South Korea 500 Won, 1973, P-43, Uncirculated
South Korea 500 Won
A note that depicts much of South Korea’s rich history, the South Korea 500 Won banknote is rather popular amongst collectors. As a part of the third banknote series, the 500 won was redesigned in 1973 after previous designs by Thomas De La Rue and KOMSCO. As it was only in circulation from 1973 to 1993 when it was withdrawn, it is considered a rarer piece to be included in a collection.
Though the Korean Won has been the country’s main currency since before it was split into North and South Korea, it has fluctuated in widespread use. It wasn’t until after World War II in 1945 that the Won became popular and permanent in South Korea, sparking various banknote series of the currency. In 1962, the South Korea 500 Won banknote was introduced by the Bank of South Korea, with the first issues being printed in United Kingdom by Thomas De La Rue.
The South Korea 500 Won banknote sports a color scheme of green and pink colors that serve as the background to a portrait of Yi (Lee) Sun-sin, a Korean naval commander well-known for his triumphs over the Japanese navy during the Imjin War in the late 1500s. His picture is shown alongside a Geobukseon, or Turtle Ship, which Yi (Lee) Sun-sin built and designed in 1590. On the back is a depiction of Yi (Lee) Sun-sin’s Shrine at Hyeonchungsa.
The South Korea 500 won is one few banknotes to not have a watermark, which are used to help differentiate between the real notes and counterfeits.