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Korean 50,000 Won Note


Korean 50,000 Won Note

Korea’s long awaited 50,000 won bill (note) will begin circulating on 23 June 2009.  No longer will the 10,000 won note be the highest denomination in Korean money.

Plans for new bills have been in the works for some time, but the country has been divided on the issue. Proponents of larger denomination bills content that Korea’s currency hasn’t kept pace with greater wealth and costs in the country, while opponents believe that having notes greater than W10,000 will have a negative impact on Korean society through increased corruption, spiraling costs and excessive spending. Plans for the W100,000 note were shelved due to concerns about inflation.

The new W50,000 note will be 6mm bigger than the W10,000 note and predominantly yellow.

The figure on the bill is, for the first time, that of a woman - Shin Saim-dang, a renowned writer, artist and calligrapher and mother of Lee Yul-gok (also known as Yil), the scholar whose face is on the W5,000 note. The choice of this particular woman has also been controversial. Bank of Korea officials affirm that she was selected for her talent and because she embodies the cultural ideals of being dutiful to her parents, devoted to her husband, and dedicated to educating her children. Critics have indicated that someone not as representative of the traditional roles of ‘good wife and wise mother’ would have been more appropriate to modern Korean society.


The banknote itself is equipped with the latest anti-forgery measures, including holograms and optical variable ink.

The central bank will open a page on its Web site, www.bok.or.kr, with detailed information about the new 50,000 won bill in June 2009 (likely to be in Korean only).



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