When did $10,000 banknotes start to circulate publicly in the British colonies (colonies, crown colonies, "protected states", "protectorates") of South East Asia?

The Straits dollar was probably the first to have $10,000 banknotes in 1922. However, it was only used for inter-bank transactions. I was not able to find information about the Malayan dollar (which succeeded the Straits dollar). If not mistaken, the successor of the Malayan dollar, the Malaya and British Borneo dollar, had $10,000 banknotes that were publicly circulated. Two successors of the Malaya and British Borneo dollar — the Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar — had and still have publicly circulating $10,000 banknotes.

Using Google Image search, I was able to confirm that all the currencies mentioned above had $10,000 banknotes. The only issue is: which was the first series to have publicly-circulated $10,000 banknotes? When did public circulation start?

  • From what sources did you determine that these other currencies had or have such notes in circulation?
    – Brian Z
    Aug 29, 2020 at 20:44
  • @BrianZ Which "other currencies" are you referring to?
    – Flux
    Aug 29, 2020 at 20:48
  • The ones you mention aside from the Straits dollar.
    – Brian Z
    Aug 29, 2020 at 20:53
  • @BrianZ I used Google Image search and found that all of them had $10,000 banknotes. I tried to follow the image links in hopes of finding informative articles, but I couldn't find an answer to the question.
    – Flux
    Aug 29, 2020 at 20:58
  • So the assertions you make in the question about those other notes being in general public circulation may be incorrect? I've looked at various Wikipedia articles, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, etc. but I'm not seeing any direct statements that $10,000 notes have ever circulated for the general public. I do see mention of Singapore phasing out the $10,000 note but it's not clear to me that it's used more widely then the Malayan dollar was.
    – Brian Z
    Aug 29, 2020 at 21:21

1 Answer 1



Wikipedia Says

When the British regained control of Malaya after World War II, notes were issued in 1945 (dated 1941), in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 dollars.

It isn't completely clear whether "issued for circulation" meant general public circulation for the highest value banknotes, but there is nothing said to the contrary.


numista.com says a 1953 10,000 dollar banknote was "issued for circulation".

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