The new W50,000 bill, the largest-denomination banknote in Korea, will finally go into circulation in late June. The front shows Shin Saimdang, a prominent 16th-century artist and calligrapher and mother of Confucian scholar Yulgok Yi Yi. The Bank of Korea on Tuesday said the bills will come out in the fourth week of June.
The central bank is thinking about how to distribute the coveted early serial numbers. To prevent confusion and a rush on the bills, the BOK will likely keep banknotes with serial numbers 1 through 100 in the Bank of Korea Museum as before, and put the ones with serial numbers 101 through 30,000 up for auction.
When new W10,000 and W1,000 bills were issued in 2007, the new W10,000 banknote with serial number 101 was bought for W40 million (US$1=W1,249). The average bid price was W80,000, eight times the face value.
The highest bid for the new W1,000 bill was W21 million, and the average bid price was W40,000. The BOK and the Korea Minting and Security Printing Corp. donated W1.1 billion of the profits to the Community Chest of Korea.