Wednesday, 10 June 2015
192) Coinage and Currency of South Korea: Won and Jeon: (Part II): Banknotes of South Korea:
192) Coinage and Currency of South Korea: Won and Jeon: (Part II): Banknotes of South Korea:
Bank of Korea (BOK):
The Bank of Korea is the Central Bank of South Korea established on 12.06.1950 at Seoul, South Korea under the Bank of Korea Act. As the Korean economy following the liberation of the country on 15.08.1945, was in the grip of rampant inflation, the Bank of Korea’s primary task was to rein in the severe inflation and bring about a semblance of price stability and financial order. Accordingly, it had a wide range of powers in regard to the Monetary, Credit and Financial policy, Bank Supervision, Foreign Exchange policy, as well as, having the exclusive right to issue Banknotes and coins. In effect, the Bank of Korea took over the functions of the Bank of Joseon.
The Central Bank maintains close co-operation with other Central Banks and multilateral organisations like the BIS, IMF and acts as the Central Bank of the G-20 Summit nations.
Assigning Series Designations to Banknotes and Coins:
The Bank of Korea designates Banknotes and Coin Series in a unique manner.
Instead of putting those Banknotes or Coins of similar design and issue dates, but of different denominations, in the same Series, the Central Bank assigns Series number say “n” to the “nth” design to individual denominations.
For example, the Series number for the 50000 Won Banknote issued on 23.06.2009, the Series number is I, because, it is the first time ever, this denomination of Banknote is issued under the 2006-2007 Series. Similarly, within the same Series the 1000 Won banknote is designated Series III, because this is the third time ever that this denomination/design of Banknote has been issued.
Early South Korean Banknote Issues:
In 1946, the Bank of Joseon issued the first 10 and 100 Won Banknotes.
In 1949, the Bank of Joseon issued 5 and 1000 Won Banknotes.
In 1950, The Bank of Korea, upon assumption of its duties, issued Banknotes in the denominations of 5, 10 and 50 Jeon and 100 and 1000 Won. Some of these Banknotes were dated 1949 so as to maintain continuity/familiarity with the earlier issues of the Bank of Joseon.
In 1952, 500 Won Banknotes were introduced.
In 1953, a Series of Banknotes was issued which denominated in the Hwan, with English lettering. These were the first issues of Hwan Banknotes.
The 1962 Thomas De La Rue Series of Banknotes:
In 1962, 10 and 50 Jeon and 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 Won denominated first issue of South Korean Banknotes printed by De La Rue, the Security Paper and Printing major.
The 1962-1969 KOMSCO Series of Banknotes:
Jeon Banknotes denominated in 10 and 50 Jeon, along with a second issue of 10 and 100 Won Banknotes were issued domestically by the Bank of Korea through the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation (KOMSCO).
In 1965, 100 Won Banknotes (Series III) were printed using intaglio printing techniques, with a view to prevent counterfeiting.
Later, other higher denomination Banknotes of the first issue were replaced with similar security features strengthened Banknotes – 500 Won (in 1966) and 50 Won (1969) by using intaglio/litho printing. Also, in 1966, 500 Won denominated Banknotes were issued by the Bank of Korea.
In 1970, 100 Won Banknotes were replaced by coins.
1972-1973 Series of Banknotes:
On 01.07.1972, 50 Won Banknotes were replaced by coins and higher denomination Banknotes of 5000 Won were introduced, due to inflationary pressures. These Banknotes on the Front showed Yi l and on the Back the Main Building of the Bank of Korea. (5000 Won Banknotes of this Series were issued on 01.07.1972 and were withdrawn from circulation on 01.12.1980).
In 1973, Banknotes of 10000 Won denomination was issued. These Banknotes on the Front showed Sejong the Great and the Rose of Sharon, while on the Back, was a depiction of “Geunjeongjeon” at Gyeongbok Palace. (10000 Won Banknotes of this Series were issued on 12.06.1973 and were withdrawn from circulation on 10.11.1981).
Both these higher denominations had new Security features including – watermark, security thread, ultra-violet optical/response fibres and intaglio printing.
An image of the throne hall at the Gyeongbok Palace
The “Geunjeongjeon” Hall at the Gyeongbok Palace: The name “Geunjeongjeon” means “diligence helps governance”. This Hall is the throne hall where the king formally granted audiences to his officials, gave declarations of National importance and greeted foreign envoys and Ambassadors during the Joseon Dynasty. This building is designated as Korea’s National Treasure no. 223.
