Conquering Hunger, Coins Of The FAO: 10 Pyas (Myanmar, 1991)-Article

Updated: Mar 2

This commemorative Burmese coin represents the 1st denomination of Third Kyat (Series 1991). It celebrates the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization program. The UN F.A.O. leads the international effort to eliminate world hunger and improve food security. The 1991 FAO coin series featured coins in the 10, 25, and 50 Pyas denominations.

The coin is a plain-edged design, made of brass and is fairly light weight, weighing 2.9 g. Its dimensions are 20.4 mm (0.80 in) wide and 1.44 mm (0.055 in) thick. Making it roughly similar to a US Penny in size. Notably is can easily be confused for the slightly larger 50 Pyas coin.


The observe feature a rice plant, the staple crop of Myanmar and greater East Asia. The rice plant is minted in quite high detail. With fine details such as the stems of the leaves and the separation of individual grains depicted. This image can be seen on previous generations of Burmese FAO coins.

The head above is minted in Burmese script (ပြည်ထောင်စုမြန်မာနိုင်ငံဘဏ် ၁၉၉၁), which features unique numerals. It translates to "Union Bank of Myanmar", the coin's issuer. Followed by the it's "1991" (၁၉၉၁) date. As a general rule Burmese script lacks spaces between words. Recognizing spaces makes identifying mint date simpler.

Often the mint date is after the observe header or listed separately.


The reverse simply lists the coin's value in Burmese text and numerals. The first line translates to the number "10" (၁၀), followed by "Ten Pyas" (ဆယ်ပြား). Along the coin's raised rim are inward facing embellishments, they resemble leaves.

This raised rim appears on both sides of the coin and features a smooth edge.

Size Comparison

A Burmese 10 Pyas with US Penny for scale.
A Burmese 10 Pyas with US Penny for scale.

Additional Notes

  • The Third Kyat ISO code was MKK, it used both K and Ks (plural) as symbols.

  • The term Kyat is derived from the ancient measurement Kyattha, equal is to 16.3g silver.

  • The Third Kyat subdivided into 100 Pya(s), coins are issued in Pya and Kyat values.

  • The lowest currently issued coin (2022) is the 50 Pyas, 10 Pyas was lasted issued in 1991.

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