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Indonesia, Food Or Cash: 2 1/2 Rupiah (Indonesia, 1961)-Article

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

This Indonesian banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the "Government Note" Sixth Series (1961). Similar to the Third (1954) and 4th Governemnt Series (1956) before them. The Sixth Series was pair of themed, small denomination notes. Although unlike the previous 3rd/4th Series, the notes were agricultural theme.

It should be noted the similar Fifth and Sixth Series Government Notes. Are virtually the same design, although with different signatures and print data. This is the case with all Indonesian "Government Notes". Which were issued in two denomination pairs, in matching double series.


The observe depicts a group of peasant farmers, during harvesting season. Opposite of them is cotton and grain, representing staple and cash crops. Indonesia tropical environment supplies fertile soil and abundant rain fall. During the time of this note's printing, large government owned farm were common. This intensive push greater yields has unfortunately has lead to environmental damage.

To the upper-right the header that reads, the (trans.) "Republic of Indonesia". While the center reads "A valid/legal indication of payment, Two and a Half Rupiah". Which is expressed by number "2 1/2"s at the upper-left and lower-right. At the lower-center is the signature of the Minister of Finance (Menteri Keuangan) and the note's "1961" print date.

A twisting ribbon pattern can be seen traveling from the upper-center. It ends at a guilloche backing, at the lower-right. While at the far-left is an abstract blue/gray-brown stalk, formed from downward pointing arrows.


The reverse features an abstractly drawn buddle of grain and corn (maize). To the upper-left the header reads, the (trans.) "Republic of Indonesia". Below is a warning to potential counterfeiters and money launders. Threating would be offenders with imprisonment. Notably this text becomes smaller towards the center lines.

Off-set to the lower-right, is a pair of dual-serial numbers (EMP053285). While the note's "2 1/2" Rupiah are expressed at the lower-left and upper-right. The remainder of the note is covered overlapping and elaborate guilloche patterns.

Government Notes, 1961 Gallery

(The 1960 Government Note series, uses the same design although with different signatures)


Additional Notes

  • This notes dimensions are 120 x 60 mm or 4.72 x 2.36in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are large sized protective sleeves.

  • The Indonesian Rupiah ISO code is IDR, it uses Rp as it's official symbol.

  • In theory, the Rupiah is subdivided into 100 Sen, inflation has made it obsolete.

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