abandoned to enable encashment in all areas. The notes were changed to include promise to pay the bearer at any office of issue”.  Other changes included changing the underprint to red, increasing the number of language panels to eight and increasing the number of serial numbers to four. (Except in five rupees notes which was increased to 3 serial numbers).

(c) Red Underprint Series : 

Paper money was being used a lot now and the forgery problem was solved. But now people travelling in various parts of the country were having problem due to the issuing circle requirement. So, to solve this problem, the government removed the concept of issuing circles in the Red Underprint notes. The notes now could be used in any part of the country. Between 1903 an 1911, notes of denomination 5, 10, 50 and 100 were “universalized”, i.e. were legally uncashable outside the Currency Circle of Issue. This was done in a gradual manner; the low denominations were universalized first, whereas the higher denominations of 100 and upwards were universalized much later. However, the names of the issuing circles were retained in these notes, in full or as initials. This series remained largely unchanged till the introduction of the “King’s Portrait” series which commenced in 1923. 

4-LANGUAGE PANELS
Burmese          Urdu
Tamil         Chinese

8-LANGUAGE PANELS
Urdu              Telugu
Kaithi              Tamil
Bengali      Kannada
Burmese    Gujarathi


Colonial Type with 4 Languages Panels Green Underprint Banknotes


10 rupees (1897) Government of India, green underprint banknote for Burma 
signed by R.E. Hamilton
10 RUPEES (1897-1907) 


This is a rectangular banknote measuring 210 x 133 mm. The note is black on green underprint. The name of the note issuer “Government of India” is printed on the background of the seven oval shape medallions at top center. Two oval shapes are printed as green under print at upper left and right, just below the banknote issuer title. 
The numeral value of the banknote in four languages; Burmese, Hindu, Urdu and Chinese is printed in a vertical position on both far left and right sides. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten rupees” is at top center. Word denominations of the note in Burmese, Hindi, Urdu and Chinese languages are printed in two lines. Burmese character “ngwe dinga ta se” which means ten silver coins is written in the first line of the left panel. 
At the center, the monetary value of the note “ten” is printed in large type as green underprint. Underneath these two lines of monetary values, the name of issuing circle Rangoon is printed between the words “1897 April 3” and “3 April 1897.”  (The left column date is written in year, month and day order and the right column date is written in day, month and year order). 
The lower part of this note is filled with “For the Government of India” at the bottom left with signature of R. E. Hamilton at the right. Williams Wells signed on prefix code Q on October 3, 1882, and R. E. Hamilton signed on prefix QA, QB on March 3, 1897. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper. There are serial numbers at two places (on top left and right corners above the promise text).

5 rupees (1904) Government of India, green underprint banknote for Burma, signed by F. Atkinson.

5 rupees (1905) Government of India, green underprint banknote for Burma 
(signed by H. J. Brereton).

5 RUPEES (1901-09)


This is a rectangular banknote measuring 143 x 90 mm. This note is black on green underprint. At the top center, the banknote issuer Government of India is printed over seven medallions (one rectangular and six oval shapes.) Two oval shapes are printed as green underprint at the upper left and right, just below the banknote issuer title. The numeral value of the banknote in English, Burmese, Urdu, Tamil, and Chinese is printed vertically on both the far left and right side. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand / the sum of five rupees” is at the top center. 
The word denominations of this note in four languages; Burmese, Urdu, Tamil and Chinese languages in two lines. The Burmese character “ngwe dinga nga pya” signifying five silver coins, is written in the first line of the left panel. Underneath these two lines of monetary values, the name of the issuing circle Rangoon is printed between the dates 1905 May 19, and 19 May 1905.  (The left column date is written in year, month and day order and the right column date is written in day, month and year order). Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center, INDIA /5 RUPEES 5 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom. 
At the center, the numeral value of banknote “5” is printed in large type as green underprint for this note. “For the Government of India” is inside a rectangular square box frame, at the bottom left and the signature of H. J. Brereton, is at the bottom right. The signature of  F. Atkinson is found on June 1, 1904 issue banknotes. 
F. Atkinson signed on prefix code QA on June 1, 1904. H. J. Brereton (or) M. F. Gauntlett signed on prefix code QB on May 19, 1905. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper. There are serial numbers at four places; on top left and right corners above the promise text, and at the bottom left and right corners. 


10 rupees (1901-09) Government of India, green underprint banknote for Burma 
(signed by M. F. Gauntlett).
10 RUPEES (1901-09)

This is a rectangular banknote measuring 210 x 130 mm. This note is black on green underprint and was issued in 1901-1909. At the top center, the banknote issuer Government of India is printed over the seven medallions. Two oval shapes are printed as green underprint at the upper left and right, just below the banknote issuer title. The numeral value of the banknote in Burmese, Urdu, Tamil, Chinese and English is printed vertically on both the far left and right side. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten rupees” is at the top center. 
There are word denominations of the note in four languages;  Burmese, Urdu, Tamil and Chinese in two lines. The Burmese character “ngwe dinga ta se” signifying ten silver coins, is written in the first line of the left panel. Underneath these two lines of monetary values, the name of the issuing circle Rangoon is printed between the dates 1907 Aug 16, and 16 Aug 1907. Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center, india /10 rupees 10 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom. 
At the center, the monetary value of banknote “ten” is printed in large type as green underprint. “for the Government of India” is inside a rectangular square box frame, at the bottom left and the signature of M. F. Gauntlett is at the bottom right. M. F. Gauntlett signed on prefix code QB on August 16, 1907, and on September 6, 1907. There are serial numbers at four places; on top left and right corners above the promise text, and at the bottom left and right corners. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper.


