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Asian Paper Money

The Chinese developed the first known paper money around 800 A.D., although it did not gain widespread adoption until around 1000 A.D. After a brief period of use by private banks and merchants, the Song dynasty government issued their own bank notes, which quickly replaced the previous attempts. The Yuan dynasty, founded by Kublai Khan, resulted in the first state-guaranteed paper money. While the previous Song notes had an expiration date, were geographically limited, and tied to specific banks, the Yuan notes were good anywhere at any time. The Ming dynasty discontinued printing paper money for almost 200 years due to rapid inflation, reverting instead to requiring silver for most transactions.

Japan did not begin printing banknotes until 1872 as part of the continuing westernization of the nation following the Meiji Restoration. Early Japanese notes included very small yen denominations, including fractional yen values known as sen. These small value notes were phased out in 1953.

Today, Japanese paper money comes in four denominations: one, two, five, and ten thousand yen. The two thousand yen note is regarded as something of a specialty, as it was originally printed to commemorate the year 2000 and is the only Japanese denomination to begin with the number two.


Quick Facts

  • A "ooi-long," or black dragon, Chinese note sold at auction for around $127,000 in 2010. The 1909 note is one of three known to exist after being recalled in 1911
  • Early Chinese paper money was printed with up to six inks to help deter counterfeiters. Coupled with the intricate designs used and the fear of special, unknown fibers blended into the paper, very few counterfeiters were recorded
  • Mongolian paper money is printed with virtually identical designs across denominations. However, each different denomination is printed in a different color, making the value discernible at just a glance

Recommended Items at Auction

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1929 Five Dollar Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelp
Nov 21, 9:00 AM PST
1929 Five Dollar Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelp
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $100- $200
$404 Bids
1936 Brilliant Uncirculated China 1 Yuan National Currency Note.
Sep 29, 5:00 PM EDT
1936 Brilliant Uncirculated China 1 Yuan National Currency Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$22 Bids
200+ LOT ASSORTED FOREIGN PAPER CURRENCY ASIA ETC
Oct 03, 9:00 AM EDT
200+ LOT ASSORTED FOREIGN PAPER CURRENCY ASIA ETC
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $200- $300
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Old Chinese Note
Sep 27, 5:00 PM EDT
Old Chinese Note
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
2- Great Chinese Notes
Sep 27, 5:00 PM EDT
2- Great Chinese Notes
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1937 Crisp, Uncirculated China 5 Yuan National Currency Note.
Sep 29, 5:00 PM EDT
1937 Crisp, Uncirculated China 5 Yuan National Currency Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1942 Bright, Crisp China 10 Yuan National Currency Note.
Sep 29, 5:00 PM EDT
1942 Bright, Crisp China 10 Yuan National Currency Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1937 Brilliant Uncirculated China 5 Yuan National Currency Note.
Sep 29, 5:00 PM EDT
1937 Brilliant Uncirculated China 5 Yuan National Currency Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1936 Brilliant Uncirculated China 1 Yuan National Currency Note.
Oct 06, 5:00 PM EDT
1936 Brilliant Uncirculated China 1 Yuan National Currency Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$10 Bids
1928 Bright Crisp China 10 Dollars Demand Note.
Oct 06, 5:00 PM EDT
1928 Bright Crisp China 10 Dollars Demand Note.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$10 Bids
Japan (1945) 20 Yen Allied Military Currency (P-73).
Oct 08, 11:30 AM EDT
Japan (1945) 20 Yen Allied Military Currency (P-73).
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$30 Bids
Lot of 2 Emergency Currencies from The Philippines
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Lot of 2 Emergency Currencies from The Philippines
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $10- $100
$100 Bids
MILITARY CURRENCY (ERROR/DIE SHIFT), THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT/1 PESO
Oct 04, 5:00 PM EDT
MILITARY CURRENCY (ERROR/DIE SHIFT), THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT/1 PESO
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$10 Bids
1 Japanese Note 1942
Oct 04, 5:00 PM EDT
1 Japanese Note 1942
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$10 Bids
4 – (1942-45) UNC. Japanese Government Currency
Oct 05, 5:00 PM EDT
4 – (1942-45) UNC. Japanese Government Currency
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$10 Bids
LOT OF ASSORTED JAPANESE GOVERNMENT MONEY
Oct 02, 9:00 AM MDT
LOT OF ASSORTED JAPANESE GOVERNMENT MONEY
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
World Currency - Philippines "Victory" 1 Peso Treasury Certificate NICE
Oct 01, 10:00 AM CDT
World Currency - Philippines "Victory" 1 Peso Treasury Certificate NICE
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
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Nepal 5 Rupees ND (2005) SOLID SUPERB GEM UNC PMG 68 EPQ
Sep 30, 4:00 PM EDT
Nepal 5 Rupees ND (2005) SOLID SUPERB GEM UNC PMG 68 EPQ
by Activity Auctions
Est: $800- $1,200
$3000 Bids
1946 JAPAN 1 Yen Allied Military Currency A Series 100 WWII Print Error Shift
Sep 27, 7:00 PM EDT
1946 JAPAN 1 Yen Allied Military Currency A Series 100 WWII Print Error Shift
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $90- $125
$200 Bids
Chine – Divers
Sep 29, 1:30 PM CEST
Chine – Divers
by Millon Riviera
Est: €50- €100
€500 Bids
Chine – Divers
Sep 29, 1:30 PM CEST
Chine – Divers
by Millon Riviera
Est: €150- €200
€1500 Bids
République de Chine - Chiang Kai-shek (1950-1975)
Sep 29, 1:30 PM CEST
République de Chine - Chiang Kai-shek (1950-1975)
by Millon Riviera
Est: €800- €1,200
€8000 Bids
A Japanese World War II 50 Yen Note
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
A Japanese World War II 50 Yen Note
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $25- $250
$250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Asian Paper Money


Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Millon Riviera

Millon Riviera

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC