Vietnam is in the eastern portion of mainland Southeast Asia, sharing land borders with China, Laos, and Cambodia, and maritime borders with Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The country has a prolonged history of conflicts. Following the Second World War, France took power in the First Indochina War which Vietnam conquered. Later, the Vietnam War began, leading the country’s division into the communist North which was backed by the Soviet Union and China, and the US-supported anti-communist South. In this article we’ll discuss the history of the Vietnamese Dong.

Map of North & South Vietnam | Source: Wikipedia

Unification of North & South Vietnam

In 1976, the two opposing regions reunited and became a unitary socialist state, the Communist Party of Vietnam. The nation struggled due to the ineffective economy, conflicts with Cambodia and China, and trade embargo. In 1986, economic and political reforms turn Vietnam into a part free market and socialist economy. 

Vietnam 20 Dong | 1976 | P-83a | Source: Banknote World Educational

The Vietnam Dong Currency

Since 1976, Vietnam’s official currency has been the Vietnamese dong, issued by the State Bank of Vietnam. The same currency was also used by North Vietnam and South Vietnam, replacing the French Indochinese piastre. It was previously split into 10 hao which were subdivided into 10 xu, however, these subdivisions are no longer used.  

Vietnam 50 Dong | 1985 | P-97 | Source: Banknote World

Dong banknotes from the state bank feature the coat of arms of Vietnam on their obverse. In addition to the national emblem, the 20-dong and 50-dong banknotes also displayed a portrait of Ho Chi Minh who was a former president of the country.  

Vietnam 500,000 Dong | 2019 | P-124o | Source: Banknote World

Modern Banknotes

Between 2003 and 2018, a new set of notes begins to circulate, of which 50,000 and 500,000 dong notes are products of Note Printing Australia on polymer. Eventually, 10,000, 20,000, 100,000, and 200,000 dong banknotes also now consist of polymer from the National Banknote Print Plant.  

Vietnam 100 Dong | 2016 | P-125 | Source: Banknote World

Vietnam also releases commemorative banknotes from time to time. In 2016, a 100-dong banknote from the State Bank of Vietnam circulates. It commemorates the 65th anniversary of national banking in the country.  

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