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Saùng-Gauk, The Ancient Harp Of Asia: 50 Pyas (Myanmar, 1994)-Article

Updated: Apr 2

The Union of Myanmar also known as Burma, uses a currency named after an ancient Burmese measurement called kyattha. One kyattha was equal to 16.3 grams (0.57 oz) of silver. All Kyat notes are bilingual, Burmese on the observe and English on the reverse, 1 Kyat is subdivided into 100 Pyas.

This Burmese banknotes represents the 1st denomination of the 3rd Kyat (Series 1994). Interestingly this the series was preceded by a 1990 issued note, of 1 Kyat value. Additionally the series was not issued as a complete set. In general tracking Burmese notes can be somewhat confusing, as notes are often issued out of sequence. With multi-year gaps between different denominations.


50 Pyas (Myanmar, 1994)-Observe: Features a saùng-Gauk, a type of arched harp used in traditional Burmese music.

The observe features an illustration of a Saùng-Gauk, an arched harp used in traditional Burmese music. It is regarded as the national musical instrument of Myanmar and often referred to as the last last harp of East Asia. As its close relative the Cambodian pĭn fell into disuse during the 16th Century. The Saùng is believed to be based on Indo-Persian harps. That may have been introduced in the early 6th Century. The illustration rests on a large guilloche backing.

The majority of the text is in Burmese script and numerals. The upper center text translates to “CENTRAL BANK OF MYANMAR”. To the far left is a watermark area, it features vertical text and a serial number. The text translates to "50 Pyas", while this notes serial number is "AB 7024737". The note's "50 Pyas" value is repeated at the upper-right.

The watermark can be seen by hold the note over bright light. It reads "BCM" arranged in a electrotyped triangle, representing the Central Bank of Myanmar. This watermark is often seen on other Third Kyat notes.


50 Pyas (Myanmar, 1994)-Reverse: Is covered by a large guilloché pattern, overlaid by the the notes value (50 Pyas), in Burmese text.

The reverse features a large guilloche pattern on a color-shifted backing. At the center in Burmese text is the the notes "50 Pyas" value. Which is repeated in English above and at the far right, printed vertically on the watermark area. Below the Burmese text reads "“CENTRAL BANK OF MYANMAR”. Roughly mirroring the beforementioned observe text, except in English.

Third Kyat Gallery

(This gallery will be updated as more banknotes are catalogued)


Additional Notes

  • Notably, tracking Burmese notes can be somewhat confusing, as notes are often issued out of sequence. With multi-year gaps between different denominations often ranging between 1994-2004.

  • The notes dimensions are 110 x 55 mm, the same size as the 50 Pyas note. One Kyat is subdivided into 100 Pyas .

  • This currency is still considered active and should be treated as such. Legal precautions should be considered in regards to this this note.

  • Chinthes are depicted the majority of current Kyat notes, this is a rare exception.


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