Thursday, July 2, 2009

Banknotes of French Indochina

I bought these two pieces of French Indochina banknotes during my recent visit to Vietnam. The currency of French Indochina was introduced between 1880 and 1952 with the unit of Piastre. The French Indochina refers to the French colonial empire at Southeast Asia which consists of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

The French Indochina currency, Piastre, was commonly used among these three countries prior to their independence. These French Indochina banknotes were issued by Banque de l'Indochine which was established in 1875 to look after the interest of France territories in Asia. It was until 1946 when Vietnam started to adopt its own currency Dong, follow by the Laos and Cambodia introduced theirs namely Kip and Riel in 1952 and 1953 respectively. Initially these local currency are set at par value with Piastre.

Unlike British or American colonial banknotes, French banknote has its unique features. One thing I like the most about these French colonial currency is the beauty of banknotes' colors. French colonial banknote designs are alike with French banknote where they printed colorfully and most importantly it adopted the local culture as their background. There were also multi local languages printed on the back of the banknotes.

1 Piastre

5 Piastre


Anonymous said...

very nice banknotes. where did you buy these banknotes in vietnam? i am interested to buy too..... hope you will share

Jack Hoo said...

I bought them at antique shop opposite Ben Thanh market at Ho Chi Minh City, Veitnem. There are plenty of shops selling old or used banknotes.

Eunee said...

I agree that these notes are beautiful indeed. I found several in my father's things; he used to live in Vietnam in the mid to late 60s.