1973-1979 Series of Banknotes:
This series included four denominations of Banknotes:
The Front of the 500 Won Banknotes showed depictions of Admiral Yi Sun-sin along with “Geobukseon”.
Admiral Yi Sun-sin (28.04.1545 – 16.12.1598): He was a Korean Naval Admiral, famed for his victories against the Japanese Navy during the “Imjin War” during the reign of the Joseon dynasty. Yi is also the famed inventor of the “Geobukseon” (or the turtle War-ship), which was the World’s first Ironclad Warship.
He was well-respected both by his men, as well as, his adversaries. He is remembered as the greatest Naval Commander in the history of Naval combat and he remained undefeated against insurmountable odds despite having no naval training although he underwent training as an infantry officer. He remained undefeated in over 23 naval battles, the only Naval Commander ever to have such a phenomenal record. His most memorable military achievement was in the battle of Myeongnyang.
Yi fell out of favour with the Joseon King, who was a weakling given to court intrigue and his opponents always conspired to keep Yi from gaining men, material and operational freedom. So much so, they even contrived to get King Seonjo to have Yi imprisoned and tortured to the point of death. King Seonjo, himself, feared that Yi’s growing popularity might make him challenge his own title to the Korean throne. Yi was demoted in rank and made to serve under junior officers.
Meanwhile, in 1597, the Japanese launched a massive attack on Korea, with about 140,000 men and 1000 ships. Yi’s successor Won Gyun’s fleet of 150 Warships (with 30000 men which had been carefully assembled by Yi), was caught unawares and destroyed except for 13 ships that Admiral Bae Seol managed to flee the engagement with.
King Senjo fearing his own safety, hurriedly pardoned Yi and reinstated him as the Commander of the vastly reduced fleet of 13 ships.
Yi’s fleet was vastly outnumbered 133 warships (and 200 logistical support ships) to only 13 and he was forced to make a last stand in the defence of Seoul against an invading Japanese Army, but he managed to destroy 33 of the enemy vessels, striking fear among the Japanese navy, which retreated in disarray. There is no other engagement in history involving such an outnumbered fleet emerging victorious.
He died in the Battle of Noryang on 16.12.1598, when he was struck by a stray bullet, with the Japanese army on the verge of being completely pushed out of the Korean Peninsula. His famous dying words were “The battle is at its height … beat my war drums … do not announce my death”. His nephew put on his battle armour and Yi’s passing away was only announced when the Japanese were completely routed.
It is said that the weak Joseon king only showed a “blank expression” offering no signs of sadness or shock on hearing the news of Yi’s passing away.
Nevertheless, public sentiment forced King Seonjo to acknowledge Yi’s patriotism and contribution as the most capable Korean Naval Commander and he was given the title of “Chungmugong” (Duke of Loyalty and Warfare), and enrolment as a “Seonmu lldeung Gongsin” (First class military order of merit during the reign of King Seonjo), “Deokpung Buwongun” (The Prince of the Court from Deokpung) and “Samdo Sugun Tongjesa” (meaning “Naval commander of the Three Provinces”), which remained the title of all succeeding Naval commanders of the Korean Navy till 1896.
Admiral Yi’s posthumous title, “Chungmugong” is used as South Korea’s third highest military honour, known as “The Cordon of Chungmu of the order of military Merit and Valour”.
Even in North Korea, the military awards the Order of admiral Yi sun-sin to Flag officers and naval commanders for outstanding leadership.
Several movies/films/TV Serials have portrayed Yi’s successes against his adversaries & several /streets/memorials and a City stand in his name. A naval submarine in South Korea has been named after him.
“Geobukseon” (or the Turtle War-ship): This was a large two-masted, wind and oar-driven Korean warship that was used by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century till the 19th century. The ship derives its name from its protective shell-like covering.
It was designed by Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the most famous of Sea Admirals of all-time. Turtle warships participated in the War against Japanese Naval forces supporting Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s attempts to conquer Korea from 1592 to 1598. These warships were used alongside the “Panokseon” warships in sea battles against the Japanese.
The Back of the 500 Won Banknotes showed Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s shrine at Hyeonchungsa.
500 Won Banknotes under this Series (Series III) were issued on 01.09.1973 were withdrawn from circulation on 12.05.1993.
The Front of the 1000 Won Banknotes showed depictions of Yi Hwang and the Rose of Sharon.
