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Vietnamese coins: history, description

Vietnamese coins: history, description
Vietnamese coins: history, description

Vietnam was the only region competing with China in the production of a wide variety of metallic money. They were produced for 1000 years, from 960 to the beginning of the 20th century. The coins of Vietnam are associated with historically significant people, places and events. They were issued not only by official authorities, but also by rebels and rival political factions.

coins of South Vietnam

Monetary system in the Middle Ages

The first Vietnamese coins appeared during the reign of the Dinh Dynasty. Though for the next two centuries, specie remained rare for the common people as barter remained the dominant medium of exchange.

As a general rule, Vietnamese coins during the Li Dynasty were of inferior quality compared to Chinese ones, they were thinner and lighter. This was due to the acute shortage of copper during this period. This situation inspired Chinese merchants to recycle their own money for export to Vietnam, which caused a large number of coins to circulate in the country. As a resultthe Lee government suspended minting for five decades.

During the beginning of the Chang Dynasty, a lot of coins were issued. However, due to internal political struggles, they were not produced during the reign of the last seven rulers of this dynasty.

During the Ho period in 1396, the use of coins was banned in favor of the first banknotes.

After Le Thai Tu came to power in 1428, supplanting the Ming Dynasty, ending the fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, Le Thai Ti adopted a new policy aimed at improving the quality of coin production, as a result, they could compete with the best Chinese designs.

Vietnamese coins of the 19th century

New time

At the turn of the 18th century, many copper mines were discovered and the production of high quality Vietnamese coins resumed. Under Emperor Le Hie-Tong (1740-1786), new types of metal money Cảnh Hưng appeared, including those with denominations of 50 and 100 van. Currently, there are about 80 known different types of them. The reason for this diversity is that the Le government needed more money to pay for its expenses, so they tried to solve the problem by increasing the money supply. Previously banned workshops that minted low-quality coins were legalized.

Since 1837, the Nguyen dynasty began issuing copper coins. Gradually, they were replaced by zinc, which became the basis of the Vietnamese monetary system. A currency standard appeared - 1 dong (approximately 2.28 grams), which was used by subsequentrulers.

However, in 1871, the production of zinc money ceased, firstly, due to Chinese pirates, whose actions complicated trade and raised the cost of their production. Secondly, their face value was lower than the actual value, and the metal itself was quite brittle, so they often broke.

Until 1849, Vietnam's copper coins became rare and only circulated in the provinces surrounding the capital. Between 1868 and 1872 brass money contained only about 50% copper and 50% zinc. Due to the natural shortage of copper in Vietnam, the country has always lacked the resources to produce enough of them.

France controlled the lands of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from the late 1880s until 1954, and this colonial empire was called L'Indochine française, or French Indochina.

During this period, the piastre was a popular currency; but Mexican coins and local dong were also in circulation.

Le dynasty coins

XX century

After World War II, the country gained independence. But French control continued even after the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In 1945, the government of the new state issued aluminum coins. To eliminate the mixing of different currencies.

Modern Vietnamese coins use Roman numerals. If there are no communist symbols on the coins, then they were minted in South Vietnam before 1975. Various types of Vietnamese su coins (10, 20 and 50) were issued in the socialist republic. Also 1, 5, 10 and20 VND.

In the northern part of the country, the first Vietnamese coins appeared in 1945, when the rebels declared the independence of this territory, but they were in circulation only in the lands they had captured. After the state officially became sovereign, in 1954 a new series of 1, 2 and 5 sous was issued in 1958, 1, 2 and 5 hao and 1 dong, which appeared in 1976.

1 North Vietnamese dong


In 2003, after more than a twenty-five-year break, Vietnam began minting money again. A whole generation has grown up that has never used coins! In the end, the government granted the requests of merchants and citizens who needed them at least for the convenience of using them in vending machines.

Since then, Vietnam has not issued any new coins. The 5,000 dong copper coin depicts the Chua Mot Kot temple in Hanoi. For 2000 - a traditional house with a high roof. Brass 1000 dong issued with the image of a temple in the ancient capital of Hue. Vietnamese coins of 500 and 200 dong are made of copper-nickel alloy, only denominations are stamped on them. All of them are dated 2003, the coat of arms of the country is located on the obverse.

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