No Image was found yet for 50 rupees green underprint



50 RUPEES (1901-10)
The 50-rupees, green underprint banknotes of Rangoon circle (208 x 130mm) was issued in 1901-1910. This note has four language panels (Burmese, Urdu, Tamil and Chinese).
Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center india/50 rupees 50 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom end-paper. There are serial numbers at four places; on top left and right corners in large type size above the four language panels, and at the bottom left and right corners in smaller type size. M. M. S. Gubbay signed on prefix code QB, QC on May 3, 1905, and on March 20, 1908. These banknotes were printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper.


100 rupees (1918) Government of India, green underprint banknote for Burma (signed by A.C. McWatters )

100 RUPEES (1901-30)

The 100-rupees, green underprint banknotes of Rangoon circle (208 x 130 mm) was issued in 1901-1930. This note has four language panels (Burmese, Urdu, Tamil and Chinese). At the center, the numeral value of banknote “100” is printed in large type as green underprint for this note.Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center india/100 rupees 100 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom end-paper. There are serial numbers at three places (on top left and right corners in large type size above the language panels, and at the bottom left corner in smaller type size.
M. M. S. Gubbay signed on prefix code HD on November 27 and 30, 1915. A.C. McWatters signed on prefix code ND on October 12, 1918. H. Denning signed on prefix code QE on August 18, 1922. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper. 


5 rupees (1908) Government of India, red underprint banknote for Burma (signed by R. W. Gillan)


Red Underprint  8 Languages Panels Banknotes

5 RUPEES (1914-1918)

This 1914 issued 5 rupees banknote is black on red underprint with eight languages. At the center, the numeral value of banknote “5” is printed in large type as red underprint for this note. The issuing circle’s name rangoon, initial R is printed on the note. There are word denominations of the note in eight languages; Urdu, Kaithi, Bengali, Burmese at the left panel, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati at the right panel. Burmese character “ngwe dinga nga pya” signifying five silver coins is written in the left panel’s bottom line. Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center india/5 rupees 5 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom. The dates in both left and right columns are written in day, month and year in order. There are serial numbers at four places; on top left and right corners above the promise text, and at the bottom left and right corners.
The reverse is blank. This note was signed by M. M. S. Gubbay on September 21, 1914, Jan 28, 1914, September 21, 1914, and November 18 and 27 of 1915. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper. 

10 rupees (1912) Government of India, red underprint banknote for Burma 
(signed by R.W. Gillan)
10 rupees (1918) Government of India, red underprint banknote for Burma (signed by M. M S. Gubbay)
10 RUPEES (1904-18)
This is a rectangular banknote measuring 208 x 130 mm. This note is black on red underprint. The name of the note issuer “Government of India” is at the top center of the note. Below this, the two oval shapes in red are printed as background in tint at the upper left and right, just below the banknote issuer title. The numeral value of the banknote in nine languages (including English) is printed in vertical position both on the far left and right side. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand / at any office of issue the sum of rupees” is at top center. Denominations of the note in eight language; Urdu, Kaithi, Bengali, Burmese, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati languages are printed in four lines. The Burmese character “ngwe dinga ta se” signifying ten silver coins is written in the last line of the left panel. At the center, the monetary value in the word “ten” is printed in large type. The word monetary value “ten” in very large size type as red underprint for this note is printed at the center. 
The initial R for the name of the issuing circle Rangoon, is printed on the left side of the left monetary panels and on the right side of the right monetary panels. The date of the banknote issue, May 14, 1918 is printed at under the left and right columns. (The dates of  both left and right columns are written in day, month and year order). The words “for the Government of India” is at the bottom left, and the signature is on the bottom right. This note is signed by M. M.S. Gubbay on June 7, 1918, and his signature on similar banknotes with March 28, 1916, and November 20, 1918 dates are also found. 
Watermark for this note are the wavy lines on all the four sides; in center india/10 rupees 10 in two lines, and the manufacture’s code at the bottom end-paper. 
R. W. Gillen signed on prefix code HC on July 7, 12 and 22, 1911, and on April 16 and 30, 1912, and November 30, 1912. H. F. Howard signed on prefix code IC, NC and QD on January 2, 1915, and on May 8, 1915. R. W. Gillen signed on prefix code HC on July 7, 12 and 22, 1911; and on April 16 and 30, 1912; and November 30, 1912. M. M. S. Gubbay signed on prefix code HD, ID, KD, and ND on May 8, 1915; June 15, 1916; May 21, 1917; June 15, 21, 27 and 29, 1918; August 10, 1918; September 12 and 22, 1918; October 18, 19, and 28, 1918; unsigned on prefix code ID on June 7,1918. Identicle banknotes signed by R.W. Gillan on July 7, 1911, November 30, 1912; and signed by H. F. Howard on January 2, 1915 are also found. 
Four serial numbers of the note appear in the upper left and upper right in large font size above the promise text, and in smaller font size at the lower left and right corners. These banknotes are printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper.