Yi Hwang (1501-1570): He was one of the two most prominent scholars of the Joseon Dynasty, the other being his younger contemporary, Yi I. He is also known by his pen name “Toegye” (meaning “Retreating Creek”). He was a key figure of the Neo-Confucian literati. He is credited with establishing the Yeongnam School and setting up the Dosan Seowan, a private Confucian Academy. Yi Hwang is credited with having around 496 works in 764 publications in 4 languages and 5167 library holdings.
The Neo-Confucian literature of “Seonghaksipdo” was composed by Yi Hwang in 1568 for King Seonjo. It is a series of lectures for rulers through examples enumerated by past sages. Traditional Confucians had affirmed that any man could learn to become a sage, but the Neo-Confucian thought made the sage-hood real and attainable. Hwang presented that path by starting each chapter of his books/reading materials with a diagram. He intended for all “Ten diagrams” to be made into ten panelled standing screens so that the mind of the viewer could be constantly engaged with its contents, until the contents were fully assimilated by the practitioner.
The Back of the 1000 Won Banknotes showed Dosan Seowon (Dosan Confusian Academy).
1000 Won Banknotes under this Series (Series I) which were issued on 14.08.1975 were withdrawn from circulation on 12.05.1993.
The Front of the 5000 Won Banknotes showed an image of Yi I.
The Back of the 5000 Won Banknotes showed Ojukheon in Gangneung.
5000 Won Banknotes under this Series (Series II) were issued on 01.06.1977 were withdrawn from circulation on 12.05.1993.
The Front of the 10000 Won Banknotes showed an image of Sejong the Great and a Water Clock.
An image of a Water Clock
The Water Clock or “Borugak Jagyeongnu” (meaning “Water clock of the Borugak Pavilion”): In 1434, during the reign of King Sejong the Great of the Joseon Dynasty a Water Clock was made by Jang Yeong-sil which marked the hour automatically with the sounds of a bell, gong and drum. This self-striking Water Clock (or “Jagyeokru”) was used to keep the Standard time during the Joseon Dynasty. In 1536, the Clock was remade and improvement was done by Yu Jeon.
Presently, only three water bowls and two cylindrical water containers are available from the 1434 version.
The mechanism: The Water clock worked by having water poured into the largest bronze vessel which flowed into the smaller vessels which flowed into the long water tanks. When water level rose to the appropriate level, a floating rod touched a lever device which caused a ball to roll and hit another ball at the other end. The rolling ball would trigger the gong, bell, drum and even a wooden puppet which marked the hour with a placard.
The Back of the 10000 Won Banknotes showed the “Gyeonghoeru” Pavilion at Gyeongbok Palace and the Rose of Sharon.
10000 Won Banknotes under this Series (Series II) were issued on 15.06.1979 were withdrawn from circulation on 12.05.1993.
1983-2002 Series of Banknotes:
In 1982, the 500 Won Banknotes were replaced by 500 Won coins.
In 1983, a new Series of Banknotes was issued which had the following notable features:
- Distinguishable marks, as assists for the visually challenged persons, placed under the watermark.
- Addition of machine-readable language in preparation for mechanisation of cash handling.
- Better quality cotton pulp to reduce printing and production costs by extending the circulation life of the Banknotes.
- All Banknotes have intaglio printing.
- Modified 10000 Won and 5000 Won Banknotes were released in 1994 and 2002 with various new security features including colour-shifting ink, microprint, segmented metal thread, Moire and Eurion constellation et al. In addition, copyright information inscribed under the watermark and the year of issue on the Front and copyright “The Bank of Korea” and the year of issue on the Back have been inscribed.
- The printing plates/blocks for the 1000 and 10000 Won Banknotes were produced by the Korean Minting and Security Printing Corporation, while the plates for the 5000 Won Banknotes were made in Japan.
On the Front, the 1000 Won Banknote has a portrait of Yi Hwang.
On the Back, the 1000 Won Banknote has an image of Dosan Seowon (Dosan Confusian Academy).
The size of this Banknote is 151 mm x 76 mm and its colour is Purple. This Banknote was first issued on 11.06.1983 & its designation is Series II.
On the Front, the 5000 Won Banknote has a portrait of Yi I.
On the Back, the 1000 Won Banknote has an image of “Ojukheon” in Gangneung.
“Ojukheon” museum in Gangneung: Gangneung is a town in Gangwon-do on the East Coast of South Korea. “Ojukheon” Museum is named after a special black Bamboo which grows in this region. The Museum is one of the oldest wooden buildings in South Korea and has been designated as National Cultural Heritage no. 165.
