The two banknotes of 1 jiao Type 1960 and 1962 ...

or the direction of walking!

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The first time banknote!

The 1 jiao Type 1960 banknote (Ref. Pick: # 873 or TBB: # B4085) was issued on April 20, 1962. It was the first type of the third issue from "1960-1974 Labor Issues" featuring work-related themes, mainly around of agriculture and industry, illustrated in the form of highly stylized classic vignettes and magnifying the glory of Chinese communism. Composed of a guilloche security background in brown-green-brown gradient, the banknote is printed for the first time in Chinese territory by the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation (CBPMC).

Description: The front shows a procession of Chinese workers leaving for a day's work with their tools on their shoulders. For the first time, the name of the People's Bank of China (Zhōngguó rémín yínháng) is printed in Western letters on the back, on which we also find the national coat of arms on the right, the texts in Chinese, Uyghur, Tibetan and Mongolian. The watermark is made of a star pattern.


Front of the 1 jiao Type 1960 named "Workers walking at right". Dimensions: 114 x 52 mm.


Back of the 1 jiao Type 1960.

One banknote chases the other ...

Yet in 1966, the monetary institution decided to withdraw the note from circulation. In question, the illustration on the front with the group of workers "walking to the right" and undoubtedly posing cold sweats to Chinese power. Indeed, it may seem incongruous that the characters move in this direction! In the West, the composition of the vignette would be consistent because the symbolism of space in iconography places the right side as the "good side" and the left side as the "bad side".

In Chinese tradition, the right side is attached to Yin. As for the left side, it is associated with Yang is among others, with fatherly values ​​which evokes man in general, authority and hierarchy ... and in a hidden sense, probably with Mao Zedong, the father of the nation ? The first character of the troop of workers seems to represent "the Grand Helmsman" wearing his famous jacket. Whatever the reason given, the note is replaced by the 1 jiao Type 1962 (Ref. Pick: # 877 or TBB: # B4086). The two denominations will however continue to circulate together until the final withdrawal of the first note on November 20, 1971.

Bis repetita!

However, the 1962 1 Jiao Type banknote was not issued until January 10, 1966 by the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation with an intaglio engraved front. This one presents a scene identical to the previous note, a group of young Chinese farmers going to work in the fields with their tools on their shoulders. A fantasy, however, with the young girl on the left carrying an umbrella, rather a symbol of idleness! And guess what? This time, the characters walk to the left and are no longer accompanied by the Communist leader!


Front of the 1 jiao Type 1962 named "Workers walking at left". Dimensions: 105 x 50 mm.

The back is identical to the first note with however a difference in the level of the floral composition in the center and the year. And yet, the note knows a destiny comparable to its predecessor, since it was suddenly withdrawn from circulation on December 15, 1967! The 1 Jiao Type 1962 therefore only circulated for a year. It is replaced by a new, perfectly identical denomination, but the back of which is oddly printed in monochrome brown!

In total, 9 variants are identified for the 1 Jiao Type 1962 (1). In 2016, it was the 6th highest ranking Chinese banknote at PMG with a total to date of 7992 copies (2).


A = multicolored back: Pick # 877a and # 877b. B = brown back: Pick # 877c to # 877i.

(1) "China Pick-877 Varieties" by PMG, July 21, 2015 post.
(2) "The Top 10 Chinese Banknotes According to the PMG Population Report", August 8, 2016 post.

Our sources

  • “The Banknote Book: China I National” by Owen W. Linzmeyer, page I-182.
  • “Peoples Bank of China 中國人民銀行: issued and proposed currency issues of 1953-1975” by Asia Money.
  • Photo credits:, Heritage Auctions, PMG.

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