CNY – Chinese Yuan

Monetary System

1 yuan = 10 jiao = 100 fen
1 dollar = 100 cents
1 catty = 16 tael = 160 mace
1 ryō = 10 sen = 100 bu
1 yen = 100 sen = 1,000 rin

2015 – 2019 Enhanced Mao Issues

On 12 November 2015, the People’s Bank of China introduced a new 100-yuan note which is like B4114, but with new date, and enhanced anti-counterfeiting features, including purple-to-green windowed security thread with demetalized 100, denomination as registration device, denomination in SPARK, additional Omron rings, and vertical serial number in blue at right front.On 30 August 2019 were introduced new notes like the preceding issues (except the 5-yuan note), but with redrawn vignettes, new date (2019), and enhanced anti-counterfeiting features including denomination as registration device and additional Omron rings on all denominations, as well as windowed security threads, denomination in SPARK, and vertical serial numbers at right front on all but the 1-yuan note.

Description: 1.00 Yuan   Size: 130×63 mm

Green, yellow, violet, and light blue. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; orchid flowers; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon on West Lake, in Hangzhou. No security thread. Watermark: Orchid and electrotype 1. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 130 x 63 mm. Paper.

Description: 10.00 Yuan   Size: 140 x 70 mm

Blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; circular registration device; national emblem of the PRC; rose flower; denomination in SPARK; Mao Zedong. Back: English, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Yangtze River flowing through Three Gorges’ Kuimen (Kui Gate or Qutang Pass). Purple-to-green windowed security thread with demetalized ¥10. Watermark: Rose and electrotype 10. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 Yuan   Size: 145 x 70 mm

Brown, purple, violet, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; circular registration device; national emblem of the PRC; lotus flower; denomination in SPARK; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; boater on Li River in Guilin, Guangxi province. Purple-to-green windowed security thread with demetalized ¥20. Watermark: Lotus and electrotype 20. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 145 x 70 mm.

Description: 50.00 Yuan   Size: 150 x 70 mm

Green, violet, and purple. Front: Chinese text; denomination in OVI; national emblem of the PRC; chrysanthemum flower; denomination in SPARK; Mao Zedong. Back: English, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. Windowed security thread with ¥50. Watermark: Mao Zedong and electrotype 50. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 150 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 Yuan   Size: 155 x 77 mm

Red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. Front: Chinese text; denomination as registration device; national emblem of the PRC; orchid flowers; denomination in SPARK; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Greek columns; Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Solid security thread with demetalized 100. Purple-to-green windowed security thread with demetalized ¥100. Watermark: Mao Zedong and electrotype 100. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 155 x 77 mm. Paper.

2018 Commemorative Issues

This note commemorates the 70th anniversary of the issuance of the renminbi (RMB). A total of 120 million of these notes were issued.

Description: 50.00 Yuan   Size: 150 x 70 mm

Yellow, red, and green. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; denomination in SPARK; tree growth rings representing development of the five series of RMB banknotes. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; People’s Bank of China headquarters buildings; peony flower; 1948 newspaper article announcing issuance of RMB; city skyline. Solid security thread with demetalized 50. Purple-to-green windowed security thread with demetalized ¥50. Watermark: Great Wall of China and electrotype 50. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 150 x 70 mm. Paper.

2015 Commemorative Issues

This note commemorates Aerospace Science and Technology.

Description: 100.00 Yuan   Size: 155 x 77 mm

Blue, purple, and green. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; Dongfanghong I satellite in SPARK; Shenzhou 9 manned spacecraft rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1 space station; Chang’e 1 lunar-orbiting spacecraft; denomination as registration device. Back (vertical): Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; advancement of flight (bird, Fung Joe Guey biplane, twin-engine jet airliner, Shenzhou 9 and Tiangong-1, Chang’e 1). Windowed security thread with printed * 100 *. Watermark: Dongfanghong I satellite and electrotype 100. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 155 x 77 mm. Paper.

2008 Commemorative Issues

A total of 6 million of these notes were issued to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Description: 10.00 Yuan   Size: 143 x 71.5 mm

Green, blue, and red. Front: Chinese text; denomination in SPARK; discus thrower holographic patch; Beijing Olympic Stadium (Bird’s Nest); Beijing Olympics emblem; national emblem of the PRC. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; classical Greek statue of naked man throwing discus; athletes competing in foot race, table tennis, high jump, gymnastics, and soccer. Holographic windowed security thread with Beijing 2008 / 10. Watermark: Unknown. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 143 x 71.5 mm. Paper.

2000 Commemorative Issues

This note was issued to commemorate the new millennium.

Description: 100.00 Yuan   Size: 165 x 80 mm

Orange, red, and green. Front: Chinese text; Temple of Heaven in Beijing, Roaring Dragon from Nine Dragon Screen in Beihai Park, Beijing; red lantern holographic patch. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; flying apsaras from frescoes of the Dunhuang Caves; China Millennium Monument in Beijing; national emblem of the PRC. No security thread. Watermark (shadow image): 2000. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 165 x 80 mm. Polymer.

