Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Token



Good morning,
 Might this be a 1950's South Korean student bus token?  It was labeled as such on a Russian coin/token site as such.  Also, it is supposed to be very rare, yet I have found nothing else about it, if in fact it is what it was attributed as on that site.

I'm not very familiar with Korean tokens. I will send your pictures to someone who has expertise in this area and let you know what they have to say about it. I will update this answer with any info they can provide.

I consulted with Mark Lovmo, a dedicated researcher and numismatist specializing in Korean material. His website:

His response on your token is below.

As to your token, it is a student bus token from the fair city of Busan (old spelling: Pusan), the second largest city in South Korea. The top image shows the word "hak saeng" -student in Korean. The bottom image (which is upside down, btw) says "Busan" at the top, and "shee nay bus" -City Bus on the bottom. I see this token has the same design elements as Seoul student city bus tokens: An annular token with designs of the book with the key and the branch, while the other side has the arabesque designs and the same titles. As to the date, I'm not certain. I wouldn't think that this token dates from the 1950s (unless you know for sure it was collected in that decade), as I was using these tokens up until the late 1990s in Seoul. So, my impression is that they are at least from the late 1960s, onward. I say this because my Korean friends who were public school students in the 1970s and 1980s had said that they used these, and I know that South Korea didn't have the capability to manufacture these until the late 1960s, at the earliest. Or perhaps they were imported? In any case, by 1995, they started fitting the busses in Seoul with those RFID "saved-value" card readers, and these tokens soon disappeared. I have seen similar tokens that feature names of other, larger cities in Korea: Daegu and Daejeon for sure. I have a sense that these are popular with token collectors around the world, and I have had inquiries about these from collectors in places like Yemen! I'm not a token collector, so beyond this, I don't know much about them. I don't think the value would be something to fret over (probably <$20), but you'd need to run it past a token collector to be sure of it's value.

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Dmitry Livshits


My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.


Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

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