The size of this Banknote is 156 mm x 76 mm and its colour is Orange. This Banknote was first issued on 11.06.1983 & its designation is Series III. Later, this Banknote was issued on 12.06.2002 under Series IV with additional security features and copyright information et al.
On the Front, the 10000 Won Banknote has a portrait of Sejong the Great and a Water Clock.
On the Back, the 10000 Won Banknote has an image of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion at Gyeongbok Palace.
The Gyeonghoeru Pavilion as it looks today.
“Gyeonghoeru” Pavilion at “Gyeongbok” Palace: “Gyeongbokgung” or “Gyeongbokgung” Palace or “Gyeongbok” Palace was the main Royal Palace of the Joseon Dynasty.
Built in 1395, it is located in Northern Seoul, South Korea. The largest of five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung Palace served as the home of the Kings of the Joseon Dynasty, the King’s households and the Government, the “Tyeonghoeru” or the “Gyeonghoeru” Pavilion is a Hall which was used to hold important State banquets during the Joseon Dynasty.
The first “Gyeonghoeru” Pavilion was constructed in 1412, during the reign of King Daewang, but was burned down during the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592.
The present building was constructed in 1867, during the reign of King Gojong on an island of an artificial lake. The outer perimeters of Gyeonghoeru are supported by square pillars while the inner columns are cylindrical – they are placed in this fashion to represent the concept of Yin and Yang. Three stone bridges connect the building to the palace grounds and corners of the balustrades around the island are decorated with sculptures depicting 12 Zodiac animals.
The size of this Banknote is 161 mm x 76 mm and its colour is Green. This Banknote was first issued on 08.10.1983 & its designation is Series III. Later, this Banknote was issued on 20.01.1994 under Series IV with additional security features and copyright information et al.
2006-2007 Series of Banknotes:
With widespread counterfeiting of Banknotes, the South Korean Government was left with no option but to go in for a new Series of Banknotes with more advanced security features.
The 5000 Won Banknote, which was the most counterfeited, was the first one to be redesigned in 2006.
Later, in 2007, the 1000 and 10000 Won Banknotes were introduced.
Some of the Security features placed in the Won Banknotes are:
- Holograms with 3D images that change colours within the metallic foil on the Front face of the Banknotes (except for the 1000 Won banknotes).
- Watermark portraits of the effigy of the Banknote are visible when held to the light in the white section of the Banknote.
- Intaglio printing on words and the portrait present a raised/embossed feeling which is different from ordinary paper.
- Security Thread in the right side of the Front face with small lettering “Bank of Korea” and the denomination of the Banknote.
- Colour shifting ink on the denominational value number at the Back of the Banknote.
- For the first time in the World, KOMSCO has placed a new substance in the Banknotes to detect counterfeits.
On the Front of the 1000 Won Banknote is depicted a portrait of “Toegye” Yi Hwang (1501-1570), “Myeongnyundang” in Seonggyungwan and a “Mume” (plum) tree with flowers. Also notice that on this face there is a single dot below the vertically printed numeral “1000” which is an assist for the visually challenged/impaired users to identify the denomination of this Banknote.
“Myeongnyundang” of the Sungkyunkwan: Sungkyunkwan or Taehak was the foremost Educational Institute in Korea during the late Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties, which still exists today. Myeongyundang is the main lecture hall of the University.
On the Back of the 1000 Won Banknote is “Gyesangjeonggeodo” a painting of Yi Hwang in Dosan Seowan by Jeoeng Seon.
The size of this Banknote is 136 mm x 68 mm and its colour is blue and its Series designation is “Series III”. This denomination of Banknotes was first put into circulation on 22.01.2007.
There are 19 security features on this Banknote including Intaglio latent image, windowed Security Thread, Colour-shifting ink, see-through Register, Micro-lettering, Watermark, Special Press and Soldering, Intaglio Printing, Fluorescent security fibres, Endless interlinking pattern, Rainbow Printing etc.
On the Front of the 5000 Won Banknote is depicted a portrait of scholar Yulgok Yi l (1536-1584) and Ojukheon (Mongryoungsil) in Gangneung and (Ojuk) or Black Bamboos. Also notice that on this face there are two dots below the vertically printed numeral “5000” which is an assist for the visually challenged/impaired users to identify the denomination of this Banknote.
