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Korean Paper Money to Become Smaller and More Splendid

Posted April. 17, 2005 23:38,   


Korean paper money will become smaller, more splendid, and will be reinforced with high-tech anti-forgery devices. However, the portraits depicted on the paper money will not be changed.

The Bank of Korea (KOB) decided to introduce new paper money as soon as possible after agreeing with the government over a paper money improvement plan in order to prevent forgeries.

The KOB will officially announce its plan on the issue of new paper money based on the above-mentioned contents.

First of all, the new paper money will be diminished in its size. The size of a paper money currently in circulation is 151 to 161 ㎜ in width, and 76 ㎜ in length, which is a lot bigger that the average size of paper money in foreign countries (148 by 70.5 ㎜), which makes them inconvenient for users and have an ill-looking appearance, as is pointed out by some people.

The U.S. dollar paper money has a size of 155.9 by 66.3 ㎜ regardless of denomination, and the Euro paper money is 120 to 160 ㎜ in width, and 62 to 82 ㎜ in length, which are all smaller than Korean paper money dimensions.

Nevertheless, the social costs derived from the paper money change are expected to be considerable, including the replacement of vending machines and automatic teller machines nationwide, which will make drawing up the final measures more difficult.

In addition, the color of paper money will become more diversified. Currently, a 10,000 won paper money is green, a 5,000 won paper money is deep yellow, and a 1,000 won paper money is colored light purple. The new paper money will be issued in a wider range of colors, with which the BOK and the government aim to increase the efficiency of forgery prevention.

Regarding the anti-forgery devices, holograms that differ in color and pattern at different angles, concentric fine lines, special ink, and partially inserted special materials in paper money are being examined.

However, regarding the portraits on the face of paper money, the BOK and the government have agreed in principle to continue using the portraits of King Sejong (10,000 won note), Yulgok Yi-yi (5,000 won note), and Toegye Yi Hwang (1,000 won note).

Kyung-Joon Chung news91@donga.com