2. PORTRAIT SERIES

King George V notes (1917-1932)

The Uniface series notes were always forgery prone and hence new designs were being frequently made. During the period of 1917 to 1932, notes with the portrait of George V were issued. The notes bearing the portrait of George V have the signatures of M.M.S. Gubbay, A.C. McWatters, H. Denning, J.B. Taylor and J.W. Kelly 

Re 1 note (1917) :
These notes had a Re 1 coin of 1917 depicted on them. On the reverse was a language panel having 8 languages. They were issued individually and also in booklets of 25. They were printed in England. These notes had the signatures of M.M.S Gubbay, A.C. McWatters and H. Denning. The notes bearing the signatures of M. M.S. Gubbay were of two types. The difference was in the size and the spacing between characters of the font used to write the Gujarati script on the reverse (The last in the language panel). 

Re 1 Note (1935) :
Although these notes have a coin of 1935 depicted on them, they were issued on 24th July, 1940. Some of these were also issued as a booklet of 25.  J.W. Kelly’s signatures are found on these notes. These notes are divided on the way the serial numbers are written on the reverse of the note.

Rs 2 Annas 8 (1918) :
This denomination was issued in January 1918 and were withdrawn in 1926. These notes bear the signature of M.M.S. Gubbay. They had a prefix code with them which was like this:  A (Cawnpore), B (Bombay), C (Calcutta), K (Karachi), L (Lahore), M (Madras), R (Rangoon).

Rupees 5 (1925) :
There were two issues of Rupees 5 during the time of George V. The first was the broad note printed in Bank of England Press, England. The second note was issued in 1933 and was printed in Nasik. This was withdrawn in 1941. The 1st Issue had the signatures of H.Denning and J.B. Taylor while the signatures of J.B. Taylor and J.W. Kelly are found on the 2nd Issue.

Rupees 10 (1925) :
There were three issues of Rupees 10. The first issue was green in color and had two different positions for the serial numbers. The serial number on the front in the first design was on top left and bottom right while in the second design it was top right and bottom left. The first was issued in 1925 and the second was released in 1925. The second issue was blue in color and was issued in 1925. All these above types were printed in Bank of England Press, England. The thired issue was printed in Nasik, India and was smaller in size than the ones before.  A.C. McWatters and H.Denning signed the 1st Issue (Green note) while H.Denning and J. B. Taylor signed the second Issue (Blue note).  The 3rd issue had teh signatures of J.B. Taylor and J.W. Kelly.

The earliest pictorial notes of George V were issued in 1917 as a consequence of a crisis in precious metal stocks due to World War One. The one rupee and the 2.8 rupee were the first to be issued. 
Later in May 1923 the first 10-rupees notes featuring the portrait of George V appeared followed by 5 rupees notes. The King was depicted wearing the Imperial Crown and the robes of Star of India. 
In April 1928, India’s own security press at Nasik for the design and printing of banknotes commenced operations and the supply of notes from England progressively ceased. The improved security features included changed watermarks, intricate portrait designs and multi color printing. 
The issue date is not shown on these portrait seies banknotes.These notes were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 10,000 rupees.

 2 rupees 5 annas (1918) Government of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by M. M. S. Gubbay)


2 RUPEES 8 ANNAS (1918) 

This banknote is black on red brown. On the obverse of the note, the name of the banknote issuer “Government of India” appears at top center. The portrait of King V facing to the left in octagonal frame is at upper left. “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of, rupees two, annas eight (in large type), on demand at any office of issue,” is printed at center. This banknote is signed by M. M. S. Gubbay on prefix code R. The numeral value of the note is printed at the top right and lower left corners. On the reverse the denomination of the note in eight languages is at the center. The Burmese characters “ngwe dinga hnit pya kwe” signifying two and half silver coins appear in the fourth line. 
The initial GRI (GRI stands for Georgious Rex Imperator which is Latin for George, King & Emperor) with an illustration of a crown appears at the upper left, and the monetary value Rs 2/8 is depicted inside acircle at upper right of the banknote. This banknote was issued on January 2, 1918, and withdrawn on January 1, 1926. Watermark is a a five-pointed star enclosed within a rectangle. There are serial numbers at two places (on top right corner above the promise text and at the bottom left). These banknotes were printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper.



