The Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace (Negara Brunei Darussalam) is an independent Islamic sultanate located on the norther coast of Borneo. It was a British protectorate until it achieved independence in 1987. Brunei is currently a member of the Commonwealth and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Brunei has one of the highest per capita incomes in Asia. Its economy is highly dependent on the petroleum industry. In fact, half of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from its petroleum sector. In the late 20th century, the Brunei government developed their agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and financial services. Brunei is one of the largest consumers of fish per capita in the world. It is also self-sufficient in its poultry, eggs, and vegetable production.
Brunei and Singapore have a currency interchangeability agreement. Brunei uses the dollar (BND), which is ringgit in Malay. The two currencies are featured on Brunei banknotes. Early Brunei banknotes were issued by the Brunei Currency Board. The Brunei Currency Board was established in 1967. It had the sole right to manage and issue currency notes and coins in Brunei. Their first series of banknotes featured reigning monarchs and the Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, the symbol of Islamic faith in Brunei. In 1967, Omar Ali Saifuddin III abdicated the throne. The Currency Board issued new banknotes that replaced his portrait with the portrait of the new sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’issadin Waddaulah. The 1967 series also depicted scenes from Kampong Ayer, the historic “water village” in Bandar Seri Begawan. The Brunei Currency Board issued its last series of notes in 1996. The 1996 series had a rainforest theme and the 1, 5, and 10 Brunei dollar notes were printed on polymer substrates.
On February 1, 2004, the Brunei Currency Board was renamed to the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board. The first series they issued continued the rainforest theme. The 2004 series also marks Brunei’s complete shift to all-polymer currency. In 2007, the board issued a commemorative 20 BND banknote to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Currency Interchangeability Act. The Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMDB) was established on the first day of 2011. It succeeded the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board, and is currently the authority on issuing banknotes and coins in Brunei. It issued two commemorative 50 BND banknotes to commemorate the golden jubilee (50th anniversary) of the Currency Interchangeability Act and the coronation of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin.