Paper money of the Hungarian korona

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The paper money of the Hungarian korona was part of the circulating currency in the post-World War I Kingdom of Hungary until the introduction of the pengő in 1927. The variety of the banknotes and treasury notes and the variety of issuing authorities reflect the chaotic postwar situation in the country.

Austro-Hungarian Bank notes (1919)[edit]

The Oesterreichisch-ungarische Bank / Osztrák-magyar Bank (Austro-Hungarian Bank), the joint bank of the Monarchy had the exclusive patent to print banknotes throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Banknotes were printed in Vienna, Hungary was supplied from there. During the First World War, the chief secretary of the Vienna headquarters intentionally suspended the delivery of banknotes to Hungary.

After the World War, the Hungarian Károlyi government requested the joint bank to deliver printing plates and banknote paper to Hungary, since it would have been too dangerous to deliver printed banknotes due to the political uncertainty. The banknotes (1, 2, 25 and 200 Krone / korona) printed in Budapest under the Károlyi government and then under the Soviet Republic were distinguished with a different serial number (1 K: higher than 7000; 2 K: higher than 7000; 25 K: higher than 3000; 200 K: higher than 2000). After the fall of the Soviet Republic, Vienna declared these banknotes to be counterfeits.

Austro-Hungarian Bank notes
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 1 1916 obverse.jpg HUK 1 1916 reverse.jpg 1 Krone / korona 112 × 67 mm Classic architecture pattern Phrygian head 30 April 1919 14 March 1922
HUK 2 1917 obverse.jpg HUK 2 1917 reverse.jpg 2 Kronen / korona 123 × 83 mm Female models Female models 25 May 1919 31 December 1922
AHK 25 1918 obverse.jpg AHK 25 1918 reverse.jpg 25 Kronen / korona 135 × 80 mm Female model Plain or wavy pattern 25 April 1919 11 November 1920
HUK 200 1918 obverse.jpg HUK 200 1918 reverse.jpg 200 Kronen / korona 167 × 99 mm Female model Plain or wavy pattern 20 May 1919 11 November 1920
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

Postal Savings Bank notes (1919)[edit]

The Postal Savings Bank notes (Postatakarékpénztári jegy) were issued under the decree of the Revolutionary Governing Council of the Hungarian Soviet Republic by the Magyar Postatakarékpénztár (Hungarian Postal Savings Bank), which was acting as the emission bank of Hungary then. The prewar high denomination banknotes of the Austro-Hungarian Bank were deposited at par to prevent inflation.

Postal Savings Bank notes
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 5 1919 obverse.jpg HUK 5 1919 reverse.jpg 5 korona 132 × 80 mm Male model "Bill of the Hungarian Postal Savings Bank" 6 June 1919 28 January 1923
HUK 10 1919 obverse.jpg HUK 10 1919 reverse.jpg 10 korona 140 × 88 mm Phrygian head Value 23 July 1919 28 January 1923
HUK 20 1919 obverse.jpg HUK 20 1919 reverse.jpg 20 korona 145 × 90 mm Phrygian head Value in different languages 23 July 1919 28 January 1923
HUK 100 1919 obverse.JPG HUK 100 1919 reverse.JPG 100 korona 168 × 120 mm Male model Value in different languages never -
HUK 1000 1919 obverse.JPG HUK 1000 1919 reverse.JPG 1000 korona 200 × 134 mm Allegoric composition Value in different languages never -
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

Overstamped Austro-Hungarian Bank notes (1920)[edit]

Hungary was the last country among the successor states of the Monarchy to execute overstamping of the common money. The Károlyi government planned to start it on 21 March 1919, but the establishment of the Soviet Republic postponed these plans. Finally, the banknotes (the denominations from 10 to 10 000 Krone / korona) were overstamped from 18 March 1920. Hungary used a red, round stamp to mark the banknotes.

