Malaysia originated from the Malay Kingdoms, most of which from the 18th century became subject to the British Empire. The coins of various states covered in this reference include Straits Settlements, British North Borneo, Sarawak and the later states of British Malaya and Borneo. The Blue Sheet provides retail values for coins from these states to the Sheldon numerical standard designed to be used with PCGS and NGC certified coins and provides a fascinating insight into the history of Southeast Asia through its circulating coins.
In 1826 Singapore was amalgamated with the port of Malacca and Penang to form the Straits Settlements under the administration of the East India Company and while the Spanish dollar was initially suffice as a medium of exchange, the lack of low denomination coins soon became a serious burden on the economy. In 1842 the Governor of the Straits Settlements reported on the hardships faced in the colony from a lack of copper coinage stressing on the losses faced by the lower classes from the fluctuation in value of privately issued tokens and requested that 50,000 rupees of copper coinage with the denominations of one cent, half cent and quarter cent be struck for the colony. In 1845 these coins were issued providing immediately relief for the colony.
The first coins to bear the Malayan legend were issued in 1939 and this design would continue until 1950 except for brief pauses during the Japanese occupation of the region. In 1953 the currency then unified with the British North Borneo dollar and the newly issued coins bore the legend Malaya and British North Borneo. These coins continued to be struck until 1962 before the Federation of the states of Malaysia.