Thai ceremonial gold bullet coin of Rama IV, ¼ baht, 1851-56
Thai gold ceremonial bullet coin of Rama IV, ¼ baht, 1851-56
During the reign of Rama IV (1851-68), King Mongkut of Siam (now Thailand), the native 'bullet' coinage, made from silver bars bent to join at the ends, was replaced with imported Western coinage, due to the inability of its laborious manufacture to meet rising demand for specie. The standard bullet coinage was silver but a few issues were made in gold for ceremonial purposes in the early years of Rama IV's reign. Commodore Perry seems to have been able to acquire one such piece for his collection, which given the short period of its issue must have been obtained during his voyages to Japan.