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Burmese kyat

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Title: Burmese kyat  
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Burmese kyat

Burmese kyat
1 kyat (1990) 1000 kyat (2004)
ISO 4217 code MMK
Central bank Central Bank of Myanmar
User(s)  Myanmar
Inflation 3.1%
 Source The World Factbook, 2012 est.
 1/100 pya
Symbol K
Coins K1, K5, K10, K50, K100
Banknotes 50 pyas, K1, K5, K10, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000, K5000, K10,000

The kyat (Burmese: ကျပ် ; ISO 4217 code MMK) is the currency of Burma (Myanmar). It is often abbreviated as "K" (singular or plural) or "Ks" (plural), which is placed before or after the numerical value, depending on author preference.


  • Current MMK exchange rates 1
  • History 2
    • First kyat, 1852-1889 2.1
    • Second Kyat, 1943-1945 2.2
    • Third kyat, 1952- 2.3
  • Coins 3
    • First kyat 3.1
    • Second kyat 3.2
    • Third kyat 3.3
  • Banknotes 4
    • First kyat 4.1
    • Second kyat 4.2
    • Third kyat 4.3
  • 1965 5
  • 1972-1987 6
  • 1990-Current 7
    • Foreign Exchange Certificates 7.1
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Current MMK exchange rates

From 2001-2012, the official exchange rate varied between 5.75 and 6.70 kyats per US dollar (8.20 to 7.00 kyats per euro). However, the street rate (black market rate), which more accurately took into account the standing of the national economy, has varied from 750 kyats to 1335 kyats per USD (985 to 1475 kyats per EUR). Black market exchange rates (USD to MMK) decrease during the peak of the tourist season in Burma (December to January).

On 2 April 2012, the Central Bank of Myanmar announced that the value of the kyat against the US dollar would float, setting an initial rate of K 818 per US dollar.[1]

On 20 March 2013, the Finance Ministry announced that it would abolish Foreign Exchange Certificates (FEC), which were mandatory for tourists to buy at least $200 worth of until 2003, a measure used to stop visitors from exchanging on the black market. [2]


First kyat, 1852-1889

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 conquered by the British.

Second Kyat, 1943-1945

When the Japanese occupied Burma in 1942, they introduced a currency based on the rupee. This was later replaced by banknotes in all kyat denominations. This kyat was subdivided into 100 cents. The currency became worthless at the end of the war when the Burmese rupee was reintroduced in 1945.

Third kyat, 1952-

The present kyat was introduced on 1 July 1952. It replaced the rupee at par. Decimalization also took place, with the kyat subdivided into 100 pya.


First kyat

In 1852, Mindon, the second last king of Burma, established the Royal Mint in Mandalay (Central Burma). The dies were made in Paris. 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 reverse contained the denomination and mint date (in the Burmese era, which starts from AD 638). In the 1860s and 1870s, lead coins were issued for ⅛ and ¼ pya, with copper, brass, tin and iron ¼ pe (1 pya) and copper 2 pya. Further gold goins were issued in 1866 for 1 pe, 2½ mu and 1 kyat, with 5 mu issued in 1878.

Second kyat

No coins were issued for this currency.

Third kyat

In 1956, coins were introduced for 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 pyas and 1 kyat. The new coins bore the same obverse figure of the Chinthe from the Second kyat coins and the same reverse design, with the value of the coin in Myanmar writing and numerals surrounded by Myanmar flower designs.

1956-1966 issued coins [1]
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 pya 18 mm 2.2 g Bronze
90% copper
10% zinc
Plain Chinthe Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
5 pyas 19.5 mm 3.17 g Copper-nickel Plain Chinthe Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
10 pyas 19.5 mm 4.46 g Copper-nickel Plain Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
25 pyas 24.1 mm 6.78 g Copper-nickel Plain Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
50 pyas 26 mm 7.8 g Copper-nickel Plain Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
1 kyat 30.5 mm 11.65 g Copper-nickel Plain Value (digit),Value (writing), year of minting, Myanmar flower designs 1956
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimeter. For table standards, see the .

In 1966, all coins were redesigned to feature Aung San on the obverse and were all changed in composition to aluminum. Furthermore, the coins were slightly reduced in size. However, they retained the same shapes and overall appearance of the previous series of coins. These were circulated until being discontinued in 1983.

In 1983 a new series of coins was issued in bronze or brass 5, 10, 25, 50 pyas and cupro-nickel 1 kyat. Although the 25 pyas was initially round, it was later redesigned as hexagonal due to size and appearance confusions with the 10 and 50 pyas. These would be the last official series of coins to be issued under the name of "Burma."

1 pya coins were last minted in 1966, with the 5 and 25 pyas last minted in 1987 and the 10 and 50 pyas in 1991.

In 1999, a new series of coins was issued in denominations of bronze 1 kyat, brass 5 and 10 kyats, and cupro-nickel 50 and 100 kyats under the name "Central Bank of Myanmar." These are also the first coins of Burma to depict Latin letters. These coins were intended for vendors and services as an alternative to large amounts of worn out, low denomination banknotes. High inflation has since pushed these coins out of circulation.

In late 2008, the Myanmar government announced that new 50 and 100 kyat coins would be issued. According to newspaper articles, the new 50 kyat coin would be made of copper, with the usual Burmese lion on the obverse and the Lotus Fountain from Naypyidaw on the reverse. The 100 Kyat coin would be of cupro-nickel and depict the Burmese lion on the obverse and the value on the reverse.

1991 Series
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Weight Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
[2] 10 pyas 10 mm Brass Rice plant, "Central Bank of Myanmar" in Burmese Value in Burmese numerals 1991
50 pyas 24.6 mm Brass Rice plant, "Central Bank of Myanmar" in Burmese Value in Burmese numerals 1991
1999 Series
[3] 1 kyat Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[4] 5 kyats 20 mm 2.73 g Brass Plain Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[5] 10 kyats 23.5 mm
[6] 50 kyats 23.85 mm 5.06 g Cupronickel Reeded Chinthe, "Central Bank of Myanmar" and value in Burmese Bank title and value in English and Arabic numerals 1999
[7] 100 kyats 26.8 mm 7.52 g
For table standards, see the .


First kyat

No paper money was issued for this currency.

Second kyat

The Burma State Bank issued notes for 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat in 1944, followed by a further issue of 100 kyat notes in 1945.

1944/1945 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
K1 109 × 63 mm Blue Peacock and "1 kyat" written in Myanmar with rising sun in background Mandalay Royal Palace "Bamar" written in Myanmar language embedded in guilloché pattern 1944
K5 130 × 72 mm Red Peacock and "5 kyats" written in Myanmar with rising sun in background
K10 146 × 84 mm Green Peacock and "10 kyats" written in Myanmar with rising sun in background
K100 160 × 90 mm Bright Orange Peacock and "100 kyats" written in Myanmar with rising sun in background
K100 155 × 95 mm Dark blue Peacock and "100 kyats" written over Myanmar "100" numerals with image of Head of State Ba Maw on right Mandalay Royal Palace in center bordered by Myanmar nāgas with "100" in Myanmar numerals on left and right Head of State Ba Maw's image 1945

Third kyat

A 5 kyat denomination note featuring Aung San

In 1952, the Union Bank of Burma formed a Currency Board which took over control of the issuing of currency and a more important change to the currency was the introduction of the decimal system in which 1 kyat was decimalized into 100 pyas.[3] On February 12, 1958, the Union Bank of Burma introduced the first kyat notes, in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyats. These were very similar in design to the last series of rupee notes, issued earlier. Later on August 21, 1958, 20 and 50 kyats notes were introduced. The 50 and 100 kyat notes were demonetized on May 15, 1964. This was the first of several demonetizations, ostensibly carried out with the aim of fighting black marketeering. The Peoples Bank of Burma took over note production in 1965 with an issue of 1, 5, 10 and 20 kyat notes.


