Tuesday, February 7, 2012


CHAPTER  IV

Post Burma independece (1948-1988)



(A) BANKNOTES OF  “GOVERNMENT OF  BURMA” (1948-49)

In January 1946 Aung San became the President of the Anti Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL) and in August Sir Hubert Rance became Governor. The objective of the AFPFL was for independence but they were ambivalent about remaining in the Commonwealth, the policy adopted by India. Aung San went to London in January 1947 to discuss with British Prime Minister Clement Attlee. On June 9, 1947 the constituent assembly voted to cut all ties with the British Empire. 
Tragically on July 19, 1947 Aung San and eight cabinet members were assassinated. U Nu and Attlee signed an agreement on independence on 17th October 1947. The astrologers pronounced that the most auspicious time for a declaration of independence was 4: 20 am on January 4, 1948. This day is now being observed as an annual holiday.
In October 1946 the Burmese Government appointed a committee to advise on the form, design and color of new currency notes. The report of the committee, together with designs by four Burmese artists for the notes specified by the act, were made available to the Burma Currency Board in January 1947. The Government of Burma placed an order in June with Thomas De la Rue of London for the production of banknotes. These notes were to have a peacock watermark, and to be authenticated by the Chairman of the Board Sir Richard Hopkins and one member of the board. The reverses illustrated various national occupations, with government of burma in English. As the Burma Currency Board banknotes (new designs and overprinted) increased in numbers, it was decided to demonetize all India banknotes not marked “legal tenders in Burma Only,” from July 1, 1948.


1 rupees (1948) Government of Burma banknote (signed by R. V. N. Hopkins and Maung Kaung)

1 RUPEE (1948)

This is a rectangular banknote 108 x 66 mm.  The obverse of the note is light green with an off-white frame. Inside the frame is a dark green ornamental border of vines, curlicues and other decorative elements. The denomination of the note in Roman numerals appears in the upper right and lower left. The denomination in Burmese script appears at the upper left and lower right. The monetary values on the lower left and lower right are enclosed in heart-shaped buds. A wash of pale pink shoots through vertically at the center of the note. 
At the top of this field is the name of the bank note issuer in Burmese “bama naing ngan asoya” signifying Government of Burma. (T  for this issue, later issues, however, appear as “myanmar.”)  Below it a statement of legal tender, “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 1 rupee”, in Burmese is printed. This note is signed by R.V.N. Hopkins, chairman, on behalf of Burmese State Currency Board and Maung Kaung, a member of the board, and appears at lower center and lower right. The spelling of the last word in Burmese script for this statement is not correct. “ba” is used instead of “tha.” A large size Burmese numeral value “1” in pink appears at center as underprint. On the right side, within a light green circular field, is a drawing of a peacock.  The circular shape at the left is the watermark window for the image of dancing peacock. Also on the lower left, in red, is the serial number of this note in English. The printer’s name, Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited appears at the bottom center.
The reverse side of the note is light grayish green. It also has an off-white margin and a dark green decorative frame within it. In the upper and lower corners, as on the obverse, the denomination appears in Roman numerals and Burmese scripts. The banknote issuer “Government of Burma” is printed at the top center. The central design is an illustration of sailing boats a down wind with a mountain range in the background.  On the left side, in a circle of floral arabesque design, is the denomination of the bank note, one rupee, is in English. A circle on the right sideshows the watermark image of a dancing peacock. These banknotes were issued on February 1948. 


5 rupees (1948) Government of Burma banknote (signed by R. V. N. Hopkins and Maung Kaung)
5 RUPEES (1948)
This banknote is 126 x 73 mm. An illustration of a dancing peacock is at the top center and a traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in light brown color. Underneath this is a drawing of peacock and floral arabesque, the name of the bank note issuer in Burmese script “bama naing ngan asoya” signifying Government of Burma. (Like the 1 rupee banknote, the name of the banknote issuer in Burmese language appears “bama” for this issue, however later issues appear as “myanmar.”) 
A scene of hills and palm trees is at center as background. An artistic drawing of a seated mythical lion (chinze or chinthe) in front of a palm tree is at the right. A watermark panel framed with two dragons tails entwined, is at the left. A statement “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 5 rupees” is written in Burmese at center, and signed by R.V.N. Hopkins, chairman, on behalf of Burmese State Currency Board and Maung Kaung, a member of the board. The last word of the statement in Burmese script for this note is not correct. It used “ba” instead of “tha”. 
A large size numeral value of the note “5” in Burmese in light blue appears at the center as underprint. The watermark for this note, a dancing peacock, appears at the watermark window at left. The serial number in English is printed in red at the lower left under the watermark panel. The denomination in Burmese numbers appear in the upper left and lower right, and in Roman number at upper right and lower left corners. The printer’s name, Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited, is printed at the bottom center.
The reverse of the banknote is in brown. A young girl in traditional Burmese dress is spinning a cotton wheel in the foreground, and behind her a lady weaving served as a main illustration. The name of the banknote issuer “Government of Burma” is at bottom center. The watermark for this note a dancing peacock appears at the watermark window at right. This banknote was issued on August 1948.


