Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam
and French Indochina
X. Paper Money in Annam
Shortly after the introduction into China by the Mongols of paper money, it also circulated in Annam. In 1397 General 胡桻季 HO QUI-LY, the real ruler of Annam under King 少帝 THIEU-DE, prohibited the circulation of copper coins and ordered that paper-money only, called 通寶會鈔 Thong-bao-hoi-sau, should be used. This paper-money had a design. peculiar to each different class, indicating its exchange value for the copper coins which it had just supplanted.
The paper-money of the value of 10 cash was marked with the design of grass.
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The Government made great efforts to ensure the circulation of this paper-money, and impose it on the people. To that end it was ordered that all copper coins in circulation should be taken to the Treasuries, where the value of one string and two tien of paper-money was given for one string of cash. The forgery of paper-money was punished with death by decapitation, and there were also severe penalties imposed on those who had copper coins in their possession.
But in spite of those orders and restrictions, paper-money soon fell into discredit and the old copper coins circulated freely. In fact the very General HO QUI-LY ordered copper cash to be cast when he rebelled and usurped the Royal autliority.