1965 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
K1 115 × 66 mm Purple and grey General Aung San Inle Lake fisherman Series of semi-circles April 30, 1965
K5 150 × 70 mm Green Farmer and cow Pattern throughout paper 1965
K10 159 × 81 mm Red Woman picking cotton
K20 169 × 90 mm Brown Cultivating tractor


1972-1987 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue issue suspension
K 1 144 × 68 mm Green General Aung San Weaving Loom October 31, 1972 Fall into disuse, wear and tear
K 5 148 × 76 mm Blue Palm Tree October 31, 1973 Fall into disuse, wear and tear
K 10 156 × 76 mm Reddish Brown Ceremonial Offering Bowl June 30, 1973 Fall into disuse, wear and tear
K 15 164 × 76 mm Light green Zawgyi wood carving August 1, 1986 Fall into disuse,wear and tear
K 25 164 × 76 mm Orange Pyinsa Rupa November 3, 1985 September 5, 1987
K 45 164 × 76 mm Blue-green Thakin Pho Hla Gyi Oil field workers and oil drills September 22, 1987
K 50 164 × 76 mm Yellow-Brown General Aung San Law Ka Nat 1979
K 75 164 × 76 mm Brown 1985
K 90 164 × 76 mm Light green Saya San Farmers and bullock cart September 22, 1987 Fall into disuse,wear and tear
K 100 164 × 76 mm Light green General Aung San Saung gauk August 1, 1986

In 1972, the Union of Burma Bank took over note issuance, with notes introduced between 1972 and 1979 for 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 kyats. The notes were printed by the Security Printing Works in Wazi, Upper Burma (established c. 1972) under the technical direction of the German firm Giesecke & Devrient. On November 3, 1985, the 25-, 50-, and 100-kyat notes were demonetized without warning, though the public was allowed to exchange limited amounts of the old notes for new ones. All other denominations then in circulation remained legal tender. On November 10, 1985, 75-kyat notes were introduced, the odd denomination possibly chosen because of dictator Ne Win's predilection for numerology; the 75-kyat note was supposedly introduced to commemorate his 75th birthday. It was followed by the introduction of 15- and 35- kyat notes on August 1, 1986.

35 kyat front

Only two years later, on September 5, 1987, the government demonetized the 25-, 35-, and 75-kyat notes without warning or compensation, rendering some 75% of the country's currency worthless. On September 22, 1987, banknotes for 45 and 90 kyat were introduced, both of which incorporated Ne Win's favorite number, nine. The resulting economic disturbances led to serious riots (see 8888 Uprising) and eventually a coup d'état in 1988 by General Saw Maung.

Following the change of the country's name to Myanmar on June 20, 1989, new notes began to be issued, but returning to more useful or practical denominations. This time, the old notes were not demonetized, but simply allowed to fall into disuse through inflation as well as wear and tear. On March 1, 1990, 1-kyat notes were issued, followed by 200-kyat notes on March 27, 1990. On March 27, 1994, notes for 50 pya, 20, 50, 100, and 500 kyats were issued, followed on May 1, 1995, by new 5- and 10-kyat notes. 1,000-kyat notes were introduced in November 1998.

In 2003, rumours of another pending demonetization swept through the country, resulting in the junta issuing official denials, but this time the demonetization did not materialize. In 2004, the sizes of the 200, 500, and 1,000 kyats were reduced in size (to make all Myanma banknotes uniform in size) but larger notes were allowed to remain in circulation. 50 pya, 1, 5, and 10 kyat banknotes are now rarely seen, because of their low value.

A 5000 kyat denomination note issued in October 2009.

On October 1, 2009, 5,000-kyat banknotes were issued measuring 150 x 70 mm. Along the top front is written Central Bank of Myanmar in Burmese, and in the center is a white elephant. On the back is a picture of the Central Bank of Myanmar with "FIVE THOUSAND KYATS 5000" written in English. This new denomination is five times larger than the previous largest denomination.[4] Public response has been mixed, with some welcoming a higher value note reducing the number of banknotes which need to be carried. Other responses have suggested a widespread fear that this will simply fuel the current rate of inflation, which was supported by a jump in the black market exchange rates following the public announcement of this change.[5][6] The Central Bank of Myanmar introduced new 5,000 bank notes on October 1, 2014 in order to prevent counterfeiting, it reported on September 18. The revised notes are varnished and have enhancements made to the printing, watermarks, and security thread and is the same size, colour and design as the 2009 issue, which continues to be used. The new notes will last longer and be cleaner, the central bank said. The announcement followed recent media reports that counterfeit Ks 5,000 and Ks 10,000 bank notes were circulating widely. Police seized eight counterfeit Ks 10,000 bills and a printer allegedly used to make them on September 12 in Yangon’s Tamwe Township. [7]

