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A duit of the Dutch East India Company VOC duit.jpg
A duit of the Dutch East India Company

The duit was a copper Dutch coin worth 2 penning, with 8 duit pieces equal to one stuiver and 160 duit pieces equal to one gulden . In Dutch Indonesia 4 duit pieces were equal to one stuiver . To prevent smuggling, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) ordered special coins with their monogram embossed upon them. Only those pieces were valid in Indonesia. It was once used in the Americas while under Dutch rule.


The name of the coin was preserved for a long time in the 'fourduitcoin' (or plak), because it was worth 4 duiten = half a stuiver (or 2.5 cents).

In the Dutch language, there are many expressions, proverbs and sayings which feature the word 'duit'.


The single largest recipient of Dutch duit coins was Java. Ceylon and Malabar did also circulate the coins. [1] As the monetary unit was widespread throughout the Malay archipelago, the word duit eventually was absorbed into Malay vocabulary becoming a slang word for 'money' besides wang (Malaysian spelling) and uang (Indonesian spelling).

The duit is also referred to as the "New York penny" due to its use as a Colonial monetary unit in Dutch New Amsterdam (later New York) and for years later, long after Dutch rule had passed. It was part of the coinage used to purchase the island of Manhattan from the locals. [ citation needed ]

The Duit circulated also in the duchy of Cleves and Guelders, which may be the reason why in the 18th century the expression kein Deut entered the German language, meaning not a bit. [2]

Duit (Duttu) is a slang for low denomination money in Tamil.

Non-copper duit

In addition to copper, proof coinage of the duit was also minted in silver and gold. [3]

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  1. Ryūto Shimada (2006). The Intra-Asian Trade in Japanese Copper by the Dutch East India Company During the Eighteenth Century. BRILL. p. 94. ISBN   90-04-15092-7.
  2. "Duden – Deut – Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition, Herkunft". Duden.de (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  3. http://members.chello.nl/c.vanderley/