The Three Pools That Mirror the Moon: 1 Yuan (China, 1999)-Article

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

This Chinese banknote represents the 1st denomination of 5th Series Banknotes, First Edition (1999). Strangely despite being the 1st denomination of the series. The 1 Yuan was the last note issued in the series, first issued 30 July 2004. Nearly 5 years after 100 Yuan note, which was issued 1 October 1999. This note while still considered accepted currency, has since been succeeded by the Second Edition (2005) and Third Edition (2015, 2019, 2020) sub-series.


The observe features a portrait of People Republic of China (Mainland China-PRC) founder Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Commonly known as Chairman Mao, Mao Zedong ruled Mainland China from 1949 to his death in 1976. All observe text is in simplified Chinese script, with the exception of the serial number. The note's center features a "1" and a highly stylized orchid. At the upper left is the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China.

The upper right features "value box", it displays a horizontal "1". The surface utilizes a textured ink, which blends fairly well into the artwork. An array of "bleed lines" can be seen immediately below the value box. Additionally the upper right of the watermark area features an Omron ring array. Which functions as an anti-counterfeit measure. First patented in 1995, by the Japanese Omron Corporation. This feature prevents certain banknotes from being photocopied. The system relies on embedded code within commercial imaging software, that detects and rejects the presence of the Omron rings. Thus creating an error message on most scanners.


The reverse feature an illustration of the Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, at the West Lake. Lanterns are depicted floating on the lake's surface, a reference to the Moon Festival. The West Lake is historic freshwater lake in Hangzhou, China. That has inspired artists from numerous Chinese dynasties, including those from the neighboring empires of Japan and Korea. The upper right features text in Chinese (Pinyin), Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur, and Zhuang. The text translates to the People's Bank of China. The watermark features an orchid blossom.

Ultraviolet Gallery

Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 130 × 63 mm (5.12 x 2.48 in).

  • These dimensions were copied by 1 Yuan (2019), which features enhanced security measures.

  • The note's surface is covered in iridescent fibers, the fibers form irregular “worm” patterns. These fibers can be observed under ultraviolet light.

  • The observe is mostly inert, with the exception of a prominent “1”. The “1” is positioned slightly up and right-ward of the note's original number “1”.

  • The reverse glows florescent blue, with intricate florescent gold inlay patterns.

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