Yulgok Yi I (26.12.1536 – 1584): Yi I was one of the two most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty, the other being his older contemporary Toegye Yi Hwang. Yi I was popularly known by his pen-name Yulgok (meaning “Chestnut valley”). Apart from being a scholar, he was a prominent politician and reformer. He wrote a thesis titled “Cheondochaek” (meaning “Book on the Way of Heaven”), which was widely regarded as a literary masterpiece. He held various political positions but is mainly known for being a philosopher and a social reformer.
His School of Neo- Confucianism placed emphasis on the more concrete, material elements, rather than inner spiritual perception, his concept of practical and pragmatic approach valued external experience and learning. Even in Administration, he emphasised sage learning and self-cultivation as the basis of proper administration. Some of his selected works include: “The Essentials of the studies of the sages – Fundamentals of Confucian ethics, self-cultivation and statecraft”, “The Secret of expelling Ignorance –systematic guide of learning”, “Daily Records of Lectures before the Throne”, “The Complete Works of Yulgok” (the last compiled posthumously).
On the Back of the 5000 Won Banknote is “Insects and Plants”, Watermelons and cockscombs Paintings by Yi I’s mother Shin Saimdang.
The size of this Banknote is 142 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Red and Yellow/Orange and its Series designation is “Series V”. This denomination of Banknotes was first put into circulation on 02.01.2006.
There are 17 security features on this Banknote including Hologram (OVD: Optically Variable Device), Colour-shifting ink, Intaglio latent image, windowed Security Thread, See-Through Register, Micro-lettering, Watermark, Special Press and Soldering, Watermark Bar, Intaglio Printing, Fluorescent Security fibres, Endless interlinking pattern, Rainbow Printing etc.
On the Front of the 10000 Won Banknote is depicted a portrait of Sejong the Great (1397-1450) and “Irwolohbongdo” (“the Sun, the Moon & Five Mountain Peaks”) a folding screen for Joseon era Kings, and text from the second chapter of “Yongbiacheonga” (“Songs of Dragons Flying to Heaven”) - the first work of literature written in Hangul. Also notice that on this face there are three dots below the vertically printed numeral “10000” which is an assist for the visually challenged/impaired users to identify the denomination of this Banknote.
Sejong Daewang (or Taewang) the Great (15.05.1397 – 08.04.1450): He was the fourth King of the Joseon dynasty in Korea. He ascended the throne in 1418 and ruled till the time of his passing away on 08.04.1950.
During the first four years of his reign, he governed as Regent with his son Grand Prince Moonjong, when his father-in-law Sim On and his close associates were executed and his older brother Jae was stripped of his title to the throne.
Sejong reinforced Confucian concepts and policies and brought about major legal amendments. At first, he suppressed Buddhism, but later atoned for his action by building several temples and accepting Buddhism.
He supported literature and encouraged high class officials and scholars to study at the court. He oversaw the creation of “Hangul” (the native phonetic alphabet system for the Korean language), encouraged advancements of scientific technology and put in place several measures to stabilise and improve the economic prosperity of his kingdom. To help farmers to benefit from technological advancements, he brought out a book – the “Nongsa jikseol” – which contained information about different farming techniques that scientists gathered from different regions of Korea.
In May 1419, he embarked upon the “Gihae Eastern Expedition” which rid the Korean territories of Japanese piracy and earned tribute and trade with several other conquered territories to the Korean Kingdom leading to all-round relative peace and prosperity. He built forts to defend his newly acquired/controlled territories and instituted the “Samin policy” to attract new settlers to the Region.
He is one of only two Korean rulers to be posthumously honoured with the title “the Great”, the other being “Gwanggaeto the Great” of Goguryeo.
An image of the Irwolohbongdo placed behind the Imperial Throne.
Irwolohbongdo” ( meaning “the Sun, the Moon & Five Mountain Peaks”): This is a folding screen with a highly stylised landscape painting of a sun, moon and five peaks which was always placed behind “Eowja” (the King’s Royal Throne) during the Joseon Dynasty. The Sun and Moon symbolise the King and queen while the five peaks denote a mythical place or Utopia. In addition to these images, there are two fast flowing streams (representing the King’s bounty/charitableness) flanked by conifers (representing the prosperity of the Nation). The screen was placed to display the grandeur of the Joseon Royal Court. These screens were constantly being made for Joseon rulers and only a few of the original screens remain today.
