Vietnamese đồng

The đồng (IPA: dɔŋ) (sign: ; code: VND) is the currency of Vietnam since May 3, 1978. It is issued by the State Bank of Vietnam. It has the symbol ₫. It is subdivided into 10 hào. However, the hào is now worth so little that it is no longer issued.


North Vietnam

In 1946, North Vietnam's government introduced their own currency, the đồng, which replaced the French Indochinese piastre at par. Two revaluations followed, in 1951 and 1958. The first was at a rate of 100:1, the second at a rate of 1000:1.

South Vietnam

Notes dual denominated in piastre and đồng were issused in 1953 for the use in South Vietnam . On September 22, 1975, after the fall of Saigon, the currency in South Vietnam was changed to the "liberation" đồng worth 500 old southern đồng.

United Vietnam

After Vietnam was reunified, the đồng was also unified, on May 3, 1978. 1 new đồng = 1 northern đồng = 0.8 southern "liberation" đồng.

On September 14, 1985, the đồng was revalued, with the new đồng worth 10 old đồng. This started a cycle of chronic inflation that continued through much of the early 1990s .


First đồng

In 1978, aluminium coins (dated 1976), were introduced in denominations of 1, 2 and 5 hào and 1 đồng. Due to chronic inflation, no coins circulated for many years.

Second đồng

Commemorative Issues

Commemorative coins in copper, brass, copper-nickel, silver and gold were issued from 1986 till today, however, these coins have never been in circulation

2003 Issue

The State Bank of Vietnam resumed issuing coins on 17 December 2003. The new coins, minted by the Mint of Finland, were in denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 đồng. Before that, Vietnamese had to exchange banknotes for tokens with a clerk before purchasing goods from vending machines. Many residents expressed excitement of seeing coins again after many years, as well as concern for the usefulness of the 200 đồng coins.

2003 Series
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Obverse Reverse first minting issue
200₫ 20 mm 1.45 mm 3.2 g Steel plated with nickel Coat of arms National designs 2003 17 December 2003
500₫ 22 mm 1.75 mm 4.5 g Steel plated with nickel 1 April 2004
1000₫ 19 mm 1.95 mm 3.8 g Steel plated with a copper-zinc alloy Coat of arms Water Temple, Đô Temple 2003 17 December 2003
2000₫ 23.5 mm 1.8 mm 5.1 g Steel plated with a copper-zinc alloy Ethnic house 1 April 2004
5000₫ 25.5 mm 2.2 mm 7.7 g Copper alloy (CuAl6Ni92) Chùa Một Cột (One Pillar Pagoda) 17 December 2003


First đồng

In 1978, the State Bank of Vietnam (Ngân hàng Nhà nước Việt Nam) introduced notes in denominations of 5 hào, 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 đồng dated 1976. In 1980, 2 and 10 đồng notes were added, followed by 30 and 100 đồng notes in 1981.

Second đồng

In 1985, notes were introduced in denominations of 5 hào, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 and 500 đồng. As inflation took hold, these first banknotes were followed by 200, 1000, 2000 and 5000 đồng notes in 1987, 10,000 and 50,000 đồng in 1990, 20,000 đồng in 1991, 100,000 đồng in 1994, 500,000 đồng in 2003 and 200,000 đồng in 2006.

There have been five banknote series. Except for the current 2003 series, all previous series were rather confusing and did not have a unified design theme. The first table below shows the latest banknotes prior to the 2003 series, 100 đồng or higher.

On June 7, 2007, the government ordered cessation of the issuance of the cotton 50,000 and 100,000₫ notes. They will be taken out of circulation by September 1, 2007.

Pre-2003 Banknotes in Circulation
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue
100₫ 120 × 59 mm Brown on green background National designs Phổ Minh Pagoda 1991 2 May 1992
200₫ 130 × 65 mm Orange Ho Chi Minh Agricultural production 1987 30 September 1987
500₫ 130 × 65 mm Pink Port Haiphong 1988 15 August 1989
1000₫ 134 × 65 mm Multicolour on lime background Lumber productions 20 October 1989
2000₫ 134 × 65 mm Multicolour Textile factory
5000₫ 134 × 65 mm Blue Trị An hydropower plant 1991 15 January 1993
10,000₫ 140 × 68 mm Red Halong Bay 1993 15 October 1994
20,000₫ 140 × 68 mm Blue Canned food factory 1991 2 March 1993
50,000₫ 140 × 68 mm Green Nhà Rồng Port 1994 15 October 1994
100,000₫ 145 × 71 mm Brown Ho Chi Minh's ethnic house 1 September 2000

Since 2003, Vietnam has replaced its cotton banknotes with plastic polymer banknotes, which it claims will save money. Many newspapers in the country criticized these changes, citing mistakes in printing and alleging that the son of the governor of the State Bank of Vietnam benefited from printing contracts. The government clamped down on these criticisms by banning two newspapers from publishing for a month and considering other sanctions on other newspapers.

2003 Polymer Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse printing issue
10,000₫ 132 × 60mm Dark brown on greenish yellow Ho Chi Minh Offshore platform First 2 digits of serial 30 August 2006
20,000₫ 136 × 65 mm Blue Japanese bridge in Hoi An 17 May 2006
50,000₫ 140 × 65 mm Pink Huế 17 December 2003
100,000₫ 144 × 65 mm Yellowish green Temple of Literature 1 September 2004
200,000₫ 148 × 65mm Brownish-red Halong Bay 30 August 2006
500,000₫ 152 × 65 mm Cyan-Green Ho Chi Minh's birthplace in Kim Liên 17 December 2003

A commemorative, polymer 50 đồng banknote dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the State Bank of Vietnam was issued in 2001, however, its face value is so minimal it was meant only for collectors. The note usually comes with a presentation folder.

Bearer's checks 1992-2002

To support the growing industry's need for large money transactions, the State Bank issued Bearer's Checks or State Bank Settlement Checks (Ngân Phiếu Thanh Toán) in denominations from 100,000 to 5,000,000 đồng. To prevent counterfeiting, these notes had many degrees of protection, changed their design every 5-6 months, and had expiration dates in 5 or 6 months from the day of issue. The checks worked until the banking system was upgraded to handle electronic transfers of large amounts of đồng, so most large cash transactions were no longer needed.

Other uses of đồng

In the Vietnamese language, đồng can be used as a generic term for any currency by adding the country name as a qualifier. This practice is more common for more esoteric units of currency. In some overseas Vietnamese-speaking communities, notably Vietnamese Americans, it is used to denote the local currency (USD) and one must refer to VND as đồng Việt Nam (Vietnamese đồng). Similarly, hào and xu are occasionally used to translate U.S. "dime" and "cent" respectively into Vietnamese.

In modern-day Vietnam, because the value of the currency is so small, one đồng could also be understood as one thousand đồng.

After the revaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar on 1 August 2006 , the đồng became the least valued currency unit for months. Around March 21, 2007, the revalued Zimbabwean dollar regained least valued currency status (in terms of black market exchange rate), and on September 7, 2007 in terms of official exchange rate. Since the revaluation of the Zimbabwean dollar on 1 August 2008 the đồng was again the least valued currency unit until September 11, 2008, when the Zimbabwean dollar once again surpassed it.

The Vietnam dong is expected to devalue by 20% in 2008 to 20,000 VND to the dollar. The government has been intervening in the forex market to prevent devaluation. However, since May 2008, the dong has steadily weakened from 16,000 VND to the dollar to 17,000 VND within the past month.

See also


External links



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