1999 – 2005 Mao Issues

These notes are like the preceding issues, but with Omron rings added for improved security, and the currency spelled out in roman letters on the back.

Description: 1.00 Yuan   Size: 130 x 63 mm

Green, yellow, violet, and light blue. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; orchid flowers; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon on West Lake, in Hangzhou. No security thread. Watermark: Orchid and electrotype 1. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 130 x 63 mm. Paper

Description: 5.00 Yuan   Size: 135 x 63 mm

Purple, blue, green, yellow, and pink. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; narcissi flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Tai Shan (or Mountain Tai) in Tai’an city, Shandong Province. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Narcissus and electrotype 5. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 135 x 63 mm. Paper.

Description: 10.00 Yuan   Size: 140 x 70 mm

Blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; circular registration device; national emblem of the PRC; rose flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Yangtze River flowing through Three Gorges’ Kuimen (Kui Gate or Qutang Pass). Windowed security thread. Watermark: Rose and electrotype 10. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 Yuan   Size: 145 x 70 mm

Brown, purple, violet, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; circular registration device; national emblem of the PRC; lotus flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; boater on Li River in Guilin, Guangxi province. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Lotus and electrotype 20. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 145 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 Yuan   Size: 150 x 70 mm

Green, violet, and purple. Front: Chinese text; denomination in OVI; national emblem of the PRC; chrysanthemum flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. Windowed security thread with ¥50. Watermark: Mao Zedong and electrotype 50. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 150 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 Yuan   Size: 155 x 77 mm

Red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. Front: Chinese text; denomination in OVI; national emblem of the PRC; orchid flowers; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Greek columns; Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Windowed security thread with printed ¥100. Watermark: Mao Zedong and electrotype 100. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 155 x 77 mm. Paper.

1999 Mao Issues

These notes feature a common portrait of Mao Zedong at right front and different geographical or architectural scenes on back.

Description: 5.00 Yuan   Size: 135 x 63 mm

Purple, blue, red, green, and yellow. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; narcissi flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; sunrise and clouds over Tai Shan (or Mountain Tai) in Tai’an city, Shandong province. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Narcissus and electrotype 5. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 135 x 63 mm. Paper.

Description: 10.00 Yuan   Size: 140 x 70 mm

Blue, pink, yellow, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; rose flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Yangtze River flowing through Three Gorges’ Kuimen (Kui Gate or Qutang Pass). Windowed security thread. Watermark: Rose and electrotype 10. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 Yuan   Size: 145 x 70 mm

Brown, purple, violet, green, and orange. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; lotus flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; boater on Li River in Guilin, Guangxi province. Windowed security thread. Watermark: Lotus. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 145 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 Yuan   Size: 150 x 70 mm

Green, violet, and purple. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; chrysanthemum flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. Solid security thread with demetalized 50 RMB. Watermark: Mao Zedong. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 150 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 Yuan   Size: 155 x 77 mm

Red, orange, yellow, blue, and green. Front: Chinese text; national emblem of the PRC; orchid flower; Mao Zedong. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; Greek columns; Great Hall of the People, Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Solid security thread with demetalized 100 RMB. Watermark: Mao Zedong. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 155 x 77 mm. Paper.

1999 Commemorative Issues

The People’s Bank of China issued 60 million notes to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October 1949. China Great Wall Coins Investments Limited, a private firm based in Hong Kong, packaged 50,000 of these notes in folders with Macau B203c notes with matching last five digits of the serial number. Be aware that this is not an official issue and is therefore not cataloged.

Description: 50.00 Yuan   Size: 165 x 80 mm

Red and turquoise. Front: Chinese text; Mao Zedong proclaiming founding of PRC from Meridian Gate (southern entrance to the Forbidden City) and looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing on 1 October 1949; stylized bird as registration device. Back: Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhang text; stylized bird; national emblem of the PRC; foo dog (shishi); doves flying over earth; ornamental column. Windowed security thread with demetalized 50. Watermark: Tiananmen Square. Printer: (China Banknote Printing and Minting). 165 x 80 mm. Paper.

Front / Back Designations

Many Chinese banknotes are multilingual, with Chinese text predominant on one side and foreign text on the other side. For national, military, and regional issues, we consider the side of the note with the Chinese text to be the front, whereas for foreign bank issues, the side with the foreign text is considered the front, regardless of which side bears the dates, signatures, or serial numbers.

Forgeries

Be aware that many earlier China banknotes offered for sale are forgeries. Such is the extent of counterfeiting that some third-party grading services refuse to accept these notes or charge supplementary fees for authentication.

Translations

Modern Chinese may be written left to right, or top to bottom. Until relatively recently, however, the Chinese written on banknotes was mostly written right to left, or top to bottom. In this page all descriptions replicate the text as it appears on the note, with vertical text (top to bottom) reproduced horizontally (left to right). On some banknotes, the printer imprint, and/or the date, may contain extra characters (at the extreme left or right) that translate as printed by, issued in, manufactured by, etc. For brevity’s sake, these extra characters are ignored in the note descriptions and in their corresponding English translations.