50 rupees (1930) Government of India banknote for Burma (signed by J. B. Taylor)



50 RUPEES (1927) 

This 50-rupees, 136 x 88 mm, was released in 1930. This banknote is lilac and brown. On the obverse of the note, the name of the banknote issuer “the government of india” appears at top center. The vignette of King George V is on the right. The monetary value in large type fifty rupees is at the center. The statement “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of” appears above the monetary value in words. The “on demand at any office issue” appears just underneath the monetary value in words. The issung circle’s name rangoon in small capital or large type letters is printed at the bottom center. The serial numbers appear at two places, lower left and upper right. Watermark for this note are the profile portrait of George V to right, and govt/of/ india towards the bottom. The King’s portrait as watermark for this note appears at the watermark window on the left. The numeral value of the banknote is printed on the bottom left and upper right corner. The numeral value of the note appears at four corners; upper left and lower right in large type size, and upper right and lower left in smaller type size.
On reverse, the denominations of the note “fifty rupees” is in large type at the center. There are eight different languages (one at the upper left, one at the upper right, one at the lower left, one at the lower right, two at the top center, two at the bottom center). The Burmese script “ngwe nga se” signifying fifty silvers is written at the second line at the top center. The King’s portrait  to left as watermark appears at the watermark windows on right. These banknotes were printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper. 


100 rupees (1927) Government of India banknote for Burma (signed by J. W.  Kelly)

 100 RUPEES (1927) 

The 100-rupees, George V in profile (171 x 115 mm) banknote was released in 1927. This violet and green banknote does not display the name of banknote issuer’s name government of india. Watermark for this note are the profile portrait of King George V to right, and govt/of/india in three lines, and ornamented rectangle around. The portrait of King George V is shown inside the oval panel on the right. The serial numbers appear at two places, lower left and upper right, next to the numeral value of the banknote. In the center, the statement “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of” appears above the word denominations of the note, one hundred rupees in large type, are printed, and “on demand at any office issue” appears underneath it. The banknote issuing the circle’s name (Rangoon) in large or small capital letters, is overprinted at top center in green or black ink. The signature of J. W. Kelly appears at the bottom right. H. Denning signed on prefix code S. J. B. Taylor signed on prefix code S and T. (Prefix code T are universalized and printed on a thinner paper).  J. W. Kelly signed on prefix code T. T 32, 41 and 47 were overprinted for use in Burma.
On reverse the denomination of the note in seven different languages (Hindi, Bengali, Burmese, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, and Gujarati), are printed at the center. The Burmese script is placed on the third line. The oval shaped panels which are written denomination of the note appear as window watermarks on both left and right side of the note. The numeral value of banknote is printed at the bottom right, and the monetary unit is at the bottom left.
These banknotes were printed in England on white, hand-moulded paper, and released in February 1927. 


B.  BANKNOTES AFTER BURMA-INDIA SEPARATION (1937-42)

Following the British annexation, movements towards independence grew steadily. In April 1937, the implementation of the Government of Burma Act (1935) brought about the long-awaited separation of Burma from British India. Burma was separated from India but still remained under British rule on April 1, 1937. After the separation from India, Dr Ba Maw became Burma’s first prime minister. 
The separation of Burma from British India necessitated legislation to amend the RBI Act, and this emerged in ‘The India and Burma (Burma Monetary Arrangements) Order, 1937’. Coming into force at the same time as the Government of Burma Act itself, the Monetary Arrangements Order essentially set out the legislative changes required to make the Reserve Bank of India the central bank for two countries. 
The Reserve Bank of India Act was passed by the Indian legislature and granted consent by the Governor General in 1934, even though the bank was not established until 1935. Reserve Bank of India was a privately-owned (shareholder) institution modelled on the Bank of England. Although the Reserve Bank of India was to manage the currency of Burma and continue to carry on the business of banking in Burma, it was still subject to the provisions of “the India and Burma (Burma monetary arrangements) order.”  
The standard monetary unit was to be the rupee for both Burma and India. The government of India still retained the right of coinage. Sole right to issue banknotes in Burma was given to the “Reserve Bank of India”, since the Government of Burma was prohibited from issuing any currency notes. 
It was also under an obligation to issue a separate series of Burma banknotes. The new “Reserve Bank of India” did not issue any notes of its own and continued with the old “Government of India” notes during the period 1935 through 1937. As an interim measure before the first distinctive Burma notes were ready, the monetary order was permitted the use of un-issued Government of India notes overprinted with the words legal tender in burma only as a stop-gap measure until the stock of “Government of India” notes was exhausted. These issues are called “provisional issues”, a term describing a short issue for temporary use pending the release of the definite issue.
Meanwhile, new banknotes for both India and Burma were designed, and trial specimens were being made at the Nasik Security Printing Press, Nasik Road, Mumbai. The first distinctive Burma notes were issued in May 1938. The name ‘rupee’ was retained as the official name of Burma’s currency and it was this name that appeared on the new notes. 
In the earliest notes issued (the five and ten rupee notes, issued in May and June 1938 respectively) ‘rupees’ appeared unadorned, however in later issues (such as the 1,000 rupee note, issued in July 1939) the distinction ‘Burma Rupees’ appears. The notes bore the name of the ‘Reserve Bank of India’ as issuer, but also the inscription that the Bank’s promise to pay applied to ‘any office of issue in Burma’ only - in other words, the Burma notes were not legal tender in India. 
The notes were inscribed in three languages - English, Burmese and Shan. By July 1939 there were five enominations of Burma notes in circulation (5, 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 Burma rupees). All featured King George VI on one side but, giving them the required ‘distinctive design’ featured on the obverse side various ‘Burmese motifs’ – of peacock, elephant, tiger, sailing vessels and ox-carts. It was necessary that the designs be approved by King George VI and the specimens were sent to England. King Gorge approved the designs for Burma’s 5 and 10 rupees bank notes in September 1937, the 100 rupees in July 1938, the 1,000 in April 1938 and 10,000 in August 1938.
The period between 1938 and 1942 became very confusing by the fact that there were two kinds of legal tender notes: the Government of India notes for Burma issued before the Reserve Bank of India was formed; and the Reserve Bank of India issued banknotes for Burma. In January 1938, a 5 rupees note was issued at Calcutta and Bombay with the monetary value in eight languages, including Burmese, which reads “five silver pieces.” The Burmese version followed in May 1938, two months later than planned, and the Burmese 10 rupees followed in June 1938.  Higher denomination notes for Burma were not released until the Government of India notes were exhausted—the 100 and 10,000 rupees first appeared in May and the 1,000 rupees in July of 1939. These overprinted banknotes were continued until April 1, 1940, but they remained legal tender after that date.
Indeed, for the entirety of the RBI’s tenure in Burma five quite separate (legal tender) currencies circulated:
1. Notes issued by the Government of India. These were notes circulated before the creation of the RBI took note issue away from the Government. Such notes could have been distributed originally from Rangoon as part of the ‘Rangoon circle’ issue; some could have come into Burma via Indian traders, workers and so on.
2. For a brief period following the decision to separate India and Burma, but before the RBI had started printing its own notes, an issue of Government of India notes was made that bore an overprint (in red) ‘Legal Tender in Burma Only’.
3. New RBI India notes that, as per 1) above, entered Burma via its symbiotic economic relationship with India.
4. As noted above, the RBI (India) notes over-stamped ‘Legal Tender in Burma Only’.
5. The RBI’s ‘Burma notes’.
Post-separation, the RBI became ‘Government banker’ to the Government of Burma as well as that of India. In this role it was tasked with the usual array of central banking duties – keeping the Government’s accounts, managing the public debt, providing occasional advances to the Government and its agencies (especially, in Burma’s case, to the Railway Board), promoting remittance facilities, and so on. Because of their separate political standing, a specific provision of the 1937 Order extended these functions to the management of the ‘Federal Fund’ of the Federated Shan States too. Previous arrangements with the Imperial Bank, however, which undertook many of these roles in locations in Burma and the Shan States where the RBI was not represented, were maintained.


