Friday, September 17, 2010

Coin and Banknote Shopping Arcade in Seoul, Korea

For many Korean coin and banknote collectors, one place where they never want to miss out is the Heohyeon underground. This is a place where your can find more than 15 outlets store of stamp, banknote and coin stores gather together at an underground shopping mall.

Located just 5 to 10 minutes of walking distance away from Myeong-dong, a famous shopping place in Seoul, is one of the definite itinerary for many visitor in Seoul. I was managed to pay the place a visit during my recent tour to Seoul.

At Heohyeon underground arcade, you can find just about every stamp, banknote and coin ever issued in Korea. Prices are ranging from few hundred won to few million won. Most of the outlets here are run by experts with enthusiasm in collecting. Besides Korean coin and banknote, you can also find few outlets that offer world currency collection.

I was excited when visiting the place but it was not a fortunate day for me where many stores were closed during my visit day due to festival season. Nevertheless, I still manage to bag some items with reasonable prices.

Coin, banknote and stamps outlet store located at Heohyeon.

Another coin and banknote store located at Heohyeon underground.

Location map of Heohyeon underground where most stamp, coin and banknote stores are located.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung, the oldest palace of Jeseon Dynasty, is located at the northern end of Sejon-ro Street. It was the main and largest palace of the five grand palaces that built by the Joseon Dynasty. The Gyeongbokgung palace was first constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867.

Gyeonghoeru Pavillion, also known as The Royal Banquet Hall, is one of many buildings that boast exquisite architecture in the grandest garden landscape in Gyeongbokgung. It was used as a special hall to hold important and special state banquets during the Joseon Dynasty.

It is such a unique and important building that the Bank of Korea has adopted its image to depict at the reverse of 10000 Won issued in 1979 as shown below.

The reverse of 1979 Korean 10000 won with the image of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion at Gyeongbok Palace

Photo of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion at Gyeongbok Palace taken July 2010.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Korea Banknote - 1972 to 1973 Series

Bank of Korea started printing its own banknote in 1962 with lower denominations such as 10 and 50 Jeon and also 10, 50, 100 and 500 won. However due to economic development in 60s and 70s, higher denomination notes with the face value of 5000 and 10000 Won were introduced by Bank of Korea in 1972 and 1973 respectively to meet the people need in their business activity.

Be specifically the 5000 Won note was released on 1 July 1972 and followed by the introduction of 10000 Won note on 12 June 1973. The 5000 Won note features the portrait of Yi I at the obverse and the picture of Bank of Korea building at its reverse side. Meanwhile, the 10000 Won note carries the portrait of King of Sejong at front and image of Gyeongbok Palace illustrated at the reverse of the note.

5000 Won

10000 Won

Korea Banknote - 1973 to 1979 Series

This series of banknote issued from 1973 to 1979 was printed by the Bank of Korea with the intention to standardize the portrait appear on Korean currency after the introduction of higher denominations such as 5000 and 10000 Won in 1973.

The portraits on the notes that we see on this issuance have inherited to the current series of Korean banknote (2006 to 2009 series). In other words, the portrait of Yi Huang, Yi I and King of Sejong on banknote 1000, 5000 and 10000 Won adopted in this series of note are the same as circulating notes.

Another interest fact is that these notes were printed with the paper made in Korea. It showed that the Korean-made paper was at a quality par with any other notes in the world.

500 Won

1000 Won



5000 Won


10000 Won

Korea Banknote - 1983 to 2002 Series

This series of Korean banknote consists of three denominations i.e. 1000 Won, 5000 Won and 10000 Won as its previous series. However, the Bank of Korea has made these notes smaller and counterfeiting proof by adding more security features onto the notes.

This series of Korea notes was first issued in 1983 with the release of 1000 and 5000 Won on 11 June 1983. It was then followed by the introduction of 10000 Won on 8 October 1983. Throughout the years, these notes were improved and reissued with adding new security elements.

The second revision of 5000 Won has been reissued on 12 June 2002. In addition, the 10000 Won has gone through two revisions which the second and third revision were released on 20 January 1994 and 19 June 2000 respectively. The intention of the above revisions is to enhance the banknote security against counterfeiting.

1000 Won

5000 Won

10000 Won


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Korea Banknote - 2006 to 2009 Series

The current series of Korean banknotes consists of four denominations which are 1000 won, 5000 won, 10000 won and 50000 won. This new series of banknote was first introduced by Bank of Korea in 2006 with the release of 5000 won note on 2 January 2006. On the subsequent year, 1000 won and 10000 won notes were issued concurrently on 22 January 2007. The latest issuance note with the highest denomination 50000 won was launched on 23 June 2009.

1000 won

The obverse features portrait of Yi Huang on the right. Yi Huang is one of the most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty. The background illustrates the Myeongryundang in Seonggyungwan. The reverse features Gyesangjeonggeodo painted by Gyeomjae Jeong Seon.

