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Current money
The common banknotes of today in Indonesia

Indonesian banknotes have a high rate of new issues. Since the fall of Suharto in 1998, most denominations have been changed twice. Since 2005, the newest set - with the bright colors as a basic remarkable feature - is completed. Below is a summary of what money you can expect to get in your hands while in Indonesia. Be aware of the different colors matching their own nomination. One trick however, the purple 10.000 Rupiah and red 100.000 Rupiah look the same at night. Be careful what you pay your bajaj or taxi-driver!


Colorful and clear, the latest set of banknotes from Indonesia.

The smallest denominations (100, 200 and 500 Rupiah) are usually in the form of light aluminium coins. Banknotes of these denominations (accept the 200 Rupiah, which never existed) designed in 1992 are not valid anymore and should be changed at a local branch of Bank Indonesia.

The newest set of coins is in the same style and consists of aluminum. The 25 and 50 Rupiah coins have already become extinct as the value of the material is higher than the nominal value of the coin when in circulation. When paying, most amounts are rounded to 100 Rupiah, sometimes even 500 Rupiah, depending where you are shoping.


The latest set of coins is made from aluminium.

Outside the most common aluminum coins, you will still sometimes encounter one of the many earlier coins. The ones below are still all valid money, but the ones at the bottom are virtually extinct by now.


Older coins, still in use, form a confusing mix of colors and nominations.

Coins in circulation include the Rp 1,000 (gold and silver colored), Rp 500, 100, 50 and 25 coins. The last three were all minted in aluminum in the late 90s. To confuse us all old issue and recent issue coins are still in circulation. So, there are two or three kinds of the Rp 500, 100, 50 and 25 coins currently in circulation. The Rp 50 and Rp 25 coins are mostly used outside large urban centers where prices of goods are lower.

Money stays in circulation in Indonesia for a long time. In most countries, banks will take the damaged or marked bills and turn them into the government for replacement. But much of the money in circulation in Indonesia never makes it into a bank. Thus it just keeps circulating until it's brown and in terrible shape and falling apart. Yet, people still keep accepting it as legal tender. This worn out money is often referred to as pasar money because you usually get it in change from the pasar (traditional market). You should note, however, that it is not considered polite to pay someone with excessively dirty bills the recipient may be offended and would certainly prefer you give them cleaner money. So what do you do with these bills? Like everyone around you you use them at the pasar, to pay toll fees or for those bothersome traffic control hoodlums on Jakarta streets.


Old and dirty money is to pay for parking and to give to beggars.


Last revised on August 03, 2010
    
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