GI Money?
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A friend recently gave me a few bills that his grandfather had gotten in WWII while stationed in Europe. I found the franc notes listed on Ebay for about $5 apiece (I'm taking that price with a grain of salt) but I was unable to locate a couple of Chinese notes. The first is a one Yuan from 1936 with Waterlow & Sons Limited, London printed across the bottom, and the second is twenty cents from 1940 with Chung Hwa Book Co, LTD printed across the bottom. If anyone can help me out on these it would be a great help. I am interested in the history as well as the value. The fact that he was stationed in Europe, and got these Chinese notes has me a little puzzled. Thanks for your help.

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I am not sure what history you are looking for. The notes are pretty much self-explanatory. They are a 1936 one yuan and 1940 20 cent note from the Central Bank of China. CBC was the main issuing authority for the government of China.

 

The notes were probably sent to him by someone who served in CBI.

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I guess the history I am looking for is more or less about Chinese notes of the time, not so much the specifics where these two came from. How far did Chinese notes circulate during the 30s and 40s? Why were they given to GIs during the war? Why are they printed in English on one side, and Chinese on the other? I am into history, especially WWII, and Chinese money of that time is something that I haven't researched until now.

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The history of Chinese paper money could (and does) fill several books. Here is a very brief summary.

 

There was no single central issuing authority for Chinese bank notes until after 1950. Prior to that there were a large number of local and provincial banks that issued notes in addition to a handful of national note issuing authorities. The paper money of China is by far the largest entry in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.

 

The main national note issuing authorities in the 1930-40s were the Bank of China, Central Bank of China, Bank of Communications, and the Farmers Bank of China. (This does not include the Japanese puppet banks such as the Federal Reserve Bank of China and the Central Reserve Bank of China among others). Although there were substantial foreign interests in China (which is why the notes are printed in English), the notes did not circulate outside the country to any great extent.

 

China was the only place where US military personnel were not paid in the local currency during WWII. This is because Chinese currency rapidly lost value due to inflation and the US personnel would have been at a great disadvantage if paid with worthless money. Chinese money was easy to obtain and it was common for those in CBI to send it home as souvenirs.

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China 20 Cents 1940

Item Code: CN-227

 

http://www.banknotes.com/cn227.htm

 

Front: Portrait of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925). Issuer: The Central Bank of China. Printer: Chung Hwa Book Co., Ltd.

Signatures: D.L. Lichia (Li Jue) (General Manager); Sin Feng Huang (Assistant General Manager). Predominant

colour: Blue.

 

 

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