Pe: coin of Burmese Empire; 4 pya


1/4 pe, 1879: Burma (modern Myanmar)

1/4 pe, 1879: Burmese Empire (modern Myanmar)

Myanmar is a large country in Southeast Asia, bordering Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. Official modern name — Republic of the Union of Myanmar. However, until 1989, the state was known in the world as Burma.

Ruler: Thibaw Min or Thebaw — the last king of Burma (Myanmar). His reign ended when the forces of the Burmese Empire were defeated by the forces of the British Empire in the Third Anglo-Burmese War.

Date on coin: ၁၂၄၀ (1240: Chula Sakarat) = 1878-1879 (Gregorian calendar).

Chula Sakarat or Chulasakarat — a lunisolar calendar derived from the Burmese calendar, whose variants were in use by most mainland Southeast Asian kingdoms down to the late 19th century. The calendar is largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar.

Plant ornament.

Legend in Burmese.

Chinte: a fantastic lion-dragon (another version: mythical half-lion/half-deer) whose statue in medieval Burma was placed in front of temple entrances to ward off evil spirits.

  • Copper: 25 mm - 5.8 g
  • Reference price: 7.4$

COIN PE — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. BURMESE EMPIRE (19th-20th centuries): pe = 4 pya = 1/16 rupee
  2. KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA (17th-19th centuries): pe = 1/4 = fuang = 1/32 tical

PE as coin name.
Pe — fairly common coin of the 19th and 20th centuries on the Indochina peninsula. It was used for about a century in Burma (modern name: Myanmar) and Cambodia.
The first mass coins denominated in pe date back to the middle of the 19th century (although you can also find information about coins with a denomination of pe from earlier times: in particular, the 17th century; however, this is unconfirmed information). It was then, during the reign of King Ang Duong of Cambodia, that small pe coins were issued. In particular, numismatic catalogs widely present silver and billon one-sided ("uniface") Cambodian coins with a denomination of 2 pe (equivalent to 1/2 fuang) with the image of the symbolic Hamsa bird. That is, pe was equal to 1/4 fuang or 1/32 tical.
Burma also issued related coins: these were rather massive copper 1/4 pe and miniature silver 1 pe of the second half of the 19th century. Not too common varieties...
The most massive pe coins appeared in the Union of Burma during 1949-1952. These were copper-nickel 1, 2, 4 and 8 pe with the image of the mythical half-lion / half-dragon Chinthe. The pe mentioned was 1/16 of a Burmese rupee.
To be honest, the history of the origin of the name of the coin is not known for sure. Several versions can be found online.
Thus, there is an assumption about the origin of the name pe from the Myanmar term "ပဲ" [pell], which in ancient times denoted a measure of weight that was equal to the weight of the seed (unfortunately, it is not known which plant it is about; perhaps it is about beans). — This is a fairly common phenomenon in the ancient world, when a reference measure of weight in the form of seeds of a particular plant was used to determine the weight of money and precious metals.
You can also find the following statement regarding the etymology of the name of the pe coin: the term "Prak pe" or simply — "Pe", — was used to refer to money in the general sense in ancient Cambodia.