(B) BANKNOTES OF  “GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF BURMA” (1949-53)

When Burma became a fully independent country the encashment facilities provided in India for Burma notes including the Burma Currency Board and the British Military Administration were no longer considered appropriate and were withdrawn on May 1, 1950. On June 1, the pre-war Burma notes and the British Military Administration overprints were demonetized in Burma although as usual exchange was possible at Government Treasuries until to December 31, 1950 initially, and then to March 31, 1951, and finally to January 15, 1952.
The Union of Bank of Burma Act, 1952, which was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on March 17, 1952, changed the monetary system through a new method of currency issue, involving the commercial banks and the Union Bank of Burma. This Act changed the official name of the Burmese monetary unit from the rupee to the kyat, divided into one hundred pyas. Burma was no longer on a rigid sterling exchange system. 
The first proofs of the 10 and 100 rupee notes in July 1947 used the heading “Government of Burma.” When Burma became a republic, the heading was changed to “Government of the Union of Burma.”
Eventhough the title of the banknote issuer’s name in Burmese script has changed from Bama to Myanmar , the usuage on the state currency board is still using Bama


10 rupees (1949) Government of the Union of Burma banknote (signed by R. V. N. Hopkins and Maung Kaung)
10 RUPEES (1949)

This banknote is 145 x 82 mm, with a security thread. The traditional art style depicts a floral arabesque in light blue. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanmar naing ngan daw asoya” was written in Burmese signifying Government of the Union of Burma. A drawing of a dancing peacock is in the right. A large size Burmese numeral value “10” in light blue with pink shadow appears at center as underprint. Underneath “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 10 rupees” is written in Burmese, and signed by R.V.N. Hopkins, chairman, on behalf of Burmese State Currency Board and Maung Kaung, member of the board. A rectangular watermark panel framing with a floral is in the left. The watermark for this note is a dancing peacock shown at the watermark window. The small scale head of a mythical lion facing to left is depicted at bottom center. A wash of pale pink vertically shoots through at the center of the note. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the lower left and upper right in red. Eventhough the title of the banknote issuer in Burmese has change into “myanmar,” the usuage for the currency board is still “bama.”
On the reverse at the top center is a drawing of a head of a mythical lion. The note issuer “Government of the Union of Burma” in English is underneath that. This banknote is in light blue. An elephant lifting a log signifying teak as one of the main exports from Burma serves as a main illustration of this note. The watermark for this note, a dancing peacock appears at the right window. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on December 1, 1949.


100 rupees (1950) Government of the Union of Burma banknote (signed by R. V. N. Hopkins and Maung Kaung)

100 RUPEES (1950)
This banknote is 171 x 106 mm with a security thread. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque in green is at the top center  with “pyidaung zu myanmar naing ngan daw asoya” written in Burmese signifying Government of the Union of Burma. A drawing of a dancing peacock is at center.  The head of a mythical lion is depicted on the right panel. Underneath the dancing peacock “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 100 rupees” written in Burmese at the center, and signed by R.V.N. Hopkins, chairman, on behalf of Burmese State Currency Board and Maung Kaung, member of the board. The image of a dancing peacock appears as a watermark in the watermark window at left. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the bottom left and upper right in red ink. Underneath the serial number of the botom left, the date “Rangoon 1st January 1948” is printed inside a floral frame of the banknote. Interesting thing is that the actual agreement date of the Burma’s independence from British is January 1, 1948. However most of the Burmese politicians are strongly believe in astrology and by the astrologers advised Burma to announce her independence on January 4, 1948.  Eventhough the title of the banknote issuer in Burmese has change into “myanmar,” the usuage for the currency board is still “bama.”
On the reverse at top center is a small scale drawing of the head of a mythical lion along with a floral arabesque. The name of banknote issuer “Government of the Union of Burma” in English is underneath. The color of the banknote is light blue. A farmer is ploughing in the paddy field with a pair of oxen. (There is no rope for the oxen). The illustration shows that a main product of Burma is rice. This illustration duplicates the one of the Japanese issued stamps for Burma.The watermark for this note a dancing peacock appears at the watermark window at the right. 
Although Maung Kaung was replaced with U Saw Win of the Currency Board in December 1949, it was decided not to cause confusion by changing the signature. Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited printed these banknotes. These 100 rupee banknotes were issued on January 3, 1950 and demonetized on January 1, 1960.



(C) BANKNOTES OF “UNION BANK OF BURMA”  (1953-65)

The Union Bank of Burma was established on February 3, 1948 and was given the exclusive right to issue banknotes in Burma. U San Lin, who had been currency officer with the currency board, was not the general manager of the Union Bank. On November 28, 1951 he ordered Rs 40 crores of notes from De la Rue with the Union Bank of Burma heading and his signature. These notes were of the same design as the Burma Currency Board issues: on the obverse the title is changed to Union Bank of Burma and the signature of San Lin replaced those of R.V.N. Hopkins and Maung Kaung. The currency department of Union Bank of Burma took over the responsibility for note issue on July 1, 1952. The government notification allowed the Union Bank to issue the Burma Currency Board notes to the end of June 1953. The Burma Currency Board overprints were demonetized on December 20, 1952 and ceased to be exchangeable at Government Treasuries after July 20, 1953. The Union Bank of Burma 1, 5, 10, 100 notes with the “Rupee” denominations were later replaced with “Kyat.” 



  1 rupee (1953) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)

1 RUPEE (1953)

This banknote is 108 x 66 mm with a traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque in gray. The background is light green on the left and right, and light pink in the center, with a dancing peacock in a circle on the right. The image of a dancing peacock appears as watermark at the watermark window on the left. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” is printed in Burmese signifying Union Bank of Burma. Underneath that also written in Burmese is “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 1 silver coin.”  A large size Burmese numeral value “1” in pink appears at center as underprint. This banknote is signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma.  A wash of pale pink vertically shoots through at the center of the note. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the lower left in red. The image of a dancing peacock appears as the water mark at the watermark window on the left. 
On the reverse at top center is the designation “Union Bank of Burma” in English. One large and two small boats are sailing with a mountain rang in the background. On the left side, in a circle of floral arabesque design, is the denomination of the bank note, ONE RUPEE, in English. The watermark for this note a dancing peacock, appears at the watermark window at right. This note has a security thread and printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on January 20, 1953.



5 rupees (1953) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
5 RUPEES (1953)

This banknote is 126 x 73 mm with a dancing peacock and art style depicting a floral arabesque in light brown color on the top center. An artistic drawing of a sitting Chinze (chinthe or mythical lion) in front of a palm tree is at the right. A large size numeral value of the note “5” in Burmese in light blue appears at the center as underprint. The image of a dancing peacock appears as watermark at the watermark window at left. The dancing peacock is the watermark for this note.  In the center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” is printed in Burmese signifying Royal Union of Burma States Bank. Underneath at the center also written in Burmese is “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 5 rupees”. This note is signed by San Lin, managing director on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the lower left and upper right in red.
The reverse of the banknote is in brown. A young girl in traditional Burmese dress is spinning a cotton wheel in the foreground, and behind her a lady weaving is depicted as a main illustration. The name of the banknote issuer “Union Bank of Burma” written in English shows at the bottom center. The watermark for this note, a dancing peacock appears at the watemark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued in January 1953.


 10 rupees (1953) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
10 RUPEES (1953)

This banknote is 145 x 82 mm with a security thread. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in light blue. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” is written in Burmese signifying Royal Union of Burma States Bank. A drawing of a dancing peacock is on the right circle. The watermark for this note a dancing peacock appears at the watemark window at left. Underneath the name of banknote issuer, “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 10 rupees” is printed in Burmese. A large size Burmese numeral value “10” in light blue with pink shadow appears at center as underprint. And this note is signed by San Lin, managing director on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. A wash of pale pink vertically shoots through at the center of the note. The small scale head of a mythical lion is depicted at bottom center on the observe of this note. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the lower left and upper right in red.
On the reverse at top center is a drawing of the head of a mythical lion. The name of the banknote issuer “Union Bank of Burma” is printed underneath it. This banknote is in light blue. An elephant lifting a log, as a main illustration for this note, suggests that teak is one of the main exports from Burma. The watermark for this note the dancing peacock shows at the watermark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued in January 1953.


100 rupees (1953) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)

100 RUPEES (1953) 
This banknote with security thread is 171 x 106 mm. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in green. At the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” is written in Burmese signifying Royal Union of Burma States Bank. A drawing of a dancing peacock is at center. The watermark for this note a dancing peacock appears at the watemark window at left. The head of a mythical lion is depicted on the right panel. Underneath the image of a dancing peacock “at all places where bank notes are issued, this note can be exchanged for 100 kyats” is written in Burmese, and is signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers of the note in English appears at the upper right and lower left in red. The beautiful drawing of a dragon appears at the left and right side of the frame for this note. A small scale drawing of two lions sitting back to back of each other is depicted in the bottom part of the floral frame.
On the reverse at top center is a drawing of a head of mythical lion. The name of the banknote issuer “Union Bank of Burma” in English is underneath. This banknote is in light blue. A farmer is ploughing in the paddy field with a pair of oxen. (There is no rope for the oxen). The watermark for this note is a peacock at right window. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited. These 1953 Union Bank of Burma notes had the “Rupee” denomination (1, 5, 10, 100 rupees) later corrected to “Kyat.”
A second issue of banknotes was made in 1958. These banknotes were of the same design as the 1948-53 banknotes. The main portrait of a dancing peacock or a lion head was replaced with a portrait of General Aung San with peaked cap. The 1, 5, 10 and 100-kyats were introduced on “Union Day” February 12, 1958, and 20 and 50-kyats on August 21, the first issue of 20 and 50-kyats notes made for Burma. There were slight differences of color, and the serial numbers were now entirely in Burmese instead of Roman. As with the first series, all notes except the 1 kyat have a security thread.


