The South Korean Won is the official currency of South Korea. The official currency symbol: ₩. The name of the coin is derived from the hanja (Korean name for a traditional writing system) ”won”, which means round.
The South Korean won has been issued in two stages; the first Korean won made its first appearance in the 16th to 19th centuries due to its derivation from the Spanish American silver dollar. This won was replaced by the Korean yen, which was on par with the Japanese yen during the Japanese colonial period between 1910 and 1945. After the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided between the South and the North, which resulted in two different won coins. Both won (South and North), they replaced the yen. This first victory went to the hwan in 1953. The second introduction was introduced in 1962 to circulate alongside the hwan. The latter was withdrawn when in 1975, the won became the only legal tender.
In 1962, the Bank of Korea introduced banknotes in denominations of 10 and 50 jeon, 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 won. The 5,000 and 10,000 won notes were issued between 1972 and 1973, followed by a 1,000 won note in 1975. The 500 won note was withdrawn in 1982, and a new series of notes was introduced the following year. In 2006, the government introduced a new series of banknotes with improved security measures, followed by the introduction of the 50,000 won banknote in 2009.
The 10000 South Korean won note front design illustrates the portrait of Sejong the Great (1397-1450), who was the fourth king of Korea’s Joseon dynasty, on a background with Irworobongdo (a Korean screen with a highly stylized landscape painting of a sun and a moon) and text from the second chapter of Yongbieocheonga (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven), that is the first literary work written in Hangul (Korean alphabet).
The reverse of the note features a Globe of Honcheonsigye (an astronomical clock designated as South Korean national treasure number 230), on a background with the C14 star map and reflecting telescope at Bohyeonsan Observatory. The design is completed with a Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido (a fourteenth-century Korean star map) and the Bank of Korea logo. The lettering of the note is presented in the Korean and English languages. This note is part of the 2007 series; its color is dark green and light green on a multicolor underprint.
Text: 한국은행 만원, Bank of Korea 10000 won.