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Coins of China

The earliest Chinese proto-coins, as early as 770 - 476 B.C., were imitations of the cowrie shells used in ceremonial exchanges. The first metal coins, also introduced in this period, were not initially round; instead, they were knife shaped or spade shaped. Round metal coins with a round hole, and then later a square hole, in the center were first introduced around 350 B.C. The beginning of the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.), the first dynasty to unify China, standardized coinage for the whole Empire. At first, coinage was limited to use around the capital city district but by the beginning of the Han Dynasty, coins were widely used for paying taxes, salaries, and fines. Ancient Chinese coins are markedly different from coins produced in the west. Chinese coins were cast in molds, unlike western coins which were typically struck (hammered) or, in later times, milled. Chinese coins were usually made from bronze, brass, or iron. Precious metals like gold and silver were uncommonly used. The alloys of the coin metals varied considerably. Most Chinese coins were produced with a square hole in the middle. At the mint coins were threaded on a square rod so that the rough edges could be filed smooth on a lathe, after which they were threaded on strings for ease of handling. Official coin production was sometimes spread over many mint locations throughout the country. Aside from officially produced coins, private coining was common during many stages of Chinese history. At times private coining was tolerated, sometimes it was illegal. Some coins were produced in very large numbers. During the Western Han, an average of 220 million coins a year were produced. Some other types were of limited circulation and are extremely rare today.


Lot of 40 Various Chinese Bronze Coins

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LT17204. Bronze Lot, Lot of 40 various Chinese bronze coins, unattributed (may include some Vietnamese, Korean or Japanese coins), condition varies, most F or better, appears to include an excellent variety of types, no tags, no flips, photo is random selection of the actual coins in the lot, as-is, no returns, ONLY ONE LOT AVAILABLE!; $45.00 (€38.25)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Ren Zong, 1022 - 1063 A.D.

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Instead of the usual square, the shape of the hole on this coin resembles a flower. The Chinese referred to this type of hole as a flower hole, rosette hole, or chestnut hole. Westerners sometimes refer to them as a star hole. The Chinese call similar hexagon holes as turtle shell holes. These whole variations were created by mint workers doing final detail work, using a chisel or a file to remove excess metal that flowed into the center hole during casting. Creating these fancy holes was certainly intentional but the purpose is unknown.
CH67391. Bronze 1 cash, Hartill 16.89, Schjoth 494, Fisher 901, F, flower hole, weight 3.444 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, 1034 - 1038 A.D.; obverse Jing You yuan bao, regular script, clockwise; reverse plain; $22.00 (€18.70)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Shen Zong, 1067 - 1085 A.D.

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Instead of the usual square, the shape of the hole on this coin resembles a flower. The Chinese referred to this type of hole as a flower hole, rosette hole, or chestnut hole. Westerners sometimes refer to them as a star hole. The Chinese call similar hexagon holes as turtle shell holes. These whole variations were created by mint workers doing final detail work, using a chisel or a file to remove excess metal that flowed into the center hole during casting. Creating these fancy holes was certainly intentional but the purpose is unknown.
CH67392. Bronze 1 cash, Hartill 16.235, Schjoth 547, Fisher 963, F, flower hole, weight 3.972 g, maximum diameter 24.2 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise, large characters; reverse plain; $22.00 (€18.70)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

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Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH83983. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 622, Fisher 1050, VF, light encrustations, weight 9.115 g, maximum diameter 34.6 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zhong bao (coinage of greater reverence), li script, large characters; reverse plain; $21.00 (€17.85)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH83986. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.408, Schjoth 622, Fisher 1050, VF, green patina, weight 11.273 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zhong bao (coinage of greater reverence), li script, thin characters; reverse plain; $21.00 (€17.85)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH83977. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 622, Fisher 1050, VF, dark patina, light earthen deposits, flaw on left edge of hole, weight 9.846 g, maximum diameter 34.1 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zhong bao (coinage of greater reverence), li script, large characters; reverse plain; $19.00 (€16.15)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH83984. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 622, Fisher 1050, VF, earthen deposits, tiny encrustations, weight 10.45 g, maximum diameter 33.6 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zhong bao (coinage of greater reverence), li script, large characters; reverse plain; $19.00 (€16.15)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH86064. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.449, Schjoth 640, Fisher 1079, VF, weight 7.187 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, 1111 - 1117 A.D.; obverse Zheng He tong bao, li script, round bao; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH86065. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.449, Schjoth 640, Fisher 1079, VF, weight 8.549 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, 1111 - 1117 A.D.; obverse Zheng He tong bao, li script, round bao; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Hui Zong, 1101 - 1126 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Huizong, one of the most famous Song Dynasty emperors, spent most of his life surrounded by luxury, sophistication, and art, but ended in tragedy. An artist, Huizong neglected the army, and Song China became increasingly weak. On Jan 18, 1126, after the forces of the Jin had crossed the Yellow River and came in sight of the Song capital, Kaifeng, Huizong abdicated in favor of his son Emperor Qinzong. The Jin entered Kaifeng on Jan 9, 1127, and many days of looting, rapes, and massacre followed. Huizong and Qinzong were captured and demoted to commoner. Huizong was deported to northern Manchuria, where he spent the last eight years of his life as a captive.
CH83979. Bronze 10 cash, Hartill 16.407, Schjoth 622, Fisher 1050, aVF, dark green patina, light earthen deposits, weight 11.075 g, maximum diameter 34.5 mm, 1102 - 1106 A.D.; obverse Chong Ning zhong bao (coinage of greater reverence), li script, large characters; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Saturday, December 15, 2018.
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