On the 9th of June, 2012, the Central Bank announced that 10,000-kyat notes would be introduced into the circulation to better facilitate financial transactions in a largely cash-oriented economy. They were issued on June 15, 2012.[8][9]

Ever since the Third Kyat was introduced, the Myanmar currency has no indication of the date in which the note came into circulation nor the signature of the issuing authority.


Current Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark
50 pyas 110 × 55 mm Obverse: Purple and orange
Reverse: Multicolor
Saung gauk Guilloché pattern "BCM" March 27, 1994
K1 Orange Bogyoke Aung San Guilloché pattern Bogyoke Aung San March 1, 1990
K1 Blue-purple Chinthe Boat-rowing at Kandawgyi Lake, Yangon "BCM" October 31, 1996
K5 130 × 60 mm Brown and blue Chinlone cane ball game Chinthe May 1, 1995
Chinthe bust over value 1997
K10 Purple A karaweik (royal regalia boat) Chinthe May 1, 1995
Chinthe bust over value 1997
K20 145 × 70 mm Green People's Park and Elephant Fountain, Yangon Chinthe bust over value March 27, 1994
K50 Orange-brown Lacquerware artisan Chinthe March 27, 1994
Chinthe bust over value 1997
K100 Blue, green, and pink Temple renovation Chinthe March 27, 1994
Chinthe bust over value
[8] [9] K200 165 × 80 mm Dark green Elephant teak-logger Chinthe March 27, 1990; 1998 Value below watermark
Chinthe bust over value
150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value December 11, 2004 Value above watermark
[10] [11] K500 165 × 80 mm Purple and brown A General Mahabandoola statue being painted Chinthe March 27, 1994 Value above watermark
Chinthe bust over value
150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value October 10, 2004 Value below watermark
K1000 165 × 80 mm Green and purple Ministry of Finance and Revenue Chinthe November 1998 Value above watermark
Chinthe bust over value
150 × 70 mm Chinthe bust over value October 11, 2004 Value below watermark
K5000 150 × 70 mm Orange/pink Elephant Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (Assembly of the Union) legislature buildings in Zeya Theddhi Ward of Naypyidaw Elephant profile over value October 1, 2009[10] Value below watermark
K10,000 [11] 150 × 70 mm Blue, red, purple, green, brown and yellow State Seal of Myanmar Mandalay Royal Palace Moat Lotus Flower profile over value June 15, 2012 Value below watermark

Foreign Exchange Certificates

In 1993, Myanmar began issuing foreign exchange certificates (FEC) in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 20 kyats. These were exchanged on a parity ratio with the United States Dollar and were valued separately from the regular kyat. Conversion of foreign currency into kyats was made illegal as exchange rates were set artificially high. During much of this period, two valuations of the Myanmar kyat emerged; The official rate which averaged around 6 MMK = 1 USD, and the black market rate which averaged tens of times higher. Foreign visitors could only transact currency in FEC's or could only obtain kyats at the artificially high official rates. Illegal peddlers often had to be sought out in order to exchange currency.

On April 1, 2012, the Government of Myanmar began allowing for a managed float of the kyat and legalized the use and exchange of foreign currencies in Myanmar to better reflect the global exchange rates, attract investment, and to weaken the black markets. On March 20, 2013, the government announced the discontinuation and gradual withdrawal of FEC's.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Myanmar new 5,000-kyat note confirmed, October 9, 2009.
  7. ^ [12]
  8. ^
  9. ^ Myanmar new 10,000-kyat note confirmed Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  10. ^ 5,000 kyat
  11. ^

External links

  • Central Bank of Myanmar
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