SOUTH KOREA 5000 won 1988 Olympics


KOREA, SOUTH, 5000 won, 1988, Reverse: Olympics – mascot, silver, 0.4999 ozT, KM54, Proof

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One of the extensive series of coins in various metals struck for the Seoul Olympics.

After 1945 the USA and the USSR could not agree on a united policy for Korea the northern and southern zones were developed as separate entities. The southern Republic of Korea has developed into a capitalistic democracy with an administrative structure similar to that of the USA.

Korea thought of itself as a Chinese vassal state since the 10th century. It maintained a closed to foreigners policy through the 19th century, a policy that China was unable practice. When China started trying to modernize in the late 19th century Korea tried as well. Japan, however, saw Korea as low hanging fruit for the formation of an empire, which is what the “big countries” were doing at the time. It was a Japanese colony until 1945, at which time the occupying powers in the north and south set up separate governments that became the two countries we have today.

The big player in East Asia is China, of course. Then there is Japan and Korea, throw in Mongolia. South of China and east of India, but not including, for the most part, the islands to the east, is what we call Southeast Asia. From Burma to Malaya there have been a series of local kingdoms for about 2000 years. Russia, with its Asian Siberia, doesn’t count. We consider it part of Europe.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.