c o m m e m o r a t i v e

there are approximately 1,466+/- pieces of Commemorative banknotes issued, excluding those repeats

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Total commemorative banknotes issued is under 900 pieces. If you have achieved any figures close to this, then you are doing extremely well, as many of the older commemorative notes are hard to find even in poor conditions.

Opinion: Many collectors of commemorative banknotes would have came across with those Somaliland sets overprinted with gold and silver texts with the following wordings - 5th Anniversary of Independence 18 May 1996 [Sanad Gurade 5ee Gobanimadda 18 May 1996]. I believe these are home made and not authourised by the central bank. My argument is simple. No central banks would have issued an overprint commemorative banknote that the texts are so large that it would covered the two signatures on the note as well as part of the serial numbers. Even if these are genuine notes, then these could be issued as souvenir sheet and not as legal tender. As I said before, this is my opinion. If you have paid top dollars for these, please think about my argument. There is always a sucker around the corner!

01 January 2018

South Korea - 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games Commemorative

한국은행
The Bank of Korea

This is the first commemorative banknote ever issued by The Bank of Korea. This is also the first time the Bank of Korea has issued a banknote with the denomination of 2000 Won (number 2), as the bank traditionally issued banknotes in the value of 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50000 Won etc.

This 2000 Won (이천원) commemorative note was supposed to release on 17.11.2017 but delayed until 11.12.2017. This note celebrates the 2018 PyeongChang XXIII Winter Olympic Games (from 09.02.2018 to 25.02.2018). The hosting right was awarded to PyeongChang on 06.07.2011 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Durban, South Africa. PyeongChang won the rights by beating two other candidates, namely Munich (Germany) and Annecy (France). This is the third time PyeongChang (평창군) bidded for the Winter games, having previously lost to Vancouver (Canada 2010) and Sochi (Russia 2014). After South Korea, China will host the next Winter Olympic games in Beijing in 2022. It should also be noted that this is the second Olympic Games to be held in South Korea. The first was the Summer games in Seoul in 1988.

This is the second legal tender Winter Olympics banknote ever issued and the fifth banknote issued to celebrate the Olympic games (both Winter and Summer).

The note is predominately printed in black and white. I suppose this is appropriate given that it's all about the Winter games, snow and cold!

Watermark: PyeongChang Olympic Stadium;
Letter Prefix/Suffix: AA 0000000 A & AA 0000000 B;

Security features include: Windowed Security Thread, Hologram (snowflake image), Watermark, Intaglio printing, Intaglio Latent Image, Tactile Marks for Vision-Impaired, Novel Numbering, Colour-Shifting Ink for the 2000 Won value & Micro Lettering.
Manufacturer: Korea Minting Security Printing & ID Card Operating Corp.

Like all South Korea banknotes previously issued in the past, the note bears the bank governor's (총재) seal on the front of the note and the seal reads as 한국은행총재 (Governor of the Bank of Korea).  

The note is measured 140mm x 75mm. A total of 2.8 million pieces have been printed and issued in 3 formats - single, 2-in-1 uncut and 24-in-1 uncut sheets. All notes were issued in a simple folder and all were sold with a premium above the face value: -

Single 2000 Won note (920,000 sets in folder) = 8,000 Won
2 uncut sheet (210,000 sets in folder) = 15,000 Won
24 uncut sheet (40,000 sets in tube) = 168,000 Won

The purchase order for this issue was opened between 11.09.2017 to 29.09.2017 and was made available at Kookmin Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, Nonghyup Bank, Suhyup Bank, Shinhan Bank, Wooribank, Korea Post, Kyongnam Bank, Daegu Bank, Busan Bank and Poongsan-Hwadong

Given that the notes are sold with a premium, it is very unlikely that you will ever see this note in general circulation. It has also been reported that the PyeongChang Organizing Committee bought the banknotes in bulk and resold them to domestic and overseas collectors.

This is the 6th Olympic Games banknote issued to celebrate the games (both Winter and Summer) since 2008 (2008 - China, Hong Kong Bank of China, Macau Bank of China; 2014 - Russia; and 2016 - Fiji). Despite so many coins have been issued, it is surprising to see so few banknotes have been issued to commemorate the Olympic Games.

Two Thousand Won
Dated 2018, Prefix AA-A, Seven sports of speed skating (short track speed skating is a strong event for the South Koreans), ice hockey, curling, biathlon, ski jumping, luge and bob sleigh. The main feature is speed skating, with mountainous view of Gangwon Province in the background. PyeongChang is one of the 11 counties situated in the Gangwon province and it's approximately 180 km east of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.
 Two Thousand Won
Dated 2018
Reverse - painting of a "Tiger Under A Pine Tree," by Kim Hong-do, a renowned artist from the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), who went by the pen name "Danwon". Tiger is the mascot of the PyeongChang games and this could be the reason they have selected this painting for the design.
2000 Won, 2-in-1 Uncut Sheet
Dated 2018, 2-in-1 Uncut
Reverse
Footnote:

It was reported that the entire issue was sold out shortly after it was opened for pre-order.

Whilst many South Korean citizens and collectors around the world would be happy to see such a commemorative note issued to celebrate this special occasion, many locals were not that happy when the central bank first released the design of this banknote.

Below are some of the negative remarks reported by a local newspaper about the final design;
*Childish and substandard design;
*More like a North Korean banknote;
*Like a high school winner project;
*Why was the image of the tiger included?;
*Poor and embarrassing;

As a collector, I can tell you that no matter how you have designed a banknote, you can never satisfied everyone. I have seen a lot of those so called annual award winning design of banknotes around the world and I can tell you that opinion is very subjective and I would not have selected those winning notes either. Whilst this South Korean Olympic note may not be perfect, I do not believe it deserved those negative responses. However I do agreed that the reverse side of the note can do a little bit better. In case you are not aware of this, the Tiger is the Mascot of the game. Perhaps they should have made the tiger image smaller with a less scary one. Why picked such an angry and threatened/defensive tiger image for the design? Is this not a friendly games anymore? The games main venue should be added to the back of the note, after all, this note is all about the Winter games.

I personally have no issue with this note. At least the note is not crowed with security features or many other unnecessary designs or images. It is good to see that this note was not printed on Polymer or Hybrid materials. It is not necessary to prolong the life span of this note as it will never get circulated like those normal banknotes issued. Provided you store this note in a dry and cool environment, it will last forever. 

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