(1) PROVISIONAL ISSUES

 5 rupees (1937) Reserve Bank of India (provisional issue) banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. W. Kelly)
5 RUPEES (1937) Provisional issue

This banknote is 127 x 73 mm in green and brown-violet on tan. The top portion of the note is brown violet and the lower portion in tan. 
The name of the issuer government of india is printed at the top center. This banknote is the Government of India’s 1933-34 issued 5 rupees note overprinted with words “legal tender in burma only” at the top center on both sides. These overprint words in red ink at the top margin, in black ink at center or at the bottom on both sides. The denomination of the note five rupees is printed in large type size at the center. The portrait of King George V in profile is at right. 
Watermarks for this note are the radiate star, government/of/india in three lines, and a five-pointed solid star appears at the watermark window at left. The serial number is printed at the lower center above the signature.
J. W. Kelley signed on prefix code S/88-90 (S/88-200001-1000000 issued to public) on black overprinted banknots, and T/18-22 of red overprinted banknotes. His signature appears inside the box at the bottom center with the numeral value of the banknote “Rs five Rs” as underprint. On reverse, the denominations of the note in eight different languages are printed at the center. The Burmese script “ngwe dinga nga pya” signifying five silver coins is located at the fourth line. The numeral number 5 is inside the panel on the left and the watermark window is on the right. The numeral value of the note is printed at top right and bottom left corner.
This banknote was printed at Nasik, and issued in April 1937, and demonetized on June 1, 1950. 


10 rupees (1937) Reserve Bank of India (provisional) banknote for Burma 
(over printed at center and top margins, signed by J. W. Kelly)
10 RUPEES (1937) Provisional issue

The 10 Rupees banknote is the Government of India 1933-34 issue, measures 133 x 79 mm, in dark blue, and overprinted with words “legal tender in burma only” in red on the margin at top center, or in black at the center on both sides. The name of the banknote issuer, Government of India, is printed at top center left. The denomination of the note ten rupees is printed at the center. These overprinted words can be seen on prefix R/42-49, black overprinted in center of note on both sides, and R/82-89, red overprinted in top margin on both sides. The vignettet of King George V is at right. 
Watermark for this note are the profile portrait of King George V to right, and ten rupees/government/of/india/ten rupees in five lines in center. The image of King George V appears as a watermark at the window on left. The drawing of a banana tree, mountains and a river view is depicted at the center. The serial numbers appear on the upper right corner. The numeral value is printed at each corner, except upper left of the banknote. The denomation of the note ten rupees shows at the bottom right. 
J. W. Kelly signed on prefix code R/42-49, black overprinted banknotes.  J. W. Kelly signed on prefix code R/82-89, red overprinted banknotes. His signature is on the lower left corner. 
The reverse is in light blue with a drawing of two elephants driven by their trainers and is presented as the main illustration at the center. The name of the banknote issuer, Government of India, is printed at top center. The numeral value of banknote is shown between the two elephants and the written value description is under the image of the elephants. The watermark window is on the right side and the note’s value in eight languages is inside the left panel framing with traditional flowery design, respectively. The Burmese script “ngwe dinga ta se” signifying ten silver coins is in the fourth line. This banknote was printed at Nasik.


