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Indonesian Populism, Small Notes Of The Sukarno Era 2: 5 Sen (Indonesia, 1964)-Article

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

This Indonesian banknote is the 2nd denomination of “Sukarno” New Rupiah (1965). Formally known as the “First Series of Banknotes of the New Rupiah”. The New Rupiah was introduced due to hyperinflation in the early 1960s. The New Rupia artwork was intended to embody the populist struggle promoted by the Sukarno regime. The Sen notes reinforce the concept of the peasant-soldier, with portraits of an elder farmer, and male/female military volunteers.

The New Rupiah was introduced on 13 December 1965 and theoretically replaced the “old rupiah”. At a rate of 1 New Rupiah per 1,000 “old rupiah”. In practice the revaluation ratio was only 1 to 10, 1% of the supposed value. Making the already low value Sen notes virtually obsolete, at their release.

Unlike, the 1 Sen which was never officially retired from circulation. As it was not considered worth the Indonesian government's effort or resources. The 5 Sen note was finally officially withdrawn, on 15 November 1996. Ironically "Sukarno" Sen notes are worth considerably more, as a Cold War-era collectors' item. Then they ever were as a practical currency.


The overall note is relatively sparse, a keen eye will notice the observe's "rippled" faint purple underprint. It can be more easily noticed on less clutter sections of the observe. This under print is separated by a burgundy frame. This color is used throughout the observe's art and text, particularly the "radiating wave" pattern covering its surface. These waves radiate left to right, gradually expanding.

The observe depicts a female member of the "Suklarelawan" (a volunteer paramilitary organization), on the far right. At the observe's center are signatures for the Bank of Indonesia's "Gubernur" (Governor) and "Direktur" (Director). Made obvious by the large "Bank Indonesia" text on the upper left and it's similarity to it's English equivalents.

On the lower left is text "Lima Sen" or Five Sen, which is reinforced by a large light purple "5" above it. There is an additional "5" located on the upper right corner. On the bottom center is note's printer "P.N. Perjetakan Kebajoran", to the upper right is the note's print year (1964).


Just as the observe, the near entirety of the reverse is covered in a "rippled" faint purple underprint.

This underprint is separated by a light gray border. As opposed the burgundy frame seen on the note's observe. Providing a relatively less mono-colored appearance.

The reverse features ornate burgundy colored guillochés. Created from various overlapping circular patterns. The majority of the reverse is covered by an oval-shaped pattern. It dominates the note's left side and contains a pair of number "5"s. Located at its upper left and lower corner.

To the right is a is perfectly circular pattern, it contains a single large number "5" at its center. The note's serial number is located at its upper center. Its black ink is easily noticed, reading "ALN026820". This serial number will obviously vary between notes, with the exception of poorly made counterfeits. There is a legal warning printed in Indonesian, at the lower right. Which has been roughly translated below.


Whoever counterfeits or falsifies banknotes and whoever deliberately circulates counterfeit or falsified banknotes or keeps counterfeit or falsified banknotes, will be prosecuted before a judge.

"Sukarno" Sen Gallery

Additional Notes

  • The note's dimensions are: 104 × 52 mm or 4.09 x 2.05 in.

  • The preferable method to preserve these notes are side opening sleeves, cut to size.

  • No additional Sen denominated currency was released, after the "Sukarno" series.

  • The Sen denomination was officially retired on 15 November 1996.

  • Perjetakan Kebajoran is now known as Perum Peruri, after a state merger with Artha Yasa.

  • Artha Yasa served as the Indonesian state mint and Perjetakan Kebajoran as state printer.

  • The Perjetakan Kebajoran, also known as Perkeba, was established with Dutch assistance.

  • Perum Peruri was established on 15 September 1971, serving both printer and mint roles.

  • Perum Peruri is short for, "Money Printing of the Republic of Indonesia Public Enterprise".

  • Since 2007, Perum Peruri has been the official printer of the Nepalese Rupee.

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