The 1954 Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into two countries. These two countries were North Vietnam (Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and South Vietnam (Republic of Vietnam). South Vietnam was under the authority of former emperor Bao Dai. It existed for twenty years, from 1955 to 1975. Its capital was Saigon, currently known as Ho Chi Minh City. After the Vietnam War in 1975, the Communist Party of Vietnam merged North and South Vietnam to form Vietnam.
The National Bank of Vietnam assumed all central bank functions for South Vietnam in 1954. South Vietnam used the dong as its currency.
The first series of dong notes were printed by several printers. Because of that, the notes did not have a logical progression and had different designs for the same denomination. But in 1969, the bank appointed Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company as the sole printer of banknotes for South Vietnam. These notes featured the National Bank of Vietnam headquarters in front and different design patterns at the back. These banks also had a watermark of Tran Hung Dao, a 13th century Grand Commander who led the defense against the Mongolian invasion attempts.
In 1972, the bank announced a new series of banknotes. However, the release was delayed until the stocks of the 1969 family were completely spent. The 1972 family had a watermark of Nguyen Thi Mai Anh, the wife of President Nguyen Van Thieu. These notes also featured the Independence Palace in Saigon on the front side and different endemic species of animals at the back.
Thai and Korean troops who fought in the Vietnam War had their own banknotes. These notes were printed and circulated by the military. They were also only used inside the military camps and stations.
After President Duong Van Minh surrendered to the North in April 1975, the Bank of Vietnam replaced the National Bank of Vietnam. The bank introduced a new family of notes in the same year. However, the notes were dated 1966 because they were printed in advance and remained in storage. These notes featured different agricultural vignettes on both sides. The 1975 Issues remained in circulation until the complete unification of Vietnam in 1978.