The earliest Cambodian coins were issued by the Khmer Kingdom in 1847, and were small, simply-designed silver pieces denominated in ticals. A tical was about 15 grams of silver, and there were several coins made in ticals and in fractional amounts — att, pe, fuang, and salong coins can be found for sale and include some quite nice pieces.
In 1875, the French had new coins made for Cambodia and these used a decimalized monetary system based on the Mexican peso. You may be able to find some nice franc, centime, and piastre coins from this era for your collection. Note that these coins all bear a date of 1860, although they were actually produced in the last three decades of the 1800s.
Cambodia soon began using the Indochinese piastre, and this was not an exclusively Cambodian coin. In 1953, Cambodia began issuing its own coins after the breakup of Indochina; although the unit of Cambodian currency was now the riel, these early coins were fractions of riels and were called centime coins. Three centime coins were made in 1953, and all three were reissued in 1959 but were changed to sen.
Riel coins, including some silver and even gold proofs, have been made periodically since the 1950s but are not generally seen in circulation — banknotes are simply more popular and hold much appeal for collectors as well as coins. The history of Cambodia coins offers many possibilities for buyers and coin collectors, and the marketplace is usually full of interesting pieces from all eras of Khmer’s numismatic story.
In 2013, Japan announced it was minting a collectible silver coin denominated in 3,000 riels to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Cambodia coins available now on eBay
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CAMBODIA PEOPLES REP OF KAMPUCHEA 5 SEN 1979 UNC ROYAL EMBLEM,DENOMINATION,DATE
$3.75 Buy now
KAMPUCHEA Cambodia 2 x 4 Riels 1988 KM71 CuNi + Gilt SHIP minted 1,500 RARE PAIR
$89.91 Buy now
CAMBODIA KAMPUCHEA -RARE SILVER 20 RIELS UNC COIN 1989 YEAR KM#79 ITALY 90 FIFA
$60.00 Buy now
CAMBODIA KAMPUCHEA 5 SEN 1979 near Thailand Set Coin Stamp Cover ASIA FDC 1983
$15.81 Buy now
Cambodia Kampuchea 4 Riels 1991 Wilhelm Tell Switzerland 700th Anniv Copper Rare
$75.00 Buy now