 1 kyat (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
1 KYAT (1958)

This banknote is 108 x 66 mm with a traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque in gray. The background is in light green on the left and right, and light pink in the center, a portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap as he appeared on his visit to London in 1947, is at the right circle. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at left. In top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signifys the Union Bank of Burma. Underneath that “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 1 silver coin kyat” is written in Burmese, and signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese script appears at the lower left in red. 
The reverse of this banknote is in light gray. The name of the issuer “Union Bank of Burma” is printed at top center. The Burmese boats sailing down wind with a mountainous background is depicted as a main illustration. The reflection of the sky, the mountains and sailing boats are shown on the surface of a river. The watermark for this banknote is General Aung San and it appears at the watermark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on February 12, 1958.


5 kyats (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)

5  KYATS (1958)
This banknote is 73 x 126 mm with a dancing peacock at the top center. A traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque as a frame is in light brown. A portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap is at the right. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at left. In the center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signifys the Royal Union of Burma States Bank. Underneath “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 5 kyats” is also written in Burmese, and signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers in Burmese script appears at the lower left and upper right in red.
The reverse of the banknote is in brown. As the main illustration a young girl is spinning a cotton wheel in the foreground with a Burmese lady weaving behind her. At the bottom center “Union Bank of Burma” is written in English. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on February 12, 1958.

10 kyats (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)

10 KYATS  (1958)
This banknote is 145 x 82 mm with a security thread. A traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in light blue. A portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap is at the right. A large size Burmese numeral value “10” in light blue with pink shadow appears at center as underprint. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at left. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signifys the Royal Union of Burma States Bank.  Underneath that at center “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 10-kyats” is also written in Burmese. This note was signed by San Lin, managing director on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. A drawing of a small scale drawing of a mythical lion is at the bottom center. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese appears at the upper right and lower left in red.
On the reverse at top center a small scale drawing of the head of a mythical lion is depicted. The name of the banknote issuer “Union Bank of Burma” in English is underneath it. This banknote is in light blue. At the center, an elephant lifting a teak log, as the main illustration for this note, tells teak as one of the main exports from Burma. At the right of the main illustration is the watermark spot. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on February 12, 1958.


20 kyats (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
20 KYATS  (1958)
This banknote is 149 x 86 mm with a security thread. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in violet. A portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap is at the right. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at left. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signifys the Royal Union of Burma States Bank.  Underneath that at center “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 20-kyats” is written in Burmese also. The note is signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese script appears at the lower left and upper right in red.
On the reverse at top center there is a small scale drawing of the head of a mythical lion. The sentence “Union Bank of Burma” is underneath that. This banknote is in light violet. A group of women planting rice in a field serves as a main illustration at center. This illustration also signifys that rice is a main export of Burma. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears in the watemark window at the right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited and issued on August 21, 1958.


50 kyats (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
50 KYATS (1958)
This banknote is 153 x 90 mm with a security thread. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in light brown. A portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap is at the right. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at the left. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signify the Royal Union of Burma States Bank. Underneath that at center is “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 50 kyats” is written in Burmese also. This note is signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. A small scale drawing of a mythical lion’s head is at the bottom center. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese script appears at the lower left and upper right in red.
On the reverse of this banknote, the name of the note issuer “Union Bank of Burma” is printed in English at the top center. This banknote is in light violet. The Mandalay moat as a main illustration is shown in the center. The reflection of moat, trees and clouds are shown on the surface of the canal. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited, and issued on August 21, 1958 and demonetized on May 17, 1964.


100 kyats (1958) Union Bank of Burma banknote (signed by San Lin)
100 KYATS  (1958) 
This banknote is 160 x 100 mm with a security thread. The traditional art style depicting a floral arabesque is in green. A dancing peacock appears in the middle of the note as the main illustration. A wash of pale pink vertically shoots through on left and right of the drawing of a dancing peacock. A portrait of General Aung San with a peaked cap is at right. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at left. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw ban” written in Burmese signify the Royal Union of Burma States Bank. Underneath it in the bottom center “at all places where bank notes are issued this note can be exchanged for 100 kyats” is also written in Burmese. This note is signed by San Lin, managing director, on behalf of Union Bank of Burma. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese script appears at the upper right and lower left in red. A decorative drawing of a dragon is put at the left and right side of frame for this note. A small scale drawing of two lions sitting back to back is depicted in the bottom center of the floral frame.
On the reverse, the small scale drawing of a head of a mythical lion is depicted at the top center. The name of the banknote issuer “Union Bank of Burma” in English is printed at top center. The reverse of the banknote is in green. A farmer with a pair of oxen plouging a field is depicted as the main illustration. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at right. 
This is similar to the1950 issue 100 rupees note, but the oxen now have a rope rein attached and the clouds and water surface are also slightly different. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San appears at the watemark window at right. These banknotes were printed by Thomas De la Rue & Company Limited, and issued on August 21, 1958 and demonetized on May 17, 1964.