5000 won

The obverse features the portrait of Yi I. Yi I is another most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty. The background illustrates the Ojukheon in Gangneung. The reverse features Chochung-do "Insects and Plants", a painting of a watermelon and cockscombs by Yi I's mother Sin Saimdang.

10000 won

The obverse features the portrait of King of Sejong, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. The background illustrates a folding screen for Joseon-era kings and text from the second chapter of Yongbieocheonga, the first work of literature written in Korean. The reverse features Globe of Honcheonsigye and Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido in the background.

Bank of Korea Issues 50000 Won Note

The Bank of Korea issued its new denomination note 50,000 Won on 23 June 2009. It is the highest-denomination note issued since the 10,000 Won was issued in 1973. It is also the first Korean banknote to carry the portrait of women in this male-dominated society. The appearance of a women portrait in Korean banknote has shown the government determination to improve the women status and gender equality in Korean society.

The obverse of the note features the portrait of Sin saimdang (1504~1551). One of the prominent female artist of Joseon Dynasty. She produced many valuable pieces of poems, works of calligraphy and paintings.

The reverse of the note features two outstanding paintings produced in mid of Jeseon Dymasty namely Wolmaedo and Poongjukdo. Wolmaedo is a painting of a Mumetree by Eo Mongryong and Poongjukdo is a painting of Bamboos by Lee Jeong.

This 50,000 Won banknote has a special edition that comes with a special folder and certificate. I managed to grab one of them during my recent visit to Korea.

The photo of 50,000 won banknote (serial no. AA 0014328 A) issued by Bank of Korea on 23 June 2009. The note is quipped with anti-scan technology.

The cover of special edition of Korean 50,000 Won banknote issued in June 2009.

The content of the folder explains the security feature of the 50,000 Won banknote in Korean language.

Each special edition note comes with a certificate that has the same serial number as printed in the note. Noted that the serial number i.e. 14328 printed in this certificate is the same as shown in banknote photo above.

Korean Coins And Banknotes Catalogue 2011

I bought this Korean Coins and Banknotes Catalogue 2011 during my recent to visit to Korea. This catalogue was published in July 2010 and edited by Korean Coins and Banknotes Dealer Association. The guide book consists of more than 305 pages with color images of Korean coins and banknotes.

The book is mainly written in Korean language with a simple explanation in English. It has six sections that cover the origin and progress of Korean currency.

Section I - Explanation of words about brass coins.

Section II - Origin and progress of money. It covers the money of ancient and three country period, money of Goryeo period and money of Chosun dynasty.

Section III - Coins in the end of Chosun Era and the Former Korea.

Section IV - The current coins and the commemorative coins.

Section V - Personal checks, bonds and coupons.

Section VI -Banknotes. It covers from the Japan National Banknotes (during Japanese occupation), The establishing of Bank of Korea and its banknotes, and the current Korea banknote.

Korean Coins and Banknotes Catalogue 2011

Content of Korean Coins and Banknotes Catalogue 2011, showing the banknotes and they current market price.

Coin section on Korean Coins and Banknotes Catalogue 2011.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thai Commemorative Banknote - The 60th Anniversary of the Royal Wedding

Bank of Thailand issued 100 Baht commemorative banknote on 4 May 2010 in conjunction with the celebration of The 60th Anniversary of the Royal Wedding of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit and the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation.


The reverse of the commemorative note depicts the portrait of King Rama IX, the reigning monarch, waving his hand and standing next to him is Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.

The front of the 100 Baht commemorative banknote features the same characteristics and size to the other 100 Baht banknotes in 15th Series, which are currently in circulation.

The reverse of this commemorative banknote depicts the portrait of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the reigning monarch, waving his hand and that of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. The middle right corner features the portrait of His Majesty the King during the coronation. On the upper left corner is the Privy Seal of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, printed in red over the Thailand’s national flag. The lower left corner of the note printed in blue with Thai words and expressions: “We will reign with righteousness, for the benefits and happiness of the Siamese people.”, “The Coronation Speech” and “5th May B.E. 2493 (1950)".
< align="justify">The serial number of this commemorative banknote runs from 9R 0000001 to 9R 9999999. The prefix 9R represents King Rama IX.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Burma - 1985 to 1987 Series

This is one of my favorite series of Burma banknote simply because of the odd denominations. We usually see odd denomination appear on commemorative banknotes, but this series of Burma circulation notes used abnormal denominations such as 15, 35, 45, 75 and 90 Kyat.

It all began with the introduction of 75 Kyat note by Union of Burma Bank in November 1985. It is believed the odd denomination was introduced to commemorate Ne Win's birthday. He was the head of state from 1962 to 1981. This 75 Kyat note was then used as circulation note and subsequently led to the issuance of 15 and 35 Kyat notes in 1986. However, out of sudden the Burmese government demonetized the 25, 35 and 75 Kyat in 1987 resulted another political riot and eventually a coup in 1988. The 45 and 90 Kyat were introduced in 1987 which believed to be another favorite number of Ne Win.

15 Kyat (1986)


35 Kyat (1986)


45 Kyat (1987)


75 Kyat (1985)


90 Kyat (1987)