Wednesday, February 25, 2009

50000 Won Bank Note

The first 50,000-won notes will be released in May or June 2009. That's about USD 35 these days. Barely a fortune compared to a Grant or a EUR 500 notes, but 5 times more than today's highest Korean bank note, the KRW 10,000 featuring King Sejong.

Another first : the 50K features a woman : a painter and an author, Shin Saim-dang (1504 - 1551) is even more famous for mothering and raising the great philosopher Yul-gok (also known as Yi I - 1536-1584).

Korean bank notes have been recently modernized. They don't share the same dimensions anymore : the bigger, the more expensive. And the newcomer will also be 6mm bigger than the 10K.

Its yellow color may be confusing with the light brownish 5,000 won note, especially since the face figures don't feature any comma nor dot : Westerners would write 50,000 (fifty thousand) where Koreans read 5,0000 (five "man" or five "ten thousand").

The project for a KRW 100,000 bank note, also announced two years ago, has been postponed : fears of inflation cripled the process, and no country can afford that kind of risks these days.

For big cash transactions, people may still rely on specific bank checks (and bad guys stick to attache cases instead of enveloppes).

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