(D) BANKNOTES OF THE “PEOPLES BANK OF BURMA” 1965-72

On March 2, 1962 the army under General Ne Win took power. The new Revolutionary Government soon embarked on a massive nationalization program, starting with the banks. On February 23, 1963 all 24 (14 foreign and 10 national) banks were taken over and renamed People’s Banks. A new measure introduced on May 17, 1964: decreed that the high denomination 50 and 100-kyats notes would no longer be legal tender from 7 p.m. that day. The new “Peoples Bank of Burma” notes of 1, 5, 10 and 20-kyats were issued on April 30, 1965, with a portrait of Aung San reflecting his wartime army days. Starting from these notes, a personal signature on behalf of the bank is not used any more on banknotes of Burma. 
These banknotes are in booklet forms and perforated at he left. The denomination of the note written in Burmese printed at the left and at the right at on reverse in vertical position. These banknots have no watermark windows. The monetaryl value of these notes in Burmese are display at the bottom right and upperleft, at bottom left and upper right in English.



 1 kyat (1965) People Bank of Burma banknote 
1 KYAT  (1965)
This banknote is 115 x 66 mm is in purple and blue gray. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw pyi thu ban” written in Burmese signifys Peoples Bank of the Republic of the Union of Burma. The portrait of General Aung San with an open necked shirt, a photograph taken during World War II, is drawn inside the oval shape frame at the center. On the right of the portrait of Aung San, the value of the note in large size in Roman, and at left in Burmese is displayed. A wash of pale pink vertically shoots through at the center of the note. The serial numbers of the note in Burmese appears at the lower left in red.
The reverse of the banknote is purple and blue gray. The code of arms is at the upper left. In the code of arms, the map of Burma is drawn on a circle shape frame which has three inscriptions that reads “tha met ga na, ta paw, thu khaw” in parli language meaning virtue and thrift make happiness. The circle and the map of Burma is surrounded by three mythical lions (one on the left, one on the right and the other one on the top center). Below that are scrolls, in which “pyi daung zu tha mata myanma naing ngan daw” signifying Republic of the Union of Burma. Peoples Bank of Burma is written in English under the code of arms. 
A fisherman (the Intha renowned the famous Inlay lake) standing in his boat and holding up a fishing net is drawn as the main illustration at the center. This note contains blue and red threads, and has a watermark consisting of a series of semi circles. At the upper right and lower left corners of the frame, the numerical value of the note in Roman is drawn. At the upper left and lower right corners, the numerical value of the note in Burmese is shown. All serial numbers for this note are in Burmese. These notes were printed in East Berlin. This 1 kyat note was issued on April 30, 1965.


  5 kyats (1965) People Bank of Burma banknote 
5 KYATS  (1965)
This banknote is 70 x 150 mm and is green. In top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw pyi thu ban”in Burmese signifying People’s Bank of the Union of Burma States. The portrait of General Aung San with an open necked shirt is inside the oval shape frame at center as the main illustration. On the right of the portrait of Aung San, the value of the note in large size in Roman, and at left in Burmese are displayed. 
At the upper right and lower left corners of the frame, the numerical value of the note in Roman is drawn. At the upper left and lower right corners, the numerical value of the note in Burmese is shown. A small scale drawing of a water lili at bottom center beneath Aung San’s portrait is shown. The serial numbers of the note appears at the lower center left in Burmese and at the upper right in English in red.
The reverse of the banknote is green. The code of arms is at the upper left. The word and numerical value of the note “five kyats” is written under the code of arms. A farmer standing along side of his cow and holding a rope rein to his cow serves as the main illustration at the center. Peoples Bank of Burma is written at the bottom center. The watermark is a pattern throughout the paper. These notes were printed in East Berlin.


10 kyats (1965) People Bank of Burma banknote 
10 KYATS  (1965)
This banknote is 159 x 81 mm in red brown and violet. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw pyi thu ban” written in Burmese signifys People’s Bank of the Union of Burma States. The portrait of Aung San with an open necked shirt is inside an oval shape frame at the center as a main illustration. On the right of the portrait of Aung San, the value of the note in large size in Roman, and at the left in Burmese are displayed. 
At the upper right and lower left corners of the frame, the numerical value of the note in Roman is drawn. At the upper left and lower right corners, the numerical value of the note is shown in Burmese. 
A small scale mythical lion’s head is depicted at bottom center. The serial numbers of the note appears at the lower center left in Burmese and at the upper right in English in red.
The reverse of the banknote is in red brown, and a small scale mythical lion’s head is depicted at top center. The code of arms is at the center left. The value of the note “Ten Kyats” is written under the code of arms. A woman picking cotton is depicted as the main illustration at the center right. The name of the banknote issuer “Peoples Bank of Burma” is written in English at the bottom center. At all four corner of the frame, the numerical value of this note is presented.  The watermark is a pattern throughout the paper. These notes were printed in East Berlin.



