Author Topic: South Korea  (Read 173 times)

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Offline gpimper

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South Korea
« on: November 29, 2019, 07:53:19 PM »
Not sure the denomination (100 something) but pretty sure this was pocket change from my time in Pusan.  Not an overly exiting coin.
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: South Korea
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 12:51:04 AM »
Let me try to change your mind about that coin. First, you are right. Even when I came to Korea for the first time it wasn't worth much in guilder terms, but poverty and seclusion made it important for the Koreans. Today, your coin is 8 cents in USD terms, or 8 eurocent or 6 Indian rupees.

I came back regularly. Each time, life was significantly better and the country was making fast progress in all respects. In 1962, the coinage, ravaged by war, was stabilised and reformed. This coin came about in 1970. You can easily see it as a symbol of Korean economic achievements in spite of the mismanagement of the country by the military. In 1993, the last military dictator Roh Tae-woo apologised tearfully on TV for his role in the bloody suppression of student demonstrations, announcing a civil government and elections. Where else did that happen?

The characters right and left of the portrait is the denomination, 100 won. The characters are Korean (Hangul), but the Chinese character for Won is the same as the character used in Japan for yen and in China for yuan: 円. The four characters below the bust just say Bank of Korea, which is the Korean central bank, responsible for coins as well as banknotes.

Korea has been occupied by its neighbours, starting with the Mongols and ending with the Japanese and it's not over yet for the North. That's where the portrait on the coin comes in. He is admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545-1598), so you ought to salute him or at least read the page in Wikipedia about his life. His hat, rather than sleeve or shoulder, shows his rank. Admiral Yi fought a number of sea battles against Japanese invaders. He won all of them, never losing even a single ship, so maybe you should salute him twice ;) How's that for a dull coin? ;D

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline gpimper

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Re: South Korea
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 04:35:55 AM »
Peter, I don't disparage this coin and I very much aptitiate the history.  Just not one of my favorite as far as looks.  I still like it, though :-)   Two salutes are in order! 
The Chief...aka Greg

Online Oklahoman

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Re: South Korea
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 06:26:33 PM »
The characters on the coin are actually syllables that are individual letters of a phonetic alphabet that are stacked into syllables.  Loved your description of why this is a neat coin.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: South Korea
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 09:23:07 AM »
Indeed, the building blocks of Hangul characters are simple characters, formed by a combination of a vowel of a consonant, somewhat like Hiragana. These are usually combined into groups of one, two or three characters. When I was in Korea, I would train by trying to decypher the two combined characters on car license plates. As so many other things, use it or lose it, I forgot what i'd learned then.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Online Oklahoman

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Re: South Korea
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 09:30:11 AM »
I used to read signs as they passed the taxi or bus windows.  It was a great time in my life.