100 rupees (1937) Government of India banknote for Burma 
(over printed at center or top margins, signed by J. W. Kelly)
 100 RUPEES (1937) Provisional issue

This banknote is the Government of India’s 1927 issued 100 rupees note overprinted with words legal tender in burma only at the center of top margin. This banknote is multi-colored, but predominately purple blue. The place name Rangoon is at top center. The portrait of King George V inside the oval panel is on the right and appears again as the watermark at the watermark window at the left. The phrases “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of  one hundred rupees (in large type), and “on demand at any office of issue” are printed on the bottom center. 
Watermark for this note are the profile portrait of King George V to right, and govt/of/india in three lines, and ornamented rectangle around. The signature of J.W. Kelley for the government of India appears at bottom right.The serial numbers are printed at two places, lower left and upper right side of the banknote. The note ‘legal tender in burma only’ overprint in black in the center of the note on both sides comes only from T 32 700001 to T 32 1000000 and from T 41 000001 to T 41 100000 serial number ranges. The overprinted words in red on the top margin of the note on both sides comes only from T 41 100001 to T 41 1000000 and from T 41 000001 to T 41 606000 serial number ranges. 
The reverse presents the denomination of the note, written in seven languages (Hindi, Bengali, Burmese, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, and Gujarati), printed at the center. The Burmese script “ngwe dinga ta ya” signifying one hundred silver coins is on the third line. The denomination of the note is written in words inside the oval shaped panels and appears as watermarks on both the left and right side watermark windows. The numeral value of banknote displays at the bottom right, and monetary unit is printed at the bottom left. 


(II) RESERVE BANK OF INDIA BANKNOTES 

King George VI notes (1938-1947)

After the death of King George V, Albert, the Duke of York became the king as King George VI.  During this period in India, the Reserve Bank of India came into existence in 1935. It became the sole note issuing authority and it’s first note bearing the portrait of George VI came out in 1938. The notes bearing the portrait of George VI have the signatures of J.B. Taylor and C. D. Deshmukh.

Re 1 (1944) :
This note came out in 1944 although the coin on the note depicts the year 1940. These can be divided into four types. They are: 
Serial No. in black 25a, 1.1A
Serial No. in black with Inset A 25c, 1.1B
Serial No. in green with Inset A 25d, 1.1C
Serial No. in red 25b, 1.1D

Rs 2 (1943):
These were issued in 1943. Some of these notes were used for overprinting for use in Pakistan.  
The signatures of J.B. Taylor and C. D. Deshmukh are found on these notes.

Rs 5 (1938/44):
There were two issues of Rs 5 bearing George VI’s portrait. The first issue had the left profile of George VI and was issued in 1938 (J.B. Taylor’s signature) and 1944 (C. D. Deshmukh’s signature). Some of these notes were used for overprinting for use in Burma. The second issue had the front profile of George VI, C. D. Deshmukh’s signature and was issued in 1947. 

Rupees 10 (1938/44):
There were two issues of Rs 10 bearing George VI’s portrait. The first issue had the left profile of George VI and was issued in 1938 (J.B. Taylor’s signature) and 1944 (C. D. Deshmukh’s signature). Some of these notes were used for overprinting for use in Burma. The second issue had the front profile of George VI and had C. D. Deshmukh’s signature and was issued in 1944. Some of these notes were used for overprinting for use in Pakistan and Burma.

Rupees 100 (1938):
Issued from 1938 to 1947, these notes had the signatures of J.B. Taylor and C. D. Deshmukh. These notes had the names of the Issuing Office printed on them and they were Bombay, Calcutta, Cawnpore, Delhi, Kanpur, Karachi, Lahore and Madras. Some of these notes were used for overprinting for use in Pakistan and Burma. 

Rupees 1000 (1938):
Issued in the year 1938 and demonetized in 1946, these notes had the signature of J.B. Taylor. These notes had the names of the Issuing Office printed on them and they were Bombay, Calcutta, Cawnpore, Karachi, Lahore and Madras. 

Rupees 10000 (1938):
Issued in the year 1938 and demonetized in 1946, these notes had the signature of J.B. Taylor.  


