South Korean Currency Added to PMG Online Gallery

Posted on 11/23/2009

Collectors of South Korean currency actively pursue fancy serial numbers. A sample selection of the Won is featured in the PMG Online Gallery.

South Korea’s currency originated from the united Korean Won, first used as Korea's currency between 1902 and 1910. The Won was accepted as the currency of South Korea in 1948. Closely related to the Chinese Yuan and Japanese Yen, the Won is derived from a Chinese character meaning round shape. The 5,000 Won note was introduced in 1972 and the 10,000 Won note in 1973. Due to a high rate of counterfeit and forgery, the government issued a redesigned 5,000 note in 2006 and 1,000 and 10,000 notes in 2007.

One of the most popular ways to collect modern issue South Korean currency is the pursuit of notes with fancy serial numbers. The new PMG South Korean Currency Gallery features examples of some of the most common types of collectable serial number varieties:

  • Ladder - numbers counting upwards or downwards in even increments, for example 1234567

  • Low Numbers - numbers under 00001000

  • Matching - numbers match across denominations

  • Radar - numbers that read the same backwards and forwards i.e., 1010101

  • Rotators - numbers that remain the same when turned upside-down i.e., 0690690

Collectors may be interested to note that current issue South Korean currency has seven numerical digits in its serial numbers while US currency has eight. Also, a special feature of the Gallery is the Single Denomination Variety section, which includes five serial different collectible number variants of the new 50,000 Won note. The 50000 Won note shows the portrait of Shin Saimdang, a 16th-century female artist, calligrapher, and mother of Confucian scholar Yulgok. This is the first South Korean banknote that features the portrait of a woman. Yulgok, also known as Yi I, is on the 5,000 Won.

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