Definitions

taiwan dollar

New Taiwan dollar

The New Taiwan dollar (currency code TWD and common abbreviation NT$), or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Republic of China (ROC) within the areas of Taiwan, Pescadores, Kinmen, and Matsu since 1949. Originally issued by the Bank of Taiwan, it has been issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of China since 2000.

Etymology

The Chinese term for "New Taiwan Dollar" (新臺幣 or 新台幣, literally "new Taiwan currency") typically is only used for banking and in legal contracts where it is necessary to avoid any possible ambiguity, or when talking about foreign exchange or other currencies.

In common usage, the dollar unit is typically referred to as yuán. In Taiwan, the character for yuán can be written in either of two forms, an informal 元 or a formal 圓, both of which are interchangeable. Mandarin speakers also use kuài. Kuài is written 塊 and is an abbreviation for 塊錢 (kuài qián), which literally means "piece of money". In the context of discussing prices, 錢 (qián; money) can be omitted. In general, yuán is more commonly used when writing and kuài is more commonly used when speaking.

Taiwanese speakers may also use the word kho͘ (箍 ; literally "circle").

In English usage the New Taiwan Dollar is often abbreviated as NT, NT$, NT Dollar or NTD, while the abbreviation TWD is typically used in the context of foreign exchange rates. Subdivisions of a New Taiwan Dollar are rarely used, since practically all products on the consumer market are being sold at whole dollars.

History

The New Taiwan dollar was first issued by the Bank of Taiwan in June 15, 1949 to replace the Old Taiwan dollar at a 40,000-to-1 ratio. The first goal of the New Taiwan dollar was to end the hyperinflation that had plagued Taiwan and Mainland China due to the civil war. A few months later, the ROC government under the Kuomintang (KMT) was defeated by the Chinese communists and retreated to Taiwan.

Even though the Taiwan dollar was the de facto currency of Taiwan, for years the old Chinese Nationalist yuan was still the official national currency of the Republic of China. The Chinese Nationalist yuan was also known as the fiat currency (法幣) or the silver yuán (銀元), even though it was decoupled from the value of silver during World War II. Many older statutes in ROC law have fines and fees denominated in this currency.

According to the Regulation of exchange rate between New Taiwan dollars and the fiat currency in the ROC laws (zh:現行法規所定貨幣單位折算新台幣條例), the exchange rate is fixed at 3 TWD per 1 silver yuan and has never been changed despite decades of inflation. Despite the silver yuan being the primary legal tender currency, it was impossible to buy, sell, or use it, so it effectively did not exist to the public.

In July 2000, the New Taiwan dollar became the official currency of the ROC and is no longer secondary to the silver yuan. At the same time, the Central Bank of China (now known as the Central Bank of the Republic of China) began issuing New Taiwan dollar banknotes directly and the old notes issued by the Bank of Taiwan were taken out of circulation.

In the history of the currency, the exchange rate as compared to the United States dollar (USD) has varied from over 40 TWD per 1 USD in the 1960s to about 25 TWD per 1 USD around 1992. The exchange rate currently sits around 30 TWD per 1 USD.

Coins

The denominations of the Taiwan dollar in circulation are
Currently Circulating Coins
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Weight Composition Obverse Reverse first minting issue
18 mm 3 g 97 % copper
2.5% zinc
0.5% tin
Mei Blossom, "中華民國XX年"1 Value 1981
(Minguo year 70)
December 8, 1981
$1 20 mm 3.8 g 92% copper
6% nickel
2% aluminium
Chiang Kai-shek, "中華民國XX年" December 8, 1981
$5 22 mm 4.4 g Cupronickel
75% copper
25% nickel
Chiang Kai-shek, "中華民國XX年" Value 1981
(Minguo year 70)
December 8, 1981
$10 26 mm 7.5 g December 8, 1981
$20 26.85 mm 8.5 g Ring: Aluminium bronze (as $50)
Center: Cupronickel (as $10)
Mona Rudao, "莫那魯道"2, "中華民國XX年" Traditional canoes used by the Tao people 2001
(Minguo year 90)
July 9, 2001
$50 28 mm 10 g Aluminium bronze
92% copper
6% aluminium
2% nickel
Sun Yat-sen, "中華民國XX年" Latent images of both Chinese and Arabic numerals for 50 2002
(Minguo year 91)
April 26, 2002

Coins are minted by the Central Mint of China, while notes are printed by the China Engraving and Printing Works. Both are run by the Central Bank of the Republic of China. The NT$½ coin is rare because of its low value, while the NT$20 coin is rare because of the government's lack of willingness to promote it.

Remarks

  1. "中華民國XX年" = "Minguo XX". "中華民國" is also the state title "Republic of China".
  2. "莫那魯道" = "Mona Rudao", anti-Japanese leader at the Wushe Incident.

Banknotes

Note that the $200 and $2000 banknotes are not commonly used. The exact reason is yet unknown. One plausible explanation is that these two denominations are new and it takes time for the people to get used to. Another likely cause is the lack of promotion from the government. For the $2000 banknotes, it might be that the level of consumption has not reached high enough levels to justify carrying banknotes of such value, especially since transactions of larger amounts are widely made through plastic money.

It is relatively easy for the government to disseminate these denominations through various government bodies that do official business with the citizens, such as the post office, the tax authority, or state owned banks. There is also a conspiracy theory against the Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party at the time the two denominations were issued. The conspiracy states that putting Chiang Kai-shek on a rarely used banknote would "practically" remove him from the currency, while "nominally" including him on the currency would not upset supporters on the other side of the political spectrum that much (the Pan-Blue Coalition).

1999 Series
Image Value Dimensions Main Color Description Date of Remark
Obverse Reverse Watermark printing issue withdrawal
$100 145 × 70 mm Red Sun Yat-sen, "The Chapter of Great Harmony" by Confucius Chung-Shan Building Mei flower and numeral 100 2000
(Minguo 89)
July 2, 2001
$200 150 × 70 mm Green Chiang Kai-shek, theme of land reform and public education The Office of the President Orchid and numeral 200 2001
(Minguo year 90)
January 2, 2002
front
back
$500 155 × 70 mm Brown Youth baseball Sika Deer and Dabajian Mountain Bamboo and numeral 500 2000
(Minguo year 89)
December 15, 2000 August 1, 2007 without holographic strip
Dark brown 2004
(Minguo 93)
July 20, 2005 with holographic strip
front
back
$1000 160 × 70 mm Blue Elementary Education (errors) Mikado Pheasant and Jade Mountain Chrysanthemum and numeral 1000 1999
(Minguo year 88)
July 3, 2000 August 1, 2007 without holographic strip
2004
(Minguo year 93)
July 20, 2005 with holographic strip
$2000 165 × 70 mm Purple FORMOSAT-1, technology Formosan landlocked salmon and Nanhu Mountain Pine and numeral 2000 2001
(Minguo year 90)
July 1, 2002

The 2000 version $500 and 1999 version $1000 notes without holographic strip were officially taken out of circulation on August 1, 2007. They were redeemable at commercial banks until September 30, 2007. As of October 1 2007, only the Bank of Taiwan accepts such notes.

See also

References

External links

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