5 rupees (1938) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. B. Taylor)
5 RUPEES (1938)

This banknote is 127 x 73 mm, violet brown and green in color. The top portion of this banknote is printed in violet brown and the lower portion is in light green. At the top center of obverse, the banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is printed as a banner. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five rupees at any office of issue in burma” is over printed at center. Underneath is an illustration of a peacock at bottom center.  The head of a lion displayed on either sides of the dancing peacock. The portrait of King George VI in profile in panel is at the right.
Watermark for this note are profile portrait of George VI to right at the window at left, and reserve/bank/of/india in four lines, and bold figure 5 in top left corner. The serial number of the banknote appears at lower left side. J. B. Taylor, Governor, for the Reserve Bank of India, signed on prefix code A banknotes.
This is the first banknote showing the country’s name on the original design of the master plate, and interesting enough, this banknote design depicted the dancing peacock as a main illustration on obverse. Burmese believe they descended from the sun, and peacock is the symbol for sun. (Rabbit represents the moon). 
The reverse is also printed in violet brown with a wash of light green shoots through horizontally at the center of the note. The main illustration and the value number in the left frame are in green. A prominent illustration of an elephant in a green forest is at the center. On the left side panel, the denomination of the note is written in Burmese script “nge dinga nga pya” and in Shan script “ngeun ha kyat” both of which signify five silver pieces. (The monetary unit of Shan is kyat). The portrait of George VI to left appears at the window at right. The numeral value of banknote displays at the bottom right in Burmese script, and at the bottom left in English. 
An interesting thing is that even though there were many other nationalities living in Burma at that time, only Shan script is printed along with Burmese script on the banknotes. Some historians believe the British had plans and intended to rule the Shan state separately from Burma one day. The description on these banknotes in the Shan language indicates that Shan continued to use the currency unit ‘kyat’  even though kyat is not official after the British invasion. 
Another interesting thing is this banknote shows the Burmese monetary symbol as a small circle on top of the first unit of number, in short for “kyat”. For example:  ( 5o  ) means 5 kyat. These banknotes display the numeral value of the note along with monetary unit in Burmese language “ngwe” saying silver or money.
This banknote was issued on May 1938 and demonetized on June 1, 1950.  


10 rupees (1938) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. B. Taylor)

10 RUPEES (1938) 

This banknote 146 x 84 mm was multi-colored, but predominately green. On the obverse the note issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is at the top center. The portrait of King George VI in profile is in a panel at the right. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten rupees at any office of issue in Burma” is printed at the center. The main illustration of tall palm trees, an ox cart, and a farmer plowing with his oxen is at the center. Watermark for this note are the profile portrait of King George VI to right at the window at left, and ten rupees / reserve bank / of / india / ten rupees in five lines.
The serial number with prefix code A is underneath the main illustration. The signature of J. B. Taylor, Governor, for the Reserve Bank of India appears at bottom left with the monetary value description ten rupees as underprint. The numeral value of banknote displays at the top right corner in Burmese, in English at top left and lower right corners. 
The reverse is also green. The value of the banknote is written in Burmese script “ngwe dinga ta se” and in Shan script “ngeun khan neung” signifying silver ten pieces in the left panel. An illustration of sailing boats is at the center. Underneath the main illustration is the banknote issuer, Reserve Bank of India. This banknote also has the country’s name on the original design. The profile portrait of King George VI to left appears as watermark at the window at right. The numeral value of banknote displays in Burmese at the bottom right corner. This note was issued on June 1938 and demonetized on June 1, 1950. 


 100 rupees (1939) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. B. Taylor)

100 RUPEES (1939)

This bank note 171 x 108 mm is multi-colored but mostly in blue.  On obverse, the name of the banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is at the top center. The vignette of King George VI is at the right, and as a watermark at the left watermark window. “I promise to pay the bearer/on demand at any office of issue/in Burma/the sum of” is over printed at the center. The denomination of the note one hundred rupees is printed at the center of the note. 
Underneath it is an illustration of a dancing peacock. The monetary value description one hundred rupees is printed in large type as underprint at the bottom. The signature of this note J. B. Taylor for the Reserve Bank of India appears at the bottom center, and the serial numbers of the note appears at left and right of signature. Serial numbers and signature are printed on the one hundred rupees underprint. The numeral value of banknote displays at the top right corner in Burmese, in English at top left corner. 
Reverse is in bluish green. The name of the banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is at top center. The denomination of the note in Burmese script “ngwe dinga ta ya” signifying one hundred silver pieces is written in large type just beneath the name of the banknote issuer. The panel at the center has an illustration, the elephants pushing teak logs denoting, as one of the main exports from Burma. Below the main illustraion is the value of the banknote written in Shan script “ngeun pak neung” signifying one hundred silver pieces. 
The illustrations of dancing peacocks are seen at the bottom, underneath the panels of value denomination and watermark windows, on left and right side, respectively. The image of King George VI to left appears as a watermark at the window at right. The name of the country Burma is not on the original master plate, it is just over printed. The numeral value of banknote displays at the top right corner in Burmese, in English at top left corner. This note was issued on May 1939 and demonetized on June 1, 1950.


