Vietnam Currency Guide: The Dong

The “dong” is the official currency in Vietnam. Its ISO 4217 code is “VND” and is represented as “₫” when written as a numerical value. The dong was once subdivided into smaller units, but this is no longer true today. The current version of the dong was introduced in 1978 when the north and south of the country were unified.

Early Vietnam Currencies

Before the French colonial period that begun in the 19th century, silver and zinc minted coins were used in Vietnam. Local versions of the Chinese cash coin were also used in the pre-colonial era. The French introduced the piastre, which continued to be valid currency in Vietnam even after the early versions of the dong were introduced.

Modern Vietnam Currencies

The first version of the dong was introduced when Vietnam gained independence from France in 1945. The north of Vietnam was under Communist control and issued its own dong to replace the piastre in 1946. At the same time, South Vietnam issued its own dong and continued to use the piastre as well.

While one piastre was valued on par with one southern dong, the northern dong was considerably less valuable. In 1954, 32 northern dong were equal to one southern dong. At the end of the Vietnam War, South Vietnam issued a new “liberation dong” that was equal to 500 of the old southern dong.

As the country was unified, the two currencies were unified as well in 1978. The new dong that was issued was valued at one northern dong and 0.8 liberation dong. In 1985 the new dong was issued, valued at 10 old dong.

Current Denominations

The following banknotes are in circulation:


The following coinage is in circulation: