French Indo China / 1 Products

French Indochina was the collective grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia consisting of Laos, Cambodia, Guangzhouwan in China, and some of the regions of Vietnam namely Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. Its capitals were alternately Saigon and Hanoi. 

In 1862, the Second French Empire annexed Cochinchina and established a Cambodian protectorate in 1862. In 1863, The French consolidated various protectorates into a union including Laos and Guangzhouwan. Despite resource exploitation, the French improved healthcare and education. 

World War II brought Japanese occupation until 1945, leading to a brief period of Vietnamese independence. After the Japanese surrendered, the Viet Minh communist organization declared Vietnamese independence, but France regained control shortly, sparking the First Indochina War. In October 1953, Laos gained its independence. Cambodia followed suit in November 1953 and in April 1954, Vietnam finally gained full independence. With the signing of the Geneva Accords on July 21, 1954, French Indochina ceased to exist.

The piastre de commerce served as French Indochina's currency, divided into 100 cents with one cent equivalent to 2-6 sapeques. 

French Indochina piastre banknotes predominantly feature a distinctive French-style numbering system. This comprises one of the 25 letters from the French alphabet (excluding I), followed by a series of numbers, and a 3-digit, or a full serial number. In banknotes where there is no full serial number, it can be determined using the following formula:

Full serial number = ((series number - 1) x 25) + (series letter equivalent - 1)) x (10^digits in serial) + serial number

In 1892, the Banque de l’Indochine issued a 1-piastre banknote and in the following years, it introduced notes in denominations of 5, 20, and 100 piastres. In 1939, a 500-piastre banknote was put into circulation, followed by a 50-piastre in 1945.

In 1953, the Institut d'Emission des Etats du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam took over the responsibility of issuing banknotes. It issued piastre banknotes in denominations ranging from 1 and 200 piastres, along with Cambodian riel, Lao kip, and South Vietnamese dong banknotes.

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