Updated: Apr 6
This small South Vietnamese banknote represents the 2nd denomination of the First Southern Đồng (Series 1955, SBNC). The Southern Đồng was the currency of the now defunct nation of Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). Which was first recognized under the 1954 Geneva Conference and was annexed in 1975, by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).
Early South Vietnamese note are of particular interest to collectors. Not only due to their defunct country status. But also due to their introduction by two separate printers. That being the American printer the Security Banknote Company and the British company Thomas De La Rue, London. Each company produced their own series. Which partially overlapped and complemented each other.
Both types were superseded by the Series 1964, printed by Thomas De La Rue.
The observe depicts a traditional sailing junk, along the Vietnamese coat. Junks were a wide class of boats and ships originating from ancient China. Although all junks featured distinctive matted sails, which provide high degree of handling. Junks varied in size from simply sailboats to large ocean-going merchant ships.
Above the header reads, the (trans.) "National Bank of Vietnam". While the center lists the note's "2 Two Đồng" face value. Followed by the signatures of the bank's Chief Inspector (Tong-Kiem-Tra) and Treasurer (Thu-Quy Trung-Uong). To the center-right is a split red-inked serial number (533152 39-A). The second section, represents the note's batch number.
The footer below reads "Việt-Nam", the majority of Security Banknote Company feature this design. At the note's corners are stylized number "2"s, representing the note's beforementioned Two Đồng" value. These numbers rest of circle (upper) and square-shaped guilloche backings respectively. The surrounding underprint uses a similar design.
The reverse depicts a traditional village home, on the shores of the Mekong River. The river feeds the Mekong Delta, near the southern end of Vietnam. It's seasonal floods make the delta one of the largest rice farming regions of the world. Additionally the river is known for it's large unique fish such as the Mekong Giant Catfish, the Siamese Giant Carp, and the Giant Freshwater Stingray.
Above and below the illustration is some general text. Above reader "Việt-Nam", while the bottom is a warning to counterfeiters. It reads (trans.) " Penalties of hard labor, for those who counterfeit banknotes, issued by the National Bank of Vietnam". Further below lists the note's (trans.) "Two Đồng" value, flanked by a pair of number "2"s.
At the note's corners are number "2"s, clover-shaped guiloche backings. Which matches the underprint framing the illustration. The footer lists the note's printer as the "Security Banknote Company". A lesser known US printer, that was based in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Notably they printed a number of East Asian currencies, during the 1950s.
Similar to notes printed by the American Banknote Company (ABNC), there are some stray ink droplets. Which can be seen at the far-left.
This note's dimensions are 120 x 63 mm or 4.72 x 2.48 in, smaller than a US Dollar.
The preferable method to preserve this note are side-opening sleeves, cut to size.
The Southern Đồng was subdivided into 100 Xu, it used Đ as its official symbol.
This note was produced by the printer Security Banknote Company, Philadelphia.
Notes printed by Thomas De La Rue lack any text listing them as such.
Both De La Rue and Security Banknote Company produced notes circulated simultaneously.