Coins and Antiquities Consignment Shop
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Please call us if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Internet challenged? We are happy to take your order over the phone. Please call if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business!

Catalog Main Menu
Fine Coins Showcase

Antiquities Showcase
Recent Additions
Recent Price Reductions

Show empty categories
Shop Search
Shopping Cart
Contact Us
About Forum
Shopping at Forum
Our Guarantee
Payment Options
Shipping Options & Fees
Privacy & Security
Forum Staff
Selling Your Coins
Identifying Your Coin
FAQs
   View Categories
Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Asian Coins ▸ ChinaView Options:  |  |  | 

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.


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Zhe Zong, 1086 - 1100 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
"Round as the heavens, square as the earth," is a Chinese saying used to metaphorically describe the fabric of the coins. On the practical side, it was discovered very early that a square hole fit a square shaft, which enabled a stacked quantity of coins to be turned on a lathe to remove casting irregularities.
CH54355. Bronze 2 cash, Shao Sheng Yuan Bao, seal script, clockwise, small size; Hartill 16.303, Schjoth 593, Fisher 995, VF, weight 6.810 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; very common; $18.00 (€16.02)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
"Round as the heavens, square as the earth," is a Chinese saying used to metaphorically describe the fabric of the coins. On the practical side, it was discovered very early that a square hole fit a square shaft, which enabled a stacked quantity of coins to be turned on a lathe to remove casting irregularities.
CH85528. Bronze 2 cash, Sheng Song Yuan Bao, seal script, clockwise, Hartill 16.369, Schjoth 612, Fisher 1025, VF, weight 7.582 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, 1101 A.D.; $15.00 (€13.35)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
"Round as the heavens, square as the earth," is a Chinese saying used to metaphorically describe the fabric of the coins. On the practical side, it was discovered very early that a square hole fit a square shaft, which enabled a stacked quantity of coins to be turned on a lathe to remove casting irregularities.
CH85529. Bronze 2 cash, Sheng Song Yuan Bao, seal script, clockwise, Hartill 16.369, Schjoth 612, Fisher 1025, VF, weight 9.007 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, 1101 A.D.; $15.00 (€13.35)
 


China, Northern Song Dynasty, Emperor Zhe Zong, 1086 - 1100 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
"Round as the heavens, square as the earth," is a Chinese saying used to metaphorically describe the fabric of the coins. On the practical side, it was discovered very early that a square hole fit a square shaft, which enabled a stacked quantity of coins to be turned on a lathe to remove casting irregularities.
CH35338. Bronze 1 cash, Shao Sheng Yuan Bao, seal script, clockwise, large bao; Hartill 16.290, Schjoth 585, Fisher 990, VF, weight 3.973 g, maximum diameter 23.9 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; very common; $9.00 (€8.01)
 


China, Former Shu Kingdom, Wang Yan, Son of Wang Jian, 919 - 925 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Wang Yan's father was a village thief before, enlisting in the army, rising through the ranks, and eventually seizing control of the modern Sichuan and Chongqing region. Wang Yan was the youngest son but became heir because his mother, Consort Xu, was Wang Jian's favorite concubine and was able to gain the support of the chancellor Zhang Ge. Wang Yan's reign has been traditionally considered one of decadence, corruption, and incompetence. In 925, his state was conquered by its northeastern neighbor Later Tang. Wang Yan surrendered but was executed and posthumously demoