Understanding the treasures of the forest from New Taiwan Dollars

2020/04/12
Not only are banknotes a tool for market circulation, but they are also an encyclopedia. Therefore, when traveling abroad, you can often observe the local cultural characteristics by “looking at the banknotes” to acknowledge the standard rules of different countries through the process of collection. The images printed on banknotes in countries with similar values are often identical, such as African countries focusing on animals, most Asian countries emphasizing politicians, and European countries tending to praise artists and philosophers.

After coming to Taiwan, have you found images other than characters on the currency? Other than the standard coins of $1, $5, $10, and $50, and the banknotes of $100, $500, and $1,000, have you received the very rare $20, $200, and $2,000 and found the animals, plants or mountains that are connected to the forest? Try opening your wallet to unveil the treasures that are hidden inside, such as the Mikado Pheasant that is better known as the “King in the Mist,” Formosan landlocked salmon that is better known as “the National Treasure Fish of Taiwan,” and “Dabajian Mountain” which is better known as the “King of the Mountains.” From the banknotes, you will be amazed to find that Taiwan is an ecologically rich treasure island!

Now let’s unravel the secrets of the forest hidden in our banknotes and coins!

$20 coin
This coin is so rare that even many Taiwanese do not know that it is in circulation. It was first issued in 2001 to advocate the understanding of the history and culture of the indigenous people. The front side bears the Wushe Rebellion theme, featuring Mona Rudao, who was the leader of the Seediq Bale Tribe of the Wushe Incident in 1930, and Wushe Anti-Japanese Monument. The rear side has the images of tatala boats, the unique fishing boats of the Tao Tribe of Lanyu.
Collection value: ★★★★☆
$20 coin
$500 banknote
This is a very common banknote. The front side has an honorable image of sports (Little League Baseball), and the rear side has the picture of Dabajian Mountain, the sacred mountain of the Atayal and Say-Siyat indigenous people, and the images of Taiwan sika deers, a subspecies endemic to the island of Taiwan, which mainly inhabits low-altitude grasslands and hilly areas. You can now see them in the Zhulu Tribal Community of Alishan, Kenting National Forest Recreation Area, and Sheding Natural Park.
Collection value: ★★★ ☆☆
$500 banknote
$1,000 banknote
This is another very common banknote. The front side shows an image of education (primary school students taking a lesson), and the rear side has a picture of Yushan, the head of Taiwan mountains, which is also the highest peak in Northeast Asia and the shared sacred mountain of the Bunun and Tsou Tribes. This side also has an image of the Mikado Pheasant, an endemic species in Taiwan which is better known as the “King in the Mist” and is very fond of dense fog. It is the largest endemic species of birds in Taiwan with supreme noble feathers, and has been selected as the most representative “National Bird.” You can see such beautiful birds at Dasyueshan National Forest Recreational Area and Alishan National Forest Recreation Area.
Collection value: ★★★ ☆☆
$1,000 banknote
$2,000 banknote
This is a scarce banknote. The front side has images of dish antennas and FORMOSAT-1, and the rear side has a picture of Nanhu Mountain, which is called the “King of the Mountains” due to its imposing shape. This side also has pictures of Formosan landlocked salmons, which are an endemic species of Taiwan and are famed as the National Treasure Fish of Taiwan. It is classified as a glacial relic, which has gradually evolved into landlocked salmons. Currently, they are conserved in their pristine habitat. As their habitat is primarily protected, it is not very easy to see any trace of them.
Collection value: ★★★★★
$2,000 banknote