 20 kyats (1965) People Bank of Burma banknote 

20 KYATS  (1965)
This banknote is 169 x 90 mm in brown and tan. In the top center “pyidaung zu myanma naing ngan daw pyi thu ban” written in Burmese signifys People’s Bank of the Union of Burma States. A portrait of General Aung San wearing an open necked shirt is shown as the main illustration within an oval shape frame at the center. The large size numerical value of this note, is at the right in Roman, and in Burmese at the lower left of the Aung San’s portrait. At the upper right and lower left corners of the frame, the numerical value of the note in Roman is drawn. At the upper left and lower right corners, the numerical value of the note in Burmese is shown. The serial numbers of the note appear at the lower center left in Burmese and at the upper right in English in red. 
The reverse of the banknote is brown and tan. The code arms is at the upper left. The words “twenty kyats” appears under the code of arms. “Peoples Bank of Burma” is written at the upper center. A farmer on a cultivating tractor is depicted as the main illustration at the center right. At the upper right and lower left corners of the frame, the numerical value of the note in Roman is drawn. At the upper left and lower right corners, the numerical value of the note is shown in Burmese. A small scale drawing of mythical lion’s head is at the bottom center. The watermark is a pattern throughout the paper. These notes were printed in East Berlin. 



(E) BANKNOTES ISSUED BY ETHNIC GROUP OF BURMA


 Following Burma’s independence from Britain, various insurgent armies have been in operation against the central government. Among them Shan National Army (SNA) only in Keng Tung area,  managed to issue banknotes. The name of the banknote issuer in Shan scripts are printed at the top center. The value of the note which is also written in Shan script at lower center. These notes were issued in 1964-1965. 

Shan National Flag



 (1964) Banknote of Shan State (Tailand) Army 


All notes are about 146 x 86 mm. A drawing of two tigers are straddling the globe  which shows the map of the Shan state under a sparkling star is at right. The banners of “Government of Tailand” written in English and Shan script appear underneath the drawing of tighers and a globe. The code of arms, a sword and a spear crossing each other framing with the ear of paddy, is at the left. The serial numbers in Roman are printed in red at the upper left and the lower right. 
On the reverse “Our country has attained the highest level” in Shan script is printed at the upper center.  There are three denominations:  thep neung (1-kyat) in blue displays the illustraions of forming the industrial society and factory; ha thep (5-kyats) in purple shows the modern cultivation, teak and crops productions; seep thep (10-kyats) in brown illustrates the health care, education and developmental works for society. All these illustrations express the goals of the government for her people.



(F) BANKNOTES OF “UNION OF BURMA BANK” (1972-87) 

On April 30, 1972 the Peoples Bank of Burma was renamed the Union of Burma Bank (not to be confused with the earlier Union Bank of Burma although the Burmese phraseology is the same except for the omission of “daw” in the new title). During that year starting with a 25-kyats banknote, a very attractive new note series was begun, designed by Burmese traditional artists U Aye Myint and Major Aung Than. The final decision to select these banknote designs was made by General Ne Win. These banknotes were printed in Germany. Later, a quality printing press for banknotes was installed in Burma. The location of the Security Printing Press factory producing the currency notes is in Wazi, (a small town in mid western Burma) which forms part of a military complex. 
All denominations of Union Bank of Burma and People’s Bank of Burma banknotes continued to be legal tender at the time of the 25-kyats issue.


1 kyat (1972) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
1 KYAT  (1972)

This banknote is 124 x 60 mm in light green and brown. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is on the top center in Burmese. The portrait of General Aung San in a Japanese army uniform is at the left. The denomination of the note in Burmese script is in the center. A new way to spelling the value one kyat “tit kyat” in Burmese was introduced as General Ne Win’s advise. The numerical value of the note is at the bottom left and upper right in Burmese, at bottom right and upper left in Roman. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English.
On the reverse, “Union of Burma Bank” is printed at the top center. The value of this banknote was depicted inside an ornate circle in Roman is drawn at the center left. The main illustration of this note, a spinning wheel is at the right. The denomination of the note in words one kyat in English is printed at the bottom center. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left.  This 1-kyat note circulated on December 30, 1972.


 5 kyat (1973) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
5 KYATS  (1973)

This banknote is 136 x 70 mm in blue, purple and multiple colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is on the top. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the upper right, at the upper left in English. The portrait of General Aung San (about to receive the Order of Rising sun Decoration from the empire of Japan on March 1943) is depicted within a floral wood carved frame on the left. The denomination of the note in Burmese script is at the center. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the bottom left, and in Roman at the bottom right. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right.
On the reverse, a drawing of a man climbing a toddy palm tree is at the center left. The denomination of the note in words five kyats in English is printed at center with the large size Roman number 5 as underprint. The name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is at the bottom in English. The watermark for this note Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left. This note circulated on October 31, 1973. 


10 kyat (1973) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
 10 KYATS  (1973)

This banknote is 146 x 80 mm in blue, purple and multiple colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” in Burmese signifying Union of Burma Bank is on the top. At the left, a portrait of General Aung San wearing a peaked cap is in front of a floral wood carving frame bordered by two dragons. 
A new way of describing the value in Burmese ten kyat “tit se kyat” is introduced. The word denomination of the note in Burmese script is at the center. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the bottom left and upper right, at bottom right and upper left in English.The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English.
On the reverse, the name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written at the top. In the center left, a circular tray with a stem of six dancing legendary human birds lifting the tray is illustrated inside a traditional floral frame. The large size numerical value of the note in Roman displays at the right of the main illustration. The watermark for this note, the portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at the left.This 10 kyats note circulated on June 30, 1973. 


