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:: FAQ > History > Monetary History of Taiwan, Part 1 (-1945) ::
During the Ming dynasty, governor Xun Wen-Tsan brought tens of thousands of starving people from Fujian to Taiwan. They are given 3 gold and 1 ox to start their harvesting. This "3 gold" is of course currency of Ming. It is also the earliest record of currency in Taiwan.

When the Dutch occupied southern Taiwan in 1623, trade was increasing between Batavia and Japan. Therefore, the Dutch currency "Guilder" was introduced to Taiwan, in addition to Japanese "Fumihisa" and "" bronze coins.

The Spanish also occupied the northern Taiwan in 1626. The silver coins they used were called "Real". The Spanish was driven out by the Dutch in 1642. During the Dutch and Spanish rule, people from Zhan Zhou, Fujian and Quan Zhou, Fujian also brought their bronze coins (square-holed coins) to Taiwan when they traveled back and forth.

In 1661, Cheng Chen-Kung and his large troops drove out the Dutch and liberated Taiwan and Penghu. The use of Ming coins were restored, primarily the "Yungli Tungbao" (circulating treasure of Yungli). Although circulated in Taiwan, Fujian, and Canton, the coins were produced in Japan.

In 1683, Cheng's grandson Cheng ke-shuan surrender to the Qing. Although the Chengs family is the political rival of Qing, Yungli Tungbao did not withdraw until 1688. Qing currency can be categorized into silver coins and bronze coins. The silver coins include official mint and private mint; foreign mint and domestic mint, etc. They can be roughly divided into "horse heel silver", silver dollar, and small denomination silver. Because the large denomination of the horse heel silver, it did not bear the function of circulating currency. On the other side, silver dollar is the most important monetary unit. Qing did not start producing similar silver coins until 1887. The first imitated coins were the "Guanxu Yuanbao" (treasure of Guanxu), which had a dragon similar to Japanese silver dollar. Taiwanese called that "dragon silver". Foreign silver coins came to Taiwan during Dutch and Spanish rule. At the end of Qing Dynasty, Mexican eagle silver, Hong Kong silver dollar, and Japanese trade silver were examples of popular foreign silver coins.

Bronze coins can be divided into "regulated money" and "private money". Because the regulated money is minted by the government, it is called "good money"; the private money is called "bad money". Two types of bronze coins were circulating simultaneously. Their practical value is not their face value, but their weight. Silver coins were circulated in larger commercial sites, while bronze coins were circulated everywhere including villages. Overall, the currency during Qing rule was vivid and complex.

After the first Sino-Japanese War of 1895, China (Qing Dynasty) and Japan signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and therefore handed Taiwan to Japan. Without the help from Qing, Taiwanese organized themselves and formed "Republic of Formosa" in order to resist the Japanese. Liu Yong-Fu lead his army in Tainan, and issued "Tainan Official Silver Notes". However, they were defeated by the Japanese shortly in October. Then, Taiwan has become a colony of Japan.

In May, Meiji Year 30 (1897), the Congress of Japan passed Bank of Taiwan Law, and organized Board of Establishment of Bank of Taiwan in November for preliminary processes. In May Meiji Year 32 (1899), Bank of Taiwan Corporation was officially founded, and the operation began on 9/26. The first Bank of Taiwan note, 1 Yen Silver Note, was issued in 9/29, and 5 Yen on 12/25, 50 Yen in 1900, 10 Yen in 1901.

On 7/1 1904, Bank of Taiwan issued Gold Notes; the deadline of the exchange of Silver Notes is 1909. Therefore, Silver Notes are the rarest notes issued in Taiwan by Japanese. In addition to that, people had more confidence in Silver coins than in paper money. So they tend to spend the paper money and preserve coins as collections. P1907 1 Yen issued in 1899 worth 100 times more than a "dragon silver" coin nowadays. All Bank of Taiwan (under Japanese rule) notes were printed in Taiwan, except P1933 1000 Yen issued in 1945 with the overprint "Bank of Taiwan Corporation", which was imported from Tokyo, Japan by air. Besides banknotes, coins made of gold, silver, bronze, and nickel were all imported from Japan, and were identical to coins circulated in Japan.

After Japan surrendered unconditionally on 8/15/1945, not many banknotes issued under Japanese rule were left. Few are UNC condition, while others are not very good. However, coins are more common than notes; the common Japanese dragon silver become popular in the 1960's, and large quantity of them are bought back by Japanese collectors.

Republic of China (1911-1949, on mainland)
People's Republic of China (1949-)
pre-1895 Taiwan
Japanese Colonized Taiwan (1895-1945)
Taiwan, Republic of China (1945-)
History of the first series of RMB (1947-1955)
History of the second series of RMB (1955-1964)
History of the third series of RMB (1962-1987)
History of the fourth series of RMB (1987-1999)
History of the fifth series of RMB (1999-)
Monetary History of Taiwan, Part 1 (-1945)
Monetary History of Taiwan, Part 2 (1945-)
Story of the Old TWD
Monetary History of Hong Kong (1859-)
Monetary History of Macau (1905-)
History and Monetary History of Tachen Islands (1950-1955)

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