Overstamped Austro-Hungarian Bank notes
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 10 1915 OS obverse.jpg HUK 10 1915 OS reverse.jpg 10 Krone / korona 150 × 79 mm boy model boy model 24 July 1916 31 January 1924
HUK 20 1913 OS obverse.jpg HUK 20 1913 OS reverse.jpg 20 Kronen / korona
2nd issue
150 × 89 mm female model female model 28 October 1918 31 January 1924
HUK 25 1918 OS obverse.jpg HUK 25 1918 OS reverse.jpg 25 Kronen / korona 135 × 80 mm female model plain or wavy pattern 25 April 1919 11 November 1920
HUK 50 1914 OS obverse.jpg HUK 50 1914 OS reverse.jpg 50 Kronen / korona 162 × 100 mm female model female model 18 December 1916 31 January 1924
HUK 100 1912 OS obverse.jpg HUK 100 1912 OS reverse.jpg 100 Kronen / korona 163 × 107 mm female model female model 13 December 1912 30 September 1922
HUK 1000 1902 OS obverse.jpg HUK 1000 1902 OS reverse.jpg 1000 Kronen / korona 191 × 127 mm female model female model 2 January 1903 31 August 1921
HUK 10000 1918 OS obverse.jpg HUK 10000 1918 OS reverse.jpg 10 000 Kronen / korona 191 × 127 mm female model female model 19 December 1918 5 June 1921
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

State notes (1920-1926)[edit]

State notes were first issued in 1921. The designer was Ferenc Helbing. The banknotes were first printed in Switzerland by Orell Füssli, Zürich (except for the lower denominations, which did not worth counterfeiting) then in Hungary by the newly founded Banknote Printing Co. (Magyar Pénzjegynyomda Rt.) in Budapest. The banknote size was increasing with the higher denominations, which prompted the press to resize the banknotes: from 1923, smaller versions were printed with the same (or slightly different) design.

Main state note printing mark variations:

