South Korean Won - Currency Guide and Exchange Rates

South Korean money is won, its code is KRW and the symbol is represented by (the letter W for won and 2 horizontal strokes across the letter). The word won comes from the coins of China and Japan. Yuan (Chinese currency) and Yen (Japanese currency). All names come from China and mean ''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 North Koreans. But what is the history of the Korean currency? What is the current value of the currency? And whose faces are stamped on the banknotes and currency?

Won - the currency of south korea

Historical context

Initially – around 1400 – both the Korean and Japanese currency was the yen because the Koreas had not yet divided and Japan and China exerted great influence. In 1945, countries divided and began to adopt the won, which was the same value as the won. yen. In that period the value of 15 won corresponded to 1 dollar.

And over time, the value of the won per dollar increased even more. In 1951 (the year the Korean War took place), then Korea became economically stagnant. In 1951, for example, 6000 won was equivalent to 1 dollar.

In 1962 the fixed value was established in relation to the dollar. 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.

Won - the currency of south korea

Shortly thereafter, the won lost half its value because of the Asian crisis. Starting in 2006 the won was reformulated in order to fit the requirements of safety and art.

Another reason that contributed to the reformulation was the increasing number of counterfeits of South Korean money. With the new changes, counterfeiting 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. That's the only note with a woman on it and that was a change in 36 years.

outstanding won


₩1 - One won

The first issue was on August 16, 1966. The symbol is the Rose of Sharon (무궁화), also called Syrian hibiscus, is a symbol of South Korea. Coin physical characteristics: 17.20mm, weight 0.729g with smooth edge. Color: silver.

₩5 - Five won

The first issue was on August 16, 1966. The symbol is for Turtle Ship (거북선), a weapon used by 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. Coin physical characteristics: 18.0mm, 1.22g weight 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 issue was on November 30, 1982. The symbol is the red-headed heron (두루미). In South Korea this bird means "luck". Coin Physical Characteristics: 26.50mm, 7.70g weight with wavy edge. Color: silver.

Won - the currency of south korea


₩1,000 - One thousand won

The first issue was on January 22, 2007. Color: blue. Measures 136X68mm. The figure shown on the ballot is Toege Yi Hwang, also known only as Toege became known in South Korea for being a philosopher and writer. He was a Confucian.

₩5,000 - Five thousand won

The first issue was January 2, 2006. Color: red and yellow. Dimensions: 142X68mm. The figure depicted on the banknote 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 issue was on January 22, 2007. Color: green. Dimensions: 148X68mm. The figure represented 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 issue was on June 23, 2009. Color: yellow. Dimensions: 154X68mm. The figure depicted on the ballot is Shin Saimdang. She is the only Korean banknote woman and was an artist, writer, calligrapher and poet. She was the mother of Yi I, depicted on the ₩5,000 banknote.

South Korean cost of living

The estimate is that a single person spends KRW 652,000 in a family with 4 members the average is KRW 2,300,000 per month. Housing will depend on location and size, but the average for renters is 300,000 won.

The fees for health plan one are around 10,000 won, but it's not quite complete so it has some benefits that you have to pay extra as needed. And to study in South Korea in private education (remembering that it goes according to the level of education and educational institution) is 15,000,000 and 42,000,000 KRW.

Won - the currency of south korea

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

How much is the Round 6 drama's 45.6 billion won prize worth?

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 debts that are impossible to pay, then they are offered to participate in games that could cost them their lives to win the prize of 45.6 billion won.

I'm sure those who watched it were super curious to determine how much is 45 billion won in reais. The value is R$ 208.5 million considering the current price.

In case you want to know the value of 45 billion won in dollars, euros and other currencies, we will leave a conversion list of 45 billion won below:

  • 45 billion won is equivalent to 208,000,000 BRL;
  • 45 billion won is equivalent to 38,300,000 USD;
  • 45 billion won is equivalent
Won - the currency of south korea

How much is 100,000 won worth?

Like Japanese currency, Korean won are not fractional. This can end up confusing the minds of some people finding the money super undervalued.

The fact that the won does not currently have an equivalent of cents, makes the smallest note already a large number, but its value is extremely low. The best way to calculate this is to understand the values every tens.

Below we will show the value from 1 won, 100 won, 100 thousand won up to one million won. These values help you understand how much the won costs.

1 KRW0.004206 BRL
100 KRW0.42061 BRL
100.00 KRW42.0612 BRL
10,0000 KRW420,612 BRL
1,000,000 KRW4,206.12 BRL

A tip with unfractionated money is to always try to compare the hundred 100 won to the equivalent of your fractional local currency unit. I like to compare 100 yen with 1 dollar myself, as my currency is super undervalued.

What did you find most interesting about the Korean currency?

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