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Notes Of The Vietnam Withdrawal, South Vietnam: 50 Dong (South Vietnam, 1969)-Article

Updated: Apr 12

This ornate South Vietnamese Banknote represent the 2nd denomination of the “Southern Dồng” (Series 1970). The 1970 Series Dồng served as the currency of the Republic of (South) Vietnam. During the closing phase of US involvement in Vietnam, which spanned from 1969-1973. The notes were produced by British printer, Bradbury Wilkinson & Co.

Notably the 1970 Series Dồng, was replaced by replaced the 1972 Series. Which are highly desirable amongst collectors, due to their detailed illustrations of South Vietnam's wildlife. The “Southern Dồng” as a whole was replaced by the Việt Cộng issued "Southern Liberation" Dồng, in 1975.

These transitional notes were issued during the final phase of the Vietnam War (1973-1975). The “Southern Liberation" was the de-facto currency of South Vietnam. Until the merging of both North and South Vietnamese currencies, in 1978.


The observe features an illustration of the National Bank of Vietnam, in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). This image appears on all notes of the 1970 Series Dồng, differing only in color-coding. The bank was built in 1930 and inherited from the French colonial Banque de l'Indochine (Bank of Indochina). After the reunification of Vietnam, in became a branch of the Vietnamese State Bank.

The header is off-set to the right, it reads "National Bank of Vietnam". A faint security strip can be seen, beneath the final letter "A". The rests on an elaborate overlapping guilloche border, travel along a large portion of the note. The far-right pattern frames the note's watermark area. Backlighting the note with bright light will expose a General Trần Hưng Đạo watermark.

Below the title are a pair of signatures, representing the Bank Comptroller (left) and Governor (right). The signatures rests on a multicolor bending guilloche backing. To the upper-left and right, is a split serial number (B.20. 398730). The first half represents the note's print batch number. At the lower-left is a second serial number, without this batch number.

Above the second serial number is the text (trans.) "Fifty Dồng". The note's Fifty Dồng is reinforced by number "50"s, at the upper-left and right. The upper-right number rests on a floral guiloche pattern backing.

Trần Hưng Đạo watermark.
Trần Hưng Đạo watermark.


The reverse features numerous overlapping guilloché patterns. These colorful patterns practically form an underprint in their own right. The header reads reads "National Bank of Vietnam" and is flanked by a pair of number "50"s. Which is reinforced by the (trans.) "Fifty Dồng" text, at the lower center.

The subtext below threatens counterfeiters with "penal servitude", for copying and distributing counterfeit banknotes. When exposed to ultraviolet light, some unprinted printed portions of the note glow a lighter shade of blue.

Ultraviolet Gallery


Additional Notes

  • The 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 standard sized protective sleeve.

  • The Southern Đồng was subdivided into 100 Xu, it used Đ as its official symbol.

  • The slow US withdrawal from was known as Vietnamization, the Nixon Administration.


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