South Korean money is the won, its code is KRW and the symbol is represented by ₩ (the letter W of won and 2 horizontal dashes cutting the letter). The word won comes from the coins of China and Japan. Yuan (Chinese currency) and Yen (Japanese currency). All name comes from China which means “round shape”.
It is divided into 100 jeon (전/錢), as if it were cents. The South Korean won is not the same used by the North Koreans. But what is the story of the Korean currency? What is the current value of the coin? And whose faces are stamped on the banknotes and coins?
Initially – around 1400 – both the Korean and Japanese currency was the yen because it had not yet divided the Koreas and Japan and China exerted great influence. In the year 1945 the countries split and started to adopt the won which was the same value as the yen. During this period, the value of 15 won corresponded to 1 dollar.
And over time, the value of won for every dollar increased even more. In 1951 (the year of the Korean War), then Korea became stagnant economically. In 1951, for example, 6000 won was worth 1 dollar.
In 1962 the fixed value in relation to the dollar was established. It went from 125 won to 1 dollar. The fixed exchange rate lasted until 1980. From 1980 onwards, the floating exchange rate policy was adopted, but it was only made official on December 24, 1997 with the International Monetary Fund.
Shortly thereafter, the won lost half its value because of the Asian crisis. From 2006 onwards the won was redesigned with the aim of meeting safety and art requirements.
Another reason that contributed to the reformulation was the growing number of counterfeits of South Korean money. With the new changes, the forgery would be more difficult. Changed the color, size, texture, images among other changes. With anti-counterfeiting resources, counterfeiting crimes have decreased.
One of the most significant changes was the issuance of 50,000-won notes. This is the only note with a woman stamped on it and that was a change in 36 years.
Won in circulation
₩1 – One won
The first edition was on August 16, 1966. The symbol is the Rose of Saron (무궁화), also called the Syrian hibiscus, is a symbol of South Korea. Physical characteristics of the coin: 17.20 mm, weight 0.729 g with smooth edge. Color: silver.
₩5 – Five won
The first edition was on August 16, 1966. The symbol is from Turtle Ship (거북선), a weapon used by the Koreans in naval battles. Coin physical characteristics: 20.40mm, 2.95g weight with smooth edge. Gold color.
₩10 – Ten won
The first edition was on August 16, 1966. The symbol is the Bulguksa temple in Gyeongju, where the 7 national treasures of South Korea are located. Physical characteristics of the coin: 18.0mm, weight 1.22g with smooth edge. Color: coppery.
₩50 – Fifty won
The first edition was on December 1, 1972. The symbol is a branch of rice, a common food among Asians. Coin physical characteristics: 21.60mm, 4.16g weight with wavy edge. Color: silver.
₩100 – One hundred won
The first edition was on November 30, 1982. The symbol is the red-headed heron (두루미). In South Korea this bird means "lucky". Coin physical characteristics: 26.50mm, 7.70g weight with wavy edge. Color: silver.
₩1,000 – One thousand won
The first edition was on January 22, 2007. Color: blue. Measures 136X68mm. The figure represented on the ballot is Toege Yi Hwang, also known only as Toege was known in South Korea for being a writer philosopher. He was a Confucian.
₩5,000 – Five thousand won
The first edition was on January 2, 2006. Color: red and yellow. Measures: 142X68mm. The figure depicted on the ballot is Yulgok Yi I. In addition to being a Confucian scholar he was also a Joseon Dynasty politician.
₩10,000 - Ten thousand won
The first edition was on January 22, 2007. Color: green. Measures: 148X68mm. The figure depicted on the ballot is King Sejong, the Great. He was the fourth king belonging to the Joseon Dynasty, his reign was from 1418 to 1450. He is known to have created the Hangul (Korean alphabet).
₩50,000 – Fifty thousand won
The first edition was on June 23, 2009. Color: yellow. Measurements: 154X68mm. The figure depicted on the ballot is Shin Saimdang. She is the only woman of Korean notes and was an artist, writer, calligrapher and poet. She was the mother of Yi I, represented on the ₩5,000 bill.
South Korean cost of living
The estimate is for a single person to spend 652,000 KRW in a 4-member family the average is 2,300,000 KRW per month. Housing will depend on location and size, but the average for renters is 300,000 won.
Health Plan One fees are around 10,000 won, but it's not quite complete so there are benefits that must be paid extra as needed. And to study in South Korea in private education (remembering that it depends on the level of education and educational institution) it is 15,000,000 and 42,000,000 KRW.
How much is the 45.6 billion won prize of the Round 6 drama?
Round 6 or Squad game it is a South Korean drama which became the most watched in the world on the Netflix platform. The story revolves around people who have unpaid debts, then are offered to play games that could cost their lives to win the 45.6 billion won prize.
I'm sure whoever watched it was really curious to know what the value in reais was. The value is R$ 208.5 million taking into account the current quotation.
What did you find most interesting about the Korean currency?