Vietnam coins are divided into Warlord period (Vinh Duc, Thinh Duc, Vinh Tri, Chinh Hoa, Vinh Thinh, Bao Thai, Canh Hung and Chieu Thong), United Period, French Colonial era, Republican era, and Rebel and Occupation coinage.
The oldest Vietnam coins are the “Thai Binh Hung Bao” or “Peace and Prosperity Guaranteed” coin minted by Dinh dynasty in 968 A.D. These were followed by the 16th century “Dai Chinh Thong Bao” meaning “Strong and Stable System” coins which were cast in iron by the Mac Danh Dzung dynasty. Most of the old Vietnam coins were made of copper, tin or zinc. They are about three centimeters in size with a square hole in the centre. Similar Vietnam coins were later introduced by the Le dynasty with a few modifications.
The Vietnam money system took a drastic turn with when the French invaded Vietnam in 1858, thereby establishing French Indochina. In 1945, after the country’s independence Vietnam dong was introduced with aluminum 20 xu (dated 1945), 5 hao, 1 dong and bronze 2 dong minted the following year. By 1968 Vietnam coins in 1, 2, 5 xu, 10, 20, 50 su, 1, 5, 10 and 20 dong were issued. Coins of 50 Vietnam dong were minted dated 1975 but they were never shipped to Vietnam because of the South Vietnamese government fall. It is reported that all but a few examples were “disposed of as scrap metal”.