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The use of Chinese characters in circulated banknotes in Indonesia first occurred with DJB Series of “Frame II”. The money was printed by DJB in Johan Enschede en Zonen, printing, Netherlands. The Chinese characters were printed along with Latin, Arabic-Malay or Pegon scripts, and also Javanese script. Money of “Frame II Series” was first circulated since 1864.
The contents of the four languages written were the laws related to counterfeiting money and the punishment that will be given to the money counterfeiters. The use of Chinese characters shows that Chinese people have a certain place in the Dutch East Indies economy, along with other community groups.
The Chinese people themselves were one of the ethnic groups that were allowed to work at DJB. At the beginning of its establishment, only the Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese who could work at DJB. The permission for the Chinese was mentioned because of their good skills in arithmetic.
DJB “Wayang Series” banknotes were the last banknotes with Chinese characters withinin them. It was because since 1942, the Dutch East Indies were controlled by the Japanese and on the circulated banknotes there were no more Chinese characters.
When the Dutch returned to Indonesia, DJB brought latest money version to attract the hearts of Indonesian people. There are also Chinese characters along with three other characters. However, Indonesian people refused to use it.
If you want to see banknotes variety with the Chinese characters in it, you may come to Museum Bank Indonesia. DJB's banknotes are located in the numismatic room, along with thousands of other banknotes collections.
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