20-kyats (1972) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
25 KYATS  (1972)

This banknote is 155 x 90 mm in brown and tan on multi colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is at the top. The portrait of General Aung San in military uniform without a hat is inside a floral wooden frame accompanied by two lions at the left. The denomination of the note in word in Burmese script “hnit se nga kyat” (twenty five kyat) is at the center and twenty five kyats in English at the bottom center. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the bottom left and upper right, at bottom right and upper left in English. The serial numbers of the note in red appears at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, the name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written on the top. A mythical winged creature depicted at center, “Pin sa Rupa” signifying parts from five different animals; the body of a horse, bird wings, a dragon’s head, the tail of a fish, and the trunk of an elephant. The Roman numerical value of the note in large size is at the right of the main illustration. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
This new value note was issued on September 30, 1972 and demonetized on September 5, 1987.



50-kyats (1979) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
50 KYATS  (1979)
This note is 166 x 100 mm in brown and violet on multi colors. “The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is at the top. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right, at tope left in Roman. The portrait of General Aung San dressed in a cloth cap (a gaung baung) in traditional Burmese style is at the left. The denomination of the note in Burmese script “nga se kyat” (fifty kyat) shows at the center, and fifty kyats in English at the bottom center of the note. The numerical value of the note in Roman is at the bottom right, and in Burmese at bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
 On the reverse, the name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written at the top. A galon (mythical creature; half human, half bird) astride a dragon, in a dancing posture is illustrated at center left. This illustration insinuates that Saya San, a peasant leader opposed to British rule, used the flag with a mythical big bird seizing a dragon, symbolized Burmese success against the British. The denomination of the note fifty kyats is printed at center with the numerical value 50 in large size as underprint. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
This note was issued on July, 1979 and demonetized on November 3, 1985.



100-kyats (1976) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
100 KYATS  (1976)


This banknote is 176 x 11 mm in blue, green and multi colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is at the top. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right. A new way of spelling the value “tit yar kyat” (one hundred kyat) is introduced. The portrait of General Aung San in traditional Burmese dress with a cloth cap is at the left. The denomination of the note in Burmese script is at the center, and in English at the bottom. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower left in Burmese and at the upper right in English. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, the name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written at the top. A drawing of a musical string instrument, a Burmese harp is the main illustration at the center. The Roman numerical value of the note is printed in large type with the traditional art style depicting of floral arabesque background at the right. The denomination of the note “one hundred kyats” is written at the bottom. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
This 100-kyats note circulated on April 16, 1976 and was demonetized on November 3, 1985.



(G) UNUSUAL DENOMINATION BANKNOTES OF “UNION OF BURMA BANK” (1985-87)


15-kyats (1986) Union of Burma Bank banknote
15-KYATS  (1986)
This banknote is 150 x 71 mm in blue gray, green on red and multi color. “The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is at the top right. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right. A new way of spelling the value “tit se nga kyat” (fifteen kyat) is introduced. A portrait of General Aung San in military uniform without hat (same as 25-kyats note) is at the left. The denomination of the note in Burmese script is at the center right. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. 
The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower center right in Burmese and at the upper left in English. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at leftt as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, “thu nge daw,” a mythical royal page dancer, is at the left. The denomination of the note fifteen kyats in English is at the center right along with a traditional floral illustration. The name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written at the bottom right. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
This new value note was issued on September 30, 1986.


35-kyats (1986) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
35 KYATS  (1986)

This banknote is 155 x 74 mm in brown violet and purple on multi colors. “The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is at the top right. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right. The denomination of the note in Burmese script “thone se nga kyat” (thirty five kyats) displays in the center right. The portrait of General Aung San in military uniform (same as notes of 1958) is at the left. A mythical hintha bird is behind the portrait of Aung San. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower center right in Burmese and at the upper left in English. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, a wood sculture of Sakka (the lord of the first and second levels of existence of the nat devas), a rabbit in the moon in a wood curving floral design at the left, and a mythical hintha (Brahminy duck) are illustrated at the center right. The denomination of the note thirty five kyats in English is at the center right. The name of the banknote issuer, Union of Burma Bank, is written at the bottom. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at bottom left. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
This new value note was issued on September 30, 1986 and demonetized on September 5, 1987.


45-kyats (1987) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
 45-KYATS  (1987)


This banknote is 158 x 75 mm in blue and gray on multi colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is written across the top. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right. The portrait of the renouned workers movement leader Thakin (master) Po Hla Gyi, iron chain hanging around his neck, is at right center. The denomination of the note in Burmese script “lay se nga kyat” (forty five kyats) is at the center left of the main illustration. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower center right in Burmese and at the upper left in English. The portrait of Thakin Po Hla Gyi appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, the name of the note issuer “Union of Burma Bank” is written across the top.  A drawing of workers in an oil field is at center.  The denomination of the note fifty five kyats is written at the bottom center. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. The portrait of Thakin Po Hla Gyi appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. 
This new value note was issued on September 22, 1987. 


