What Is the VND (Vietnamese Dong)?

VND (Vietnamese Dong) is the currency abbreviation and full name, Vietnamese dông, of the currency for Vietnam.

Understanding the VND (Vietnamese Dong)

VND, short for the Vietnamese dông, is often presented with the symbol d. It is composed of 10 hào and 100 xu. It’s important to note that while the dông was historically made up of these two sub-units, neither the hào nor the xu have been used in Vietnam for many years.

The word "dông" is used in Vietnamese as a term for any currency, modifying it appropriately with the country's name before it. So, for example, the Vietnamese-fluent person living in the United States may refer to the U.S. dollar as the "U.S. dông.” Additionally, "U.S. hào" and "U.S. xu" can be used in reference to the U.S. dime and cent. So using the word “dong” alone to refer to Vietnam’s currency will not suffice: Vietnamese dong must be referred to as "dông Vietnam" (Vietnamese dông).

A Broader Look at Vietnamese Currency

The Vietnamese dông was created in 1946, when the Viet Minh government, which later became the government of North Vietnam, introduced the currency, replacing the French Indochinese piastre. The State of Vietnam, which would later become South Vietnam, issued their own dông in 1953, and their banknotes listed the price in both dông and piastres, reflecting its recent transition. After the fall of Saigon in the mid-1970s, South Vietnam issued the liberation dông. With Vietnam being reunified in the late 1970s, they also reunified the dông.

Vietnamese coinage includes denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 dôngs. These coins are no longer minted or in active use, yet they are still legal tender. Currently, most banknotes commonly found in circulation are 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000 and 500,000 dông.

The Vietnamese dông, issued by The State Bank of Vietnam, has been marked by chronic inflation. It is one of the poorest currencies worldwide according to the global currency market; in 2018, one U.S. dollar equaled 22,770 Vietnamese dông. However, in 2017, Bloomberg reported that Vietnam’s move from agricultural economy to a hub for electronics manufacturing, particularly with Samsung Electronics’s investment, has meant that the economy has grown more than 6 percent in the prior two years, becoming among the fastest growing in the world.

Furthermore, they report that while other Asian currencies such as the Thai baht and the Malaysian ringgit have surged, and the Philippine peso has fallen, the dông is little changed and therefore one of the most stable Asian currencies.