South Korean Silver Coins
South Korea is an Asian country occupying the southern half of the Korean Peninsula.
Its neighbors are China to east, across the Yellow Sea; Japan to the west, across
the Sea of Japan; and North Korea, with whom it shares its only land border. Korea
was first unified in 668 AD as a kingdom, which lasted until Japanese occupation
in 1910. After WWII, Korea was liberated and occupied by the U.S. in the south,
and the Soviet Union in the north. Each set up competing governments, leading to
the Korean War in 1950. Korea was divided into North and South Korea by the armistice
agreement in 1953. South Korea has developed into a thriving and vibrant economy,
and is a world leader in electronics and robotics development.
The first silver coins in Korea were introduced 1101 AD, in the shape of tiny silver
vases. Other unusual types of coins were attempted for the next 600 years, but silver
coins did not enter general circulation until the late 19th century. The early 20th
century saw silver and gold coins enter general circulation, until the Japanese
occupation in 1910. Korea was force to use Japanese-approved currency until liberation
in 1945. The government of South Korea issued its first circulating coins in 1959.
Since then, South Korea has produced many commemorative silver coins.