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Sarawak dollar

Sarawak dollar of 1935

The dollar was the currency of Sarawak from 1858 to 1953. It was subdivided into 100 cents. The dollar remained at par with the Straits dollar and its successor the Malayan dollar, the currency of Malaya and Singapore, from its introduction until both currencies were replaced by the Malaya and British Borneo dollar in 1953.

During the Japanese occupation period (1942-1945, paper money was issued in denominations ranging from 1 cent to 1000 dollars. This currency was fixed at 1 dollar = 1 Japanese yen, compared to a 1:2 pre-war rate. Following the war, the Japanese occupation currency was declared worthless and the previous issues of the Sarawak dollar regained their value relative to sterling (two shillings four pence).


  • Coins 1
  • Banknotes 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Throughout its history, coins were minted in values of ¼ cent, ½ cent, 1 cent, 2½ cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents. Coin equal to or above 5 cents contain precious metal. However, 5-cent and 10-cent coins were made of copper-nickel since 1920. The coins carry the portrait and the name of the Raja, James Brooke (as J. Brooke) until 1868, Charles Anthoni Johnson Brooke (as C. Brooke) from 1868 to 1917, and Charles Vyner Brooke (as C. V. Brooke) from 1917 to the end of this currency.


The first series was issued by the Sarawak Government Treasury. They were hand-stamped notes of low quality. All later notes were issued by the Government of Sarawak except for the 10-cent and 25-cent notes in 1919 (by the Treasury again). Throughout its history, banknotes came in the values of 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100. Anything before 1922 or above $50 is extremely rare.

See also


  • Pick, Albert (1996).  
  • Krause, Chester L., and Clifford Mishler (2003). 2004  

External links

  • Global Financial Data currency histories table
  • Tables of modern monetary history: Asia
Preceded by:
No modern predecessor
Currency of the Kingdom of Sarawak
1858 – 1942
Note: had been at par with the Straits dollar, and the Malayan dollar after 1939
Succeeded by:
Japanese government-issued dollar
Location: present day Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei
Reason: Japanese occupation
Ratio: at par
Note: The Japanese allowed the former currencies to circulate, but they were in practice hoarded as a more reliable store of value.
Preceded by:
Japanese government-issued dollar
Location: present day Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei
Reason: Japan lost World War II
Ratio: The occupation currency became worthless. The value of the pre-occupation currency was restored.
Currency of the Kingdom of Sarawak
1945 – 1946
Note: had been at par with the Malayan dollar
Currency of the Colony of Sarawak
1946 – 1953
Note: had been at par with the Malayan dollar
Succeeded by:
Malaya and British Borneo dollar
Reason: creation of a common Board of Commissioners of Currency
Ratio: at par, or 60 dollars = 7 British pounds
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