Brunei dollar

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Brunei dollar
Ringgit Brunei  (Malay)
ريڠڬيت بروني (Jawi Malay)
BruneiNew1Dollar65.jpg Brunei 5 dollar 2011 polymer note.jpg
New 1 dollar polymer note (2011) New 5 dollar polymer note (2011)
ISO 4217 code BND
Central bank Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam
(Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam)
User(s)  Brunei
 Singapore (alongside Singapore Dollar)
Inflation 1.2%
 Source The World Factbook, 2012
Pegged with Singapore dollar at par
 1/100 cent
Symbol B$
Coins 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents
 Freq. used $1, $5, $10, $50, $100
 Rarely used $20, $25, $500, $1000, $10,000

The Brunei dollar (Malay: ringgit Brunei, currency code: BND), has been the currency of the Sultanate of Brunei since 1967. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively B$ to distinguish it from other dollar-dominated currencies, It is divided into 100 sen (Malay) or cents (English).

The Brunei dollar is managed together with the Singapore dollar at a 1:1 ratio by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). (Singapore is one of Brunei's major trading partners.)


Main article: Brunei pitis

Early currency in Brunei included cowrie shells. Brunei is also famous for its bronze teapots, which were used as currency in barter trade along the coast of North Borneo.

Brunei issued tin coins denominated in pitis in AH1285 (AD1868). These were followed by a one cent coin in AH1304 (AD1888). This cent was one hundredth of a Straits dollar.

As a protectorate of Britain in the early 20th century, Brunei used the Straits dollar and later the Malayan dollar and the Malaya and British Borneo dollar until 1967, when it began issuing its own currency.

The Brunei dollar replaced the Malaya and British Borneo dollar in 1967 after the formation of Malaysia and the independence of Singapore. Until June 23, 1973, the Malaysian ringgit was exchangeable at par with the Singapore dollar and Brunei dollar. The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board (now the Authoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam) still maintain the exchangeability of their two currencies. The dollar is accepted as "customary tender" in Singapore according to the Currency Interchangeability Agreement,[1] although it is not legal tender there. Likewise, the Singapore dollar is customarily accepted in Brunei. Although the value of the Brunei dollar is the same as the Singapore dollar, the exchange rate to consumers is often much lower if Brunei dollars are exchanged, especially in Canada, U.S., and Belgium.[citation needed]

Coins were used in Brunei from the 10th century. The Straits dollar was also used in Brunei from 1906.

History of coins used in Brunei[edit]

Due to the close ties between China and Brunei, the first type of coins used in Brunei were Chinese coins. This was initially called ‘Pitis’. They were later known as ‘Kue’ when local ‘Pitis’ were introduced.[2][3] The local ‘Pitis’ coins had ‘Sultanate of Brunei’ stamped in front of the coin and the royal umbrella was imprinted at the back. These were issued from the 16th to the 19th century. Previous Islamic coins were also called the ‘Pitis’.[4] Another type of coin that was used in Brunei were ‘Duit besi’ (which roughly translates to ‘Iron money’). Iron was considered valuable those days that it was used as money. 100 one-square inch pieces were valued at 1 dollar.[3]

The last coin to be issued before the introduction of the Straits Settlements currency was the ‘Duit Bintang’, otherwise known as the ‘Star coin’.[2] It is called the Star coin because of the star imprinted on the front of the coin. It was minted in Birmingham, England, in 1887.[2] It was made from copper.

With the introduction of the Straits Settlements currency, the previously used coins were taken out of circulation. They were, however still used with certain exchange rates.[3]

History of banknotes used in Brunei[edit]

One Straits dollar banknote from 1935

The Straits dollar was introduced in Brunei in 1906. It was later replaced by the Malayan dollar which was introduced to British colonies and Brunei in 1939. It replaced the Straits dollar at par with a 1:1 exchange rate. The Malayan dollar was issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency in Malaya. The board stopped issuing the Malayan dollar during the Japanese invasion during World War II. The Malayan dollar had the portrait of King George VI in front of the note.[2]