75-kyats (1987) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
75 KYATS  (1985)


This banknote is 160 x 77 mm and the color in gray and green on multi colors. The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is written across the top right. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right corner. The portrait of smiling General Aung San in traditional Burmese dress with a cloth cap is in the center. The denomination of the note in word in Burmese script “khu hnit se nga kyat” (seventy five kyat) is at the right center of the main illustration. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower center right in Burmese and at the upper left in English. The portrait of Aung San to right appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, a “law ka nat” (deity revered by the world, as a celestial peacemaker, usually depicted in a dancing posture with the feet holding a timing cymbals) is shown at the left as a main illustration. The denomination of this note seventy five kyats is at the center right along side a floral design. The name of the note issuer “Union of Burma Bank” is written across the bottom. The portrait of Aung San to left appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. This new value note was issued on September 30, 1985, Burma’s dictator General Ne Win’s 75th birthday. This banknote was demonetized on September 5, 1987.

90-kyats (1987) Union of Burma Bank banknote 
90-KYATS  (1987)


This banknote is 167 x 79 mm in blue and green on multi colors. “The name of the banknote issuer “pyi daung zu myanmar naing ngan ban” signifying Union of Burma Bank is written across the top center left. The numerical value of the note in Burmese is at the top right corner. The portrait of Saya San, a renouned peasant leader is depicted at the right center. The denomination of the note in Burmese script “koe se kyat” (ninety kyats) is at the center left of the main illustration. The numerical value of the note in English shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at the bottom left. The serial numbers of the note in red appear at the lower center right in Burmese and at the upper left in English. The portrait of Saya San appears at the empty space at left as the watermark for this note. 
On the reverse, the name of the note issuer “Union of Burma Bank” is written across the top. A drawing of a farmer plowing a field with his oxen is at the left center, and a group of female farmers planting rice in a paddy field, is at the center right. The denomination of the note “ninety kyats” is written at the bottom center. The numerical value of the note in Roman shows at the bottom right, and in Burmese at bottom left. The portrait of Saya San appears at the empty space at right as the watermark for this note.This new value note was issued on September 22, 1987. 

_________________________________

Conclusion

During the sunset days of General Ne Win, the issue of banknotes did not follow international banknote issuing rules and regulations. Many political and personal influences were involved in banknote issuing sectors. In addition, these banknotes were wipen out of circulation many times because of demonetizing. Finally, the military government changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar in 1989 and issued new banknotes with new designs and new values. Consumer prices skyrocketed after the military took power, and the old design banknotes were hardly compatible with the elevated prices. Today, only banknotes of higher value denominations but lower standard quality are issued by the current government of Burma.
Banknotes in the unusual denominations of 15-kyats, 35-kyats, 45-kyats, 75-kyats, 90-kyats, the portrait of General Aung San was the main illustration on the obverse except on 45-kyats and 90-kyats. On the 45-kyats note, the portrait of oil production workers’ leader Thakhin Po Hla Gyi was shown. The portrait of farmer revolutionary leader Saya San was depicted on the 90-kyats banknote. On the reverse of banknotes, a mythical royal page dancer on 15-kyats, a wood sculpture of Sakka on 35-kyats, oil works on 45-kyats, a wood sculpture of Law Ka Nat on 75-kyats, farmers on 90-kyats were drawn. Traditional designs, arts, legendary symbols, scenes of ordinary people’s lives were used on these banknotes.

In the future, the issue of banknotes should follow the international banknote issuing standard guidelines. Designs and illustrations should reflect legendary and historical aspects of the country, its founders and leaders. Ideally, the most admired and respected persons such as Thakhin Ko daw Hmaing should be honored on these banknotes. Just showing the image of a lion or elephant signifies a power holder’s challenge to the people. Banknotes are like the faces of all Burma’s people and must be diverse, beautiful and enduring. 

I would appreciate any suggestions and advice towards providing more complete knowledge about the Banknotes of Burma.  

If you have any Banknotes from Burma, please let me borrow for the better scan quality images and more research.  

Thank You.

Min Sun Min

please contact with me for any suggestions and advices. 
burmaglance@gmail.com



– 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.








5 comments:

  1. I really like to see the history of a contry in its banknotes, Bruma/Myanmar is very interesting. I really like your article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Usagi,

      Thank you for your interest in the banknotes history of Burma. If you have any information about banknotes of Burma to share with me, please let me know.

      Min Sun Min

      Delete
  2. Sir, I enjoyed every dingle line of your study. I am a young collector and I appreciated a lot to know all the information in your blog. Thank you, giovanni

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Giovanni

      Thank you for your interest in the banknotes history of Burma. If you have any information about banknotes of Burma to share with me, please let me know.

      I visited to your blog and these pictures are so beautiful. I miss Burma.

      Min Sun Min

      Delete
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