  • Low denomination bills (1 to 20 K, printed in 1920): no mark (printed in Budapest by different printers)
  • Large size bills (50 to 25 000 K, printed in 1920 and 1922): ORELL FÜSSLI ZÜRICH
  • Small size bills (100 to 1 000 000 K, printed in 1923 and 1923): ORELL FÜSSLI ZÜRICH or Magyar Pénzjegynyomda Rt. Budapest. or no mark (printed by the Magyar Pénzjegynyomda Rt. in Budapest)
  • All large and small size bills (50 to 1 000 000 K): T. W. or W or T. WILLI to show the name of the inventor of the photo guilloche technique used to print the state notes (Traugott Willi ??? he prepared line drawing for a CHF banknote [1])
Printer marks on korona state notes
HUK OFZ mark.jpg ORELL FÜSSLI ZÜRICH
printer mark on a
50 korona (1920) state note
HUK MPJNYRT mark.jpg Magyar Pénzjegynyomda Rt. Budapest.
printer mark on a
100 korona (1923) state note
HUK TW mark.jpg T. W.
printer mark on a
100 korona (1923) state note
Low denomination series
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 1 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 1 1920 reverse.jpg 1 korona 129 × 65 mm Female model Value in Hungarian and 5 foreign languages 11 July 1921 30 June 1927
HUK 2 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 2 1920 reverse.jpg 2 korona 131 × 76 mm Peasant reaping wheat
HUK 10 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 10 1920 reverse.jpg 10 korona 135 × 79 mm The Széchenyi Chain Bridge
HUK 20 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 20 1920 reverse.jpg 20 korona 143 × 84 mm The Matthias Church, the Fisherman's Bastion, and the statue of János Hunyadi in the Buda Castle
Large size series
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 50 1920 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 50 1920 OFZ reverse.jpg 50 korona 150 × 95 mm Portrait of Ferenc II Rákóczi by Ádám Mányoki Value in Hungarian and 5 foreign languages 11 July 1921 30 June 1927
HUK 100 1920 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 100 1920 OFZ reverse.jpg 100 korona 155 × 100 mm King Matthias 9 May 1921 31 July 1926
HUK 500 1920 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 500 1920 OFZ reverse.jpg 500 korona 170 × 110 mm Prince Árpád
HUK 1000 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 1000 1920 reverse.jpg 1000 korona 193 × 125 mm King St. Stephen
HUK 5000 1920 obverse.jpg HUK 5000 1920 reverse.jpg 5000 korona 205 × 135 mm Hunnia
HUK 10000 1920 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 10000 1920 OFZ reverse.jpg 10 000 korona 211 × 144 mm "PATRONA HUNGARIAE"
HUK 25000 1922 obverse.jpg HUK 25000 1922 reverse.jpg 25 000 korona 213 × 147 mm "PATRONA HUNGARIAE" 6 September 1922
Small size series
Image Value Dimensions Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse issue withdrawal
HUK 100 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 100 1923 reverse.jpg 100 korona 119 × 72 mm King Matthias Value in Hungarian and 5 foreign languages 18 March 1924 30 June 1927
HUK 500 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 500 1923 reverse.jpg 500 korona 128 × 74 mm Prince Árpád 20 June 1924
HUK 1000 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 1000 1923 reverse.jpg 1000 korona 136 × 78 mm King St. Stephen 15 September 1923
HUK 5000 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 5000 1923 reverse.jpg 5000 korona 139 × 83 mm Hunnia 18 March 1924
HUK 10000 1923 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 10000 1923 OFZ reverse.jpg 10 000 korona 145 × 88 mm "PATRONA HUNGARIAE" 18 March 1924
HUK 25000 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 25000 1923 reverse.jpg 25 000 korona 145 × 98 mm King St. Ladislaus 19 May 1924
HUK 50000 1923 obverse.jpg HUK 50000 1923 reverse.jpg 50 000 korona 165 × 105 mm Female model 16 July 1923
HUK 100000 1923 OFZ obverse.jpg HUK 100000 1923 OFZ reverse.jpg 100 000 korona 165 × 105 mm Female model 30 July 1923
HUK 500000 1923 PJ obverse.jpg HUK 500000 1923 PJ reverse.jpg 500 000 korona 185 × 85 mm Female model 23 February 1924 30 June 1928
HUK 1M 1923 PJ obverse.jpg HUK 1M 1923 PJ reverse.jpg 1 000 000 korona 185 × 85 mm Female model 31 March 1924
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

After 25 August 1926 the 1000 to 1 000 000 korona banknotes were overstamped to show the value in pengő.

State notes overstamped to pengő value
1000 korona
8 fillér
5000 korona
40 fillér
10 000 korona
80 fillér
25 000 korona
2 pengő
HUK 1000 1923 OS obverse.jpg HUK 5000 1923 OS obverse.jpg HUK 10000 1923 OS obverse.jpg HUK 25000 1923 OFZ 2 obverse.jpg
50 000 korona
4 pengő
100 000 korona
8 pengő
500 000 korona
40 pengő
1 000 000 korona
80 pengő
[[Image:|116px]] HUK 100000 1923 OS obverse.jpg [[Image:|130px]] [[Image:|130px]]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • (Hungarian) (English) (German) Gyula Rádóczy, Géza Tasnádi (1992). Magyar papírpénzek 1848-1992 (Hungarian paper money 1848-1992). Danubius Kódex Kiadói Kft. ISBN 963-7434-11-9. 
  • (Hungarian) (summary in (German) (English) (Russian)) Károly Leányfalusi, Ádám Nagy (2006). A korona-fillér pénzrendszer - Magyarország fém- és papírpénzei 1892-1925 (The korona-fillér monetary system - coins and paper money of Hungary 1892-1925). Magyar Éremgyűjtők Egyesülete, Budapest. ISBN 963-229-523-4.