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City flooded with virtually worthless Thai currency

DutchAmsterdam.nl — Tourist beware: Amsterdam is flooded with virtually worthless Thai coins that are passed off as 2 euro coins.

Thai 10 bath coin

The give-away: no euro coins include this image of a Thai temple

According to local daily Het Parool many people who vacationed in Thailand return to Amsterdam with lots of Thai 10 bath coins, which are worth about 24 euro cents.

“We estimate that lately at least ten thousand of these coins are circulating in the Netherlands, says Sander van Golberdinge, Deputy Director for Detailhandel Nederland — the umbrella organisation for all retail trade in the Netherlands.

“But the damage is multiplied because the coins are spent multiple times, costing retail businesses millions of euros.”

Confusing

At first glance the 10 bath coin does look very similar to the 2 euro coin.

2 euro coin

All official 2 euro coins feature this common design.

But the Thai coins features an image of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the observe, and an image of a Thai temple on the reverse.

According to Wikipedia

The bi-metallic ten-baht coin is very similar to the two–euro coin, which first minted in 2002, in size, shape and weight and likewise consists of two different alloys. Vending machines that are not equipped with an up-to-date coin-checking system might therefore accept them as €2 coins.

This similarity depends by the fact that both two coins are minted on the model of defunct Italian 500 lire, the world first modern bi-metallic coin. To mint its 10 baht coin in 1988, the Thai government had to be allowed by the Italian mint, which had an international copyright over bi-metallic minting. The 10 baht is a perfect copy of 500 lire even in its alloy, being made of acmonital for the ring and bronzital for the centre, but slightly larger (26 mm to 25.80 mm) and heavier (8.5 g to 6.8 g).

Even locals who have used the euro since the currency’s introduction in 2002 easily mistake the Thai coin for a euro coin.

No wonder. Euro coins have a common reverse side and country-specific national sides. First issued in 2002, the common side — whose design includes a map of Europe — was updated in 2007 to reflect the expansion in European Union membership countries.

To make matters worse there are also commemorative issues, resulting in an even large number of national sides.

However, none of the genuine 2 euro coins feature a Thai temple.

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This post was last updated: Oct. 27, 2017