In 1952, the board was renamed the Board of Commissioners of Malaya and British Borneo. The board then began to issue notes to Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, British North Borneo, and Brunei in 1953. This was known as the Malaya and British Borneo dollar.[2] In 1967, the Malaya and British Borneo dollar was replaced by three new currencies: the Malaysian dollar, Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar, all at par.[5]

The Singapore dollar is still interchangeable with the Brunei dollar today.[4]


In 1967, coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. Except for the bronze 1 cent, the coins were struck in cupro-nickel. In 1986, copper-clad steel replaced bronze.[6]


On June 12, 1967,[7] the government (Kerajaan Brunei) introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 dollars. Notes for 500 and 1000 dollars followed in 1979. In 1989, the title on the paper money was changed to Negara Brunei Darussalam, the official name of the country, and the Malay term for “State of Brunei, Abode of Peace.” 10,000 dollar notes were introduced the same year. All notes bear the denomination in Malay (in both Rumi and Jawi)and in English. The English denomination appeared on the obverse below the denomination in Malay on the earlier series, but now appears on the reverse together with the Jawi.

Five series of notes have been issued. The colours of $1, $5, and $10 notes have been the same for all the series of banknotes. [1]

1967 series[edit]

First series (1967) - currency with the portrait of HM the late Sultan Sir Omar Ali Saifuddin, the 28th ruler of Brunei.

1972 series[edit]

Second series - This series was the same as the first series with exception that the portrait of HM Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin was replaced by the portrait of HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th and current ruler of Brunei. All subsequent currency has the portrait of HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. In addition, two new higher denominations were issued in 1979.

  • $1 ~ $100 like 1967 series
  • $500 - orange
  • $1000 - brown

1989 series[edit]

Third series - the post independence series. This series was gradually being replaced by the fourth series.

  • $1 - blue
  • $5 - green
  • $10 - red
  • $50 - brown, green, orange
  • $100 - purple
  • $500 - orange
  • $1000 - red-violet, purple, olive
  • $10000 - green, orange

1996–2000 polymer and paper series[edit]

Fourth Series (1996–2000) all notes except for the polymer issues are no longer printed.

1996 Polymer and Paper Notes
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue Material
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Window / Watermark
Brunei 1dollar polimer front.JPG Brunei 1dollar polimer back.JPG $1 141 x 69 mm Blue Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Rainforest Waterfall Coat of Arms of Brunei
(Transparent window)
1996 Polymer
Brunei 5dollar polymer front.JPG Brunei 5dollar polymer back.JPG $5 Green Rainforest Floor
Brunei 10dollar polymer front.JPG Brunei 10dollar polymer back.JPG $10 Red Rainforest Canopy
$50 158 x 75 mm Brown, Green and Blue Oil Rig Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
1996 Paper
[2] $100 Brown, Orange Brunei International Airport
[3] [4] $500 175 x 81 mm Orange Royal Regalia Building 2000

2004–2007 (polymer) series[edit]

Polymer banknotes were introduced in (2004) due to high cases of banknote forgery. All of them are polymer. The $100 note of this series has won a gold medal award for its security features in the 22nd National Print Award in Australia in May 2005.[8]

2004-2007 Polymer Notes
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Transparent Window printing issue
50 Dollar Brunei Currency note.jpg 50 Brunei dollar note (back).jpg $50 158 x 75 mm Light Blue and Bronze Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Rainforest Bushes Various different flora of Brunei 15 July 2004
Hassanal Bolkiah's 58th birthday
Brunei 100dollar polymer front.JPG Brunei 100dollar polymer back.JPG $100 Brown and orange Chermin Island
500 Brunei Dollar Note.jpg [5] $500 175 x 81 mm Pink Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Foundation Building (Yayasan) 2006 28 December 2006
[6] [7] $1000 182 x 84 mm Grey and Brown Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah The Ministry of Finance Building in Bandar Seri Begawan 21 June 2007
10000 Brunei Dollar.jpg Reverse of 10000 Brunei Dollar Bill.jpg $10,000 180 x 90 mm Gold and Green The Legislative Council (Parliament) Building in Bandar Seri Begawan 28 December 2006

The SG$10,000 and B$10,000 notes are the world's most valuable banknotes (that are officially in circulation).[9] As of August 2011, they're worth over seven times as much as the next most valuable, the 1000 Swiss franc note.[10]

2011 polymer series[edit]

  • $1 - blue (2011)[11]
  • $5 - green and yellow (2011)[12]
  • $10 - red, yellow and brown (2011)[13]
To commemorate the 65th birthday of HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.[14] Shortly after the notes were issued, the Braille dots on the upper left front corner of the new polymer notes are not raised. The Braille dots cannot be felt tactilely, and they are not accurately rendered as Braille numbers corresponding to the denominations. Specifically, the spacing of the dots is wrong, and the lack the lead-in character that indicates that numbers follow.[15][16]


  • $25 - purple and beige (1992)
This was issued during the silver jubilee (25th anniversary) of HM Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah acceding to the throne. The design is of the 1989 series of currency.
  • $20 - yellow (polymer, 2007)
On 27 June 2007, Singapore and Brunei celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement (since 12 June 1967) by joint-issuing commemorative $20 notes.[17]
The two authorities issue distinct versions of the new $20 notes. They are both yellow, 149 × 72 mm in size, and made of polymer. The reverses are almost identical except that the Brunei version has their state title in Jawi script, while the Singaporean version has the state title of Brunei in Latin script.[18] The obverse of the Singaporean version is similar to the current Portrait Series, whereas the obverse of the Brunei version is similar to the $50 and $100 of the 2004 series.
There is a limited edition set, which consists of both versions in a folder, with matching serial number. The notes have "40th Anniversary Currency Interchangeability Agreement" overprinted on obverse. In addition, the Singaporean version has the two countries' state creates above the commemorative text. Only 12,000 sets are available, 10,000 from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and 2,000 from the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board.[18]
The circulation version has been available since 16 July 2007.[19]
Current BND exchange rates

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monetary Authority of Singapore. "The Currency Interchangeability Agreement". Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Brunei History seen through its coinage". Brunei Times. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Brunei's currency notes before 1967". 
  4. ^ a b Basic Commerce for Brunei Darussalam. p. 23. 
  5. ^ Basic Commerce for Brunei Darussalam. p. 22. 
  6. ^ Ministry of Finance
  7. ^ Linzmayer, Owen (2011). "Brunei". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  8. ^ The Brunei Times (2006-12-28). "Brunei issues new $10,000 bank note". Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  9. ^ PARITY DEMOCRACY and MONEY: Annual Meetings Paper 11, COUNCIL for PARITY DEMOCRACY. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  10. ^ Mega money: valuable bank notes
  11. ^ A poster released by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam) that explains the security features on the 1 ringgit/dollar polymer banknote
  12. ^ A poster released by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam) that explains the security features on the 5 ringgit/dollar polymer banknote
  13. ^ A poster released by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (Monetary Authority of Brunei Darussalam) that explains the security features on the 10 ringgit/dollar polymer banknote
  14. ^ Brunei new 1-, 5-, and 10-dollar notes confirmed, Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  15. ^ Brunei's new notes contain Braille blunder, Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  16. ^ Accuracy of Braille in banknotes questioned, The Brunei Times. August 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  17. ^ Monetary Authority of Singapore (2007-06-27). "Commemorating the 40th Anniversary the Currency Interchangeability Agreement". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  18. ^ a b Monetary Authority of Singapore (2007-06-27). "Annex 1, Commemorating the 40th Anniversary the Currency Interchangeability Agreement". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  19. ^ Monetary Authority of Singapore (2007-06-27). "$20 Polymer Note to Commemorate 40 Years of the Currency Interchangeability Agreement". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by:
Malaya and British Borneo dollar
Reason: Currency Agreement
Ratio: at par, or 60 dollars = 7 British pounds
Currency of Brunei, Singapore
1967 –
Concurrent with: Singapore dollar
Succeeded by: