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Commemorative banknotes and coins highly sought after

          Fuelled by the heady celebrations marking His Majesty the King's 60 years on the throne, commemorative Bt60 banknotes and coins have fast become best selling collectors' items.

          On Wednesday, 300,000 of the Bt60 banknotes had been reserved by lunchtime at the Bank of Thailand's Bang Khunphrom headquarters in Bangkok, even though each individual reservation was limited to just 20 bills.People queued up to reserve the notes from the early hours of the morning, and the queue stretched from BOT headquarters to the Rama VIII Bridge.

          The first lot of 9,999,999 bills has completely sold out since their release on Friday.Yesterday was the first day of reservations for the next lot of 1 million.Reservations are open until Friday, and people should receive their orders before the end of the month.

          "We only have enough paper left to print another million bills, so there are limits on how many people can reserve them. Please don't buy for speculation," said BOT Governor MR Pridiyathorn Devakula."The Bt60 banknotes have created historic demand," he said.

          The banknotes are sold for Bt100 each. However, some booths in front of the BOT have offered the banknotes for Bt120Bt200 each.Demand for the coins is also likely to outstrip supply.Yesterday, people flocked to the Treasury Department, the Finance Ministry and the provincial treasury offices to reserve commemorative coins.

          The coins have been produced in Bt10, Bt20 and Bt50 denominations. The final type of coin has no face value, but is being exchanged for Bt500.The Treasury Department insists it has produced enough coins to meet public demand, suggesting that people really didn't have to queue up for opening day.But demand in the South has been strong.

          "We were allocated 71,000 commemorative coins, but we ran out in three days," said the Southern Treasury Office director, Sombat Ponglamai.Sombat said he had requested more coins from the Treasury Department."The next lot of commemorative coins should arrive on June 26," he said, adding that he was not sure it would be enough.

The Nation, June 14th, 2006       


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