 1000 rupees (1939) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. B. Taylor)

1,000 RUPEES (1939)

This banknote 202 x 126 mm is green, brown and multi colored. On the obverse, the banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is printed at the top center. The panel with the portrait of King George VI facing to the left in profile, inside the two lions seated palace shape frame, is at the center. The value “1000” appears on the right. “I promise to pay the bearer on demand at any office of issue in Burma the sum of one thousand rupees” is depicted at the bottom center. 
Watermark for this note are profile portrait of King George VI to right at the watermark window on the left. In ornamented border, Reserve Bank of India in one line at top and Reserve Bank /Of/India in three lines at the bottom. Underneath the watermark window of the left, the country’s name “burma” is printed. The signature of J. B. Taylor, Governor for the Reserve Bank of India appears on prefix code A at the bottom center. The serial numbers of the note appears at the upper left and right. 
The reverse is also green and multi-colored. The banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” is at the top center. Illustrations of dancing peacocks appear on both left and right upper corners of the note. A walking tiger directly approaching is depicted in the center as the main illustration for this note. The name of the country, Burma, and the value of banknote is printed on the left panel. The King George VI’s image to left appears at watermark window at right. 
The value of the banknote written in Burmese script “ngwe dinga ta htaung” signifying one thousand silver pieces is printed beneath both left and right panels. Denominations of the note written in English and Shan script “ngeun haeng nueng” signifying one thousand silver pieces are found at the bottom center, underneath the image of a tiger. This note was issued on July 1939 and demonetized on May 1, 1945. 

10,000 rupees (1939) Reserve Bank of India banknote for Burma 
(signed by J. B. Taylor)

10,000 RUPEES (1939)

This banknote 202 x 126 mm, is in green and multi color. Obverse, the name of banknote issuer “Reserve Bank of India” appears at the top center. The vignette of the King George VI facing left appears in two side by side seated lions panel at center.  The phrase “I promise to pay the bearer on demand at any office of issue in burma the sum of” is at the top, and “ten thousand rupees” is printed at the bottom center. This note was signed by J. B. Taylor, Governor, for the Reserve Bank of India. Watermark for this note are profile portrait of King George VI to right on the watermark window, and RS/10000/RS in three lines in the right window. The name of the country for this banknote was not on the original master plate but it was over printed afterwards. The monetary value of the note are printed at lower left and right corners in Burmese, and at upper left and right corners in English.
On reverse, the bank name “Reserve Bank of India” is at the top center. Denominations of the note written in Burmese “ngwe dinga ta thaung” along with in English and Shan script “ngeun muen nueng” both of which signify ten thousand silver coins are at the center, underneath the image of the waterfall which is the main illustration for this note. A watermark window at left shows “Burma, 10,000 rupees”, and the vignette of the King George VI’s as the watermark is on the right window. A dancing peacock is depicted on the left and right of the value descriptions at the bottom. The monetary value of the note appears at the bottom right corner in Burmese and at the bottom left corner in Englsih. This banknote was issued on May 1939 and demonetized on May 1, 1945. 

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– Credits –

Most of these images are from various Websites and “The Coins and Banknotes of Burma” by M. Robinson and L. A. Shaw, Pardy & Son (Printers) Ltd., Ringwood, Hampshire, England, 1980.


.............................................................        to be continued on Chapter 3 and 4


15 comments:

  1. Excellent work done on burma notes
    very much appreciated
    Thanks Increased my knowledge alot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your feedback. Please let me know if you have any information about banknotes of Burma to add into this research.

      Delete
  2. i have a 100 rupee note of single peacock in the period of government of India .i want to sell it .If anyone intrested mail me milanpatnaik007@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a Fake note. Its a Forgery, you can be prosecuted & tried & send to Jail for this note if u happen to possess this note.

      Delete
  3. i have 5 rupee not in 3 dear sign by c.d. deshmukhand 10 rupee note in c.d. deshmukh and 10 rupee note in burma in sign by g.w. kelly. what is tha price this not plz tell me.my email id deepakchaurasia011@gmail.com

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  4. ThanK
    I was researching.
    Burma,collective memory, Competition area through banknote

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  5. prem.stamps@gmail.com please send me a test mail of this website. i want to know more abt this Blog....

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  6. How rare are the 5 rupees and 10 rupees for the year 1938?

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  7. Min San Min
    အဘကအသက္ႀကီၿပီ အဂၤလိပ္လိုမေရးတပ္ေတာ့ဘူး စာလံုးေပါင္းေတြေမ့ေနၿပီ ဖတ္ေတာ့ဖတ္နုိင္ေသးတယ္ အရန္း၀မ္းသာတယ္

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  8. This Blog is amazing. No Words to describe the Knowledge gained by me. prem.stamps@gmail.com

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  9. Dear Min San Min, as a serious collector of 10 RUPEES banknotes of Burma, I wanted to know which was the last prefix issued in the single signed Pick 40 Blue Peacock series (Reverse as Union Bank of Burma) and from which prefix did the 10 Kyat series start of the same P40. Do let me know. Since I collect all possible prefixes, wanted to know its details.
    Also what were the prefixes issued for both P36 (2 signatories) and P40 (1 signature), kindly provide me with this info. Thanks. You may write to my personal email : percysigan@hotmail.com

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  10. Rare under print Rs10 banknote of the year 1917-1918 signed by MMS Gubbay for sale
    Contact 9007968399 or email at heybaby. gokul @gmail.com

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  11. I have the same 100 Rupee J B Taylor Peacock note with the same serial number. Could anyone tell me its market price & its authentication.
    Contact 9831263354 or mail srimalyasen@gmail.com

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