Thursday, June 25, 2009

South Korea New 50,000 Won

Do any of you remember about South Korea 50,000 won banknote with woman to appear in their banknote for the 1st time? On 22 June 2009, Bank of Korea Governor Lee Seong Tae release the new banknote for public use. The front of the bill - South Korea's largest-denominated note show artwork by and a portrait of Shin Saim-dang, a well-known artist who died in 1551. Shin was the mother of Yi I, a famous Confucian scholar, and is popularly referred to as a symbol of a "wise mother and good wife."

new won
South Korea on Tuesday issued its first high-denomination banknote for 36 years, ending an era of bulging wallets and raising hopes among retailers that consumers may be enticed to spend more. The 50,000-won (S$57) bill is the highest-value note since the 10,000-won bill was issued in 1973.

Shin Saim-dang
It is also the first to carry the portrait of a woman, in what one newspaper called a sign of greater gender equality in a formerly male-dominated society. Scores of curious customers queued outside the central Bank of Korea, trying to obtain bills with early serial numbers which can be sold to collectors.

Since 1973 commodity prices have risen twelvefold and per capita income has increased 110 times, forcing many Koreans who do not wish to use credit cards to carry thick wads of notes or bank cheques issued in fixed sums. The new note will reduce the cost of issuing such cheques, which stood at 280 billion won (S$310 million) last year. The government had previously resisted moves for a higher-value banknote, partly due to forgery fears. The new note has sophisticated anti-forgery features such as holograms.

It carries the portrait of Shin Saimdang, a 16th century female artist and writer. Her appearance 'has clear implications about the improved status of women and gender equality in modern days,' the Korea Times said.

Its editorial said the bill would likely encourage spending but could also fuel inflation and make corruption easier than ever. 'The note may be easily used for politicians and business people to raise slush funds, provide or receive bribes or pay for dubious deals,' it cautioned. -- AFP

Source: Straits Times Singapore
Banknote picture from