1953 ~ 1962

  1. Currency
  2. Currency Timeline
  3. 1953 ~ 1962

From the Second Currency Reform in 1953 to Third Currency Reform in 1962

The Bank of Korea undertook the Third Currency Reform in 1953 in an effort to lessen the economic turmoil caused by the Korean War. The Bank mandated the acceptance of its banknotes as the sole legal tender to ensure the identity of Korean currency and strived for continued development of the Korean currency system.

The Korean War paralyzed production activities, and huge military expenditures led to severe inflation. To lessen these economic turmoil, the Currency Reform was carried out on February 15, 1953, on a 100-won to one hwan basis. The Bank of Korea then prohibited the circulation of won-denominated Bank of Korea notes. It also halted circulation of the Bank of Joseon notes in seven denominations (10-, 5-, 1-won and 50-, 20-, 10- and 5-jeon notes) and that of the Japanese government's subsidiary money (1-jeon coins), which had circulated alongside Bank of Korea notes, and designated the hwan-denominated Bank of Korea notes as the only legal tender, ensuring the integral unity of the Korean currency. The money issued under the Currency Reform in 1953 consisted only of banknotes, namely 1,000-, 100-, 10-, 5- and 1-hwan notes. New banknotes in different designs and colors were then issued several times until the Third Currency Reform in 1962. Meanwhile, as the economic hardships caused by the Korean War had been overcome to some degree, prices had stabilized and industrial activities had returned to normal, the Bank of Korea issued its first coins in three denominations ― 100-, 50- and 10-hwan coins ― in 1959 in order to improve the currency system, reduce its currency production expenses, and provide convenience in small value transactions.

February 15, 1953
Second Curreny Reform implemented (put into effect on February 17)
February 17, 1953
The Bank of Korea 1,000-, 100-, 10-, 5-, and 1-hwan notes issued Although the currency unit was changed from won to hwan under the Currency Reform, "won" instead of "hwan" was marked on the initial banknotes, since these banknotes had previously been produced before the Currency Reform at the US Bureau of Engraving with a view to other purposes.

1,000-hwan note

front of 1,000-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953 back of 1,000-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953

1,000-hwan note
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design Turtle ship (Geobukseon); Bank's symbol
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 8-digit serial numbers; alphabetic characters marked before and after the numbers

100-hwan note

front of 100-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953 back of 100-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953

100-hwan note
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design Turtle ship (Geobukseon); Bank's symbol
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 8-digit serial numbers; alphabetic characters marked before and after the numbers

10-hwan note

front of 10-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953 back of 10-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953

10-hwan note
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design Turtle ship (Geobukseon); Bank's symbol
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 8-digit serial numbers; alphabetic characters marked before and after the numbers

5-hwan note

front of 5-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953 back of 5-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953

5-hwan note
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design Trellis patterns; Bank's symbol
Size 111 × 54㎜
Printed by U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Serial number within a type of brackets< >

1-hwan note

front of 1-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953 back of 1-hwan note issued on 17.February,1953

1-hwan note
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design Trellis patterns; Bank's symbol
Size 111 × 54㎜
Printed by U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Serial number within a type of brackets< >
March 17, 1953
Second-design 10-hwan notes issued(on yellow paper) The notes printed in the US were replaced with new notes printed in Korea following the Second Currency Reform in 1953.

Second-design 10-hwan note (yellow paper)

front of 10-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 17.February,1953 back of 10-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 17.February,1953

Second-design 10-hwan note (yellow paper)
Date first issued February 17, 1953
Design South Gate of Seoul (Sungnyemun);Rock Pillars (Chongseokjeong)
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
December 15, 1953
Second-design 10-hwan notes issued

Second-design 10-hwan note (white paper)

front of 10-hwan note(white paper) issued on 15.December,1953 back of 10-hwan note(white paper) issued on 15.December,1953

Second-design 10-hwan note (white paper)
Date first issued December 15, 1953
Design South Gate of Seoul (Sungnyemun);Rock Pillars (Chongseokjeong)
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
December 18, 1953
Second-design 10-hwan notes issued

Second-design 100-hwan note (yellow paper)

front of 100-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 18.December,1953 back of 100-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 18.December,1953

Second-design 100-hwan note (yellow paper)
Date first issued December 18, 1953
Design President Rhee's portrait; Independence Gate (Dongnimmun)
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
February 1, 1954
Second-design 10-hwan notes issued (on white paper)

Second-design 100-hwan note (yellow paper)

front of 100-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 1.February,1954 back of 100-hwan note(yellow paper) issued on 1.February,1954

Second-design 100-hwan note (yellow paper)
Date first issued February 1, 1954
Design President Rhee's portrait; Independence Gate (Dongnimmun)
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
March 26, 1956
Bank of Korea 500-hwan notes issued

500-hwan note

front of 500-hwan note issued on 26.March,1956 back of 500-hwan note issued on 26.March,1956

500-hwan note
Date first issued March 26, 1956
Design President Rhee's portrait; trellis patterns
Size 156 × 73㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
March 26, 1957
Second-design 1,000-hwan notes and third-design 100-hwan notes issued With this, the replacement of banknotes printed in the US by those of Korean manufacture completed except for the low denomination, 5- and 1-hwan notes.

