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South Korea - P-30a - 1 Won - Foreign Paper Money

Inv# FM3078   Foreign Paper Money
South Korea - P-30a - 1 Won - Foreign Paper Money
Country: South Korea
Years: (1962)

1 Won, P-30a. Smaller size note measures 3 3/4" x 2".

The South Korean won, officially the Korean Republic won (Symbol: ; Code: KRW; Korean: 대한민국 원) is the official currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. The jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions, and it appears only in foreign exchange rates. The currency is issued by the Bank of Korea, based in the capital city of Seoul.

The old "won" was a cognate of the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen, which were both derived from the Spanish-American silver dollar. It is derived from the hanja (, won), meaning "round", which describes the shape of the silver dollar.

The won was subdivided into 100 jeon (Korean; Hanja; RRjeon; MRchŏn), itself a cognate of the Chinese unit of weight mace and synonymous with money in general. The current won (1962 to present) is written in hangul only and does not officially have any hanja associated with it.

The Korean won, Chinese yuan and Japanese yen were all derived from the Spanish-American silver dollar, a coin widely used for international trade between Asia and the Americas from the 16th to 19th centuries.

During the colonial era under the Japanese (1910–45), the won was replaced by the Korean yen which was at par with the Japanese Yen.

After World War II ended in 1945, Korea was divided, resulting in two separate currencies, both called won, for the South and the North. Both the Southern won and the Northern won replaced the yen at par. The first South Korean won was subdivided into 100 jeon.

The South Korean won initially had a fixed exchange rate to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 15 won to 1 dollar. A series of devaluations followed, the later ones, in part, due to the Korean War (1950–53). The pegs were:

The first South Korean won was replaced by the hwan on February 15, 1953 at a rate of 1 hwan = 100 won.

In 1946, the Bank of Joseon introduced 10 and 100 won notes. These were followed in 1949 by 5 and 1,000 won notes.

A new central bank, the Bank of Korea, was established on 12 June 1950, and assumed the duties of Bank of Joseon. Notes were introduced (some dated 1949) in denominations of 5, 10 and 50 jeon, and 100 and 1,000 won. The 500 won notes were introduced in 1952. In 1953, a series of banknotes was issued which, although it gave the denominations in English in won, were, in fact, the first issues of the hwan.

The won was reintroduced on June 10, 1962, at a rate of 1 won = 10 hwan. It became the sole legal tender on March 22, 1975, with the withdrawal of the last circulating hwan coins. Its ISO 4217 code is KRW. At the reintroduction of the won in 1962, its value was pegged at 125 won = US$1. The following pegs operated between 1962 and 1980:

On February 27, 1980, efforts were initiated to lead to a floating exchange rate. The won was finally allowed to float on December 24, 1997, when an agreement was signed with the International Monetary Fund. Shortly after, the won was devalued to almost half of its value, as part of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Until 1966, 10- and 50-hwan coins, revalued as 1 and 5 won, were the only coins in circulation. New coins, denominated in won, were introduced by the Bank of Korea on August 16, 1966, in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 won, with the 1 won struck in brass and the 5 and 10 won in bronze. These were the first South Korean coins to display the date in the common era, earlier coins having used the Korean calendar. The 10- and 50-hwan coins were demonetized on March 22, 1975.

In 1968, as the intrinsic value of the brass 1 won coin far surpassed its face value, new aluminium 1 won coins were issued to replace them. As an attempt to further reduce currency production costs, new 5 and 10 won coins were issued in 1970, struck in brass. Cupronickel 100 won coins were also introduced that year, followed by cupronickel 50 won coins in 1972.

In 1982, with inflation and the increasing popularity of vending machines, 500 won coins were introduced on June 12, 1982. In January 1983, with the purpose of standardizing the coinage, a new series of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 won coins was issued, using the same layout as the 500 won coins, but conserving the coins' old themes.

The Bank of Korea announced in early 2006 its intention to redesign the 10 won coin by the end of that year. With the increasing cost of production, then at 38 won per 10 won coin, and rumors that some people had been melting the coins to make jewelry, the redesign was needed to make the coin more cost-effective to produce. The new coin is made of copper-coated aluminium with a reduced diameter of 18 mm, and a weight of 1.22 g. Its visual design is the same as the old coin. The new coin was issued on December 18, 2006.

The 1 and 5 won coins are rarely in circulation since 1992, and prices of consumer goods are rounded to the nearest 10 won. However, they are still in production, minting limited amounts of these two coins every year, for the Bank of Korea's annual mint sets. In 1998, the production costs per coin were: 10 won coins each cost 35 won to produce, 100 won coins cost 58 won, and 500 won coins cost 77 won.

The Bank of Korea designates banknote and coin series in a unique way. Instead of putting those of similar design and issue dates in the same series, it assigns series number X to the Xth design of a given denomination. The series numbers are expressed with Korean letters used in alphabetical order, e.g. 가, 나, 다, 라, 마, 바, 사. Therefore, ₩1,000 issued in 1983 is series II () because it is the second design of all ₩1,000 designs since the introduction of the South Korean won in 1962.

In 1962, 10 and 50 jeon, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 won notes were introduced by the Bank of Korea. The first issue of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 won notes was printed in the UK by Thomas De La Rue. The jeon notes together with a second issue of 10 and 100 won notes were printed domestically by the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation.

In 1965, 100 won notes (series III) were printed using intaglio printing techniques, for the first time on domestically printed notes, to reduce counterfeiting. Replacements for the British 500 won notes followed in 1966, also using intaglio printing, and for the 50 won notes in 1969 using lithoprinting.

With the economic development from the 1960s, the value of the 500 won notes fell, resulting in a greater use of cashier's checks with higher fixed denominations as means of payment, as well as an increased use of counterfeited ones. In 1970, the 100 won notes were replaced by coins, with the same happening to the 50 won notes in 1972.

Higher-denomination notes of 5,000 and 10,000 won were introduced in 1972 and 1973, respectively. The notes incorporated new security features, including watermark, security thread, and ultraviolet response fibres, and were intaglio printed. The release of 10,000 won notes was planned to be at the same time as the 5,000 won notes, but problems with the main theme delayed it by a year. Newly designed 500 won notes were also released in 1973, and the need for a medium denomination resulted in the introduction of 1,000 won notes in 1975.

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Condition: A.U.
Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.