Currency of Bhutan

In the 18th century, first silver coins were produced mainly for trade with India and Tibet. Later, alloyed silver, copper and brass coins are existed on market.  Coin production continued till 20th century under the reign of the first Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck.

In 1928, during the reign of Second King Druk Gyalpo Jigme Wangchuck, fine machine-struck silver and copper coins were introduced, marking the beginning of modern coinage in the country.

In the mid 1950’s, during the reign of Third King Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, trade slowly began to be monetized and Bank of Bhutan was established in 1968.

Before the trade was monetized, barter system prevailed in the country. Rice, butter, cheese and wool were exchanged with other local products.

Monetary reform started in 1974, coinciding with the coronation of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Finance ministry issued the first Ngultrum notes.

Almost a decade later, the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) was established in 1982 to act as a central bank of the country.

Currently, notes in the country are issued in the denominations of Nu 1, Nu 5, Nu 10, Nu 20, Nu 50, Nu 100, Nu 500, and Nu 1,000.

The first series of banknotes issued by the finance ministry and the Bank of Bhutan were all of the same size, which made it difficult for most of the rural people to differentiate it from one another. So, RMA issued new series of notes in 2006 with different sizes, color and designs.

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