Songs of Dragons Flying to Heaven: The dragons mentioned in the title of the Songs represent the six ancestors of the Joseon Dynasty: Mokjo, Ikjo, Dojo, Hwanjo, Taejo (Yi Seonggye) and Taejong (Yi Bangwan). The flight of the dragons, “Yongbiacheonga” is the Joseon Dynasty’s rise in accordance with the “Mandate of Heaven”. This symbolises the Joseon ancestry as morally and politically upright and also sets out an ideological standards for future Joseon rulers to follow.
On the Back of the 10000 Won Banknote is “a Celestial Globe or the Globe of Honcheonsigye” (part of an Armillary sphere) and “Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido” in the background.
The “Honcheonsigye”: The Honcheonsigye is an astronomical clock created by Song I-Yeong in 1669. The clock has an armillary sphere with a diameter of 40 cm. The sphere is activated by a working mechanism, showing the position of the Universe at any given time. It is the only remaining astronomical clock from the Joseon Dynasty and is designated as South Korea National Treasure no. 230.
An image of a Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido replica on tapestry.
“Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido”: This is a 14th century Korean Star Map, during the Joseon Dynasty. The name is often translated as the “Chart of the Constellations and the regions they govern”. King Taejo had the Royal Astronomers carve the constellations on a flat black stone in 1395. The stone was roughly 122.5 cm in width, 211 cm in height and 12 cm in depth. The astronomers carved 1467 Stars, 264 Constellations and their names, the ecliptic and equatorial lines and 365 scales around. The map showed the positions of heavenly bodies in their natural order and allocated on their respective celestial fields. This map became the standard during the Joseon Dynasty with numerous copies being printed and distributed nationwide. The Map is designated as National Treasure No. 228 of South Korea and is kept in the Korean royal museum in Seoul.
The size of this Banknote is 148 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Green and its Series designation is “Series VI”. This denomination of Banknotes was first put into circulation on 22.01.2007.
There are 21 security features on this Banknote including Hologram (OVD: Optically Variable Device), Colour-shifting ink, Intaglio latent image, Security Thread, See-Through Register, Micro-lettering, Watermark, Novel Numbering (size of digits in the Serial number increase gradually from left to right), Special Press and Soldering, Watermark Bar, Intaglio Printing, Fluorescent Security fibres, Endless interlinking pattern, Rainbow Printing etc.
On the Front of the 50000 Won Banknote is depicted a portrait of Shin Saimdang (1504-1551) and Mukpododo, Eggplants of Chochungdo-subyeong, Wolmaedo, Poongjukdo – a folding Screen of Embroidered Plants, and Insects” (South Korean National treasure No. 595 in the background. This Banknote is the first Korean Banknote featuring the portrait of a woman. Shin Saimdang was a prominent 16th century artist, calligrapher and mother of Korean scholar Yulgok Yi I.). Also notice that on this face there are five horizontal lines below the vertically printed numeral “50000” which is an assist for the visually challenged/impaired users to identify the denomination of this Banknote.
Some images of paintings by Shin Saimdang
Shin Saimdang (29.10.1504 – 17.05.1551): She was a Korean artist, writer, calligraphist and poet. Her nickname was “Eojin Eomeoni” (meaning “Wise Mother”). Her real name was “Inseon” and her pennames were Saimdang, Inimdang and Imsajae.
Her artwork is known for its delicate beauty. Her favourite themes were insects, grass, flowers, butterflies, orchids, grapes, fish, mountains, rivers and landscapes. Altogether some 40 paintings of ink and stone-paint colours are known today, and much more of her work is assumed to have existed during her lifetime. Not much of her calligraphy is available today, but her style was greatly appreciated during her lifetime with high ranking officials and connoisseurs writing appreciatively about her work. Her poetry included “Looking Back at my Parent’s Home while going over Daegwallyeong Pass” and “Thinking of Parents”.
On the Back of the 50000 Won Banknote is “a Bamboo and a Plum tree.
The size of this Banknote is 154 mm x 68 mm and its colour is Yellow and its Series designation is “Series I”. This denomination of Banknotes was first put into circulation on 23.06.2009.
There are 22 security features on this Banknote including Holographic strip (OVD: Optically Variable Device), Colour-shifting ink, Intaglio latent image, Moving image or Motion Security Thread, Novel Numbering (size of digits in the Serial number increase gradually from left to right), See-Through Register, Micro-lettering, Watermark, Special Press and Soldering, Watermark Bar, Intaglio Printing, Fluorescent Security fibres, Endless interlinking pattern, Rainbow Printing etc.
(Some of the Banknotes are from the collection of Jayant Biswas. Banknotes scanned and Post researched and written by Rajeev Prasad)