Second-design 1,000-hwan note

front of 1,000-hwan note issued on 26.March,1957 back of 1,000-hwan note issued on 26.March,1957

Second-design 1,000-hwan note
Date first issued March 26, 1957
Design President Rhee's portrait; Bank's symbol
Size 156 × 73㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 6-digit serial numbers; year of printing marked; President Rhee portrayed wearing a suit rather than the Korean traditional clothes of earlier notes

Third-design 100-hwan note

front of 100-hwan note issued on 26.March,1957 back of 100-hwan note issued on 26.March,1957

Third-design 100-hwan note
Date first issued March 26, 1957
Design President Rhee's portrait; trellis patterns
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
August 15, 1958
Redesigned 500- and 50-hwan notes issued

500-hwan note

front of 500-hwan note issued on 15.August,1958 back of 500-hwan note issued on 15.August,1958

500-hwan note
Date first issued August 15, 1958
Design President Rhee's portrait; trellis patterns
Size 156 × 73㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 6-digit serial numbers; year of printing marked

50-hwan note

front of 50-hwan note issued on 15.August,1958 back of 50-hwan note issued on 15.August,1958

50-hwan note
Date first issued August 15, 1958
Design Independence Gate (Dongnimmun);Turtle ship (Geobukseon)
Size 149 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; year of printing marked
October 20, 1959
Bank of Korea 50- and 10-hwan coins issued

50-hwan coin

front of 50-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959, back of 50-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959

50-hwan coin
Material Cu(70), Zn(18), Ni(12)
Design Turtle ship (Geobukseon); denomination
Diameter 22.86㎜
Weight 3.69g
Minted by Philadelphia Mint of the United States Government
Issue ceased March 22, 1975

10-hwan coin

front of 10-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959, back of 10-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959

10-hwan coin
Material Cu(95), Zn(5)
Design Rose of Sharon; denomination
Diameter 19.10㎜
Weight 2.46g
Printed by Philadelphia Mint of the United States Government
Issue ceased March 22, 1975
October 30
100-hwan coins issued

100-hwan coin

front of 100-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959, back of 100-hwan coin issued on 20.October,1959

100-hwan coin
Material Cu(75), Ni(25)
Design President Rhee's portrait; denomination
Diameter 26.00㎜
Weight 6.74g
Printed by Philadelphia Mint of the United States Government
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
August 15, 1960
Third-design 1,000-hwan notes issued
President Rhee's portrait on the previous 1,000-hwan notes was replaced by that of King Sejong the Great.

Third-design 1,000-hwan note

front of 1,000-hwan note issued on 15.August,1960 back of 1,000-hwan note issued on 15.August,1960

Third-design 1,000-hwan note
Date first issued August 15, 1960
Design King Sejong the Great; flame
Size 149 × 66mm
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 8-digit serial numbers; year of printing marked; President Rhee's portrait replaced by that of King Sejong the Great
April 19, 1961
Third-design 500-hwan notes issued
President Rhee's portrait on the previous 500-hwan notes was replaced by that of King Sejong the Great.

Third-design 500-hwan note

front of 500-hwan note issued on 19.April,1961 back of 500-hwan note issued on 19.April,1961

Third-design 500-hwan note
Date first issued April 19, 1961
Design King Sejong the Great; Bank of Korea's main building
Size 156 × 73㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes 8-digit serial numbers; year of printing marked; President Rhee's portrait replaced by that of King Sejong the Great
May 16, 1962
Fourth-design 100-hwan notes issued
A mother and her son holding a bankbook were chosen for the design theme to encourage a sense of thrift to implement the first five-year economic development plan.

Fourth-design 100-hwan note

front of 100-hwan note issued on 16.May,1962 back of 100-hwan note issued on 16.May,1962

Fourth-design 100-hwan note
Date first issued May 16, 1962
Design A mother and her son; Independence Gate (Dongnimmun)
Size 156 × 66㎜
Printed by KOMSCO
Issue ceased June 10, 1962
Notes Notes without serial numbers; serial numbers within - -
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