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Brief Background of Brunei & Coinage

During the latter part of 14 th Century, the Sultanate of Brunei was established as a dependency of the Javanese Empire of Majapahit. With the widespread of Islamic teaching, in the 15th Century, Brunei became a Muslim State. In the early years of the 16th Century, the Sultanate of Brunei extended its rule over most of the Island of Borneo and certain parts of Philippines. The monetary system depended mainly on barter trading and the only minte money consisted of Chinese cash. Towards the end of the 16th Century the Spanish silver dollars became standard unit of currency in the Brunei Empire.

It was reported that the earliest truly indigenous Brunei coinage was first put in circulation around AD 1600. These coins were all cash or pitis of tin, tin alloy with a mixture of lead.

Brunei issued its first copper coin in 1887 with a denomination of 1 cent. It was struck at the mint of Ralph Heaton and Sons, Birmingham.

In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate which therefore adopted the currencies of the Straits Settlements, British North Borneo and Sarawak.

Brunei was admitted as a signatory to the 1938 agreement which transferred control of currency issue to the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya

Brunei became self-governing on 29th September 1959. With the termination of the Board of Commissioners of Currency in June 1967, Brunei started to issue its own set of coins which were minted at the Royal Mint, London. It was first released on 22 nd August 1967

The 1967 coinage honors Sultan Sir Omar Ali Saiffuddin who abdicated in favour of his son Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on 4 th October 1967. Henceforth from 1968 onwards, the potrait of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah appears on all the Brunei coinage.

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