Korean yang

Korean Yang

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Korean yang

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The yang (양/兩) was the currency of Korea between 1892 and 1902. It was subdivided into 10 jeon (전/錢), 100 bun (분/分) and 5 yang = 1 hwan (환/圜).


The word yang is a cognate of the Chinese "tael" (pronounced "liǎng" in Chinese). Fun (pronounced "pun" but spelt with an "f" on the coins), is also a cognate of a Chinese word, fen, which is equal to 1/100 yuan, whilst hwan is a cognate of yuan itself.


Just before the yang was introduced, a small number of coins denominated in hwan (환/圜) and mun (문/文) were minted (1 won = 1000 mun). It is unclear whether these coins circulated. The 1 won and 5 yang coins were equal in size, containing 416 grains of silver. However, before 1892, the main currency of Korea was the mun, a denomination based on the Chinese cash (Chinese: 文 wén).

The mintage and circulation of modern currency began during the last years of the old Korean Empire as a result of contact with the West. Around the time of the trial adoption of the gold standard in 1901, gold and silver coins were in circulation along with some Japanese bank notes.

The yang was replaced by the won at a rate of 1 won = 5 yang.


Coins were minted in the denominations of 1 fun, 5 fun, ¼ yang, 1 yang, 5 yang and 1 whan. The coins all carried the title of the state, "Great Joseon" (Great Korea; 대조선; 大朝鮮), then just "Joseon" (Korea; 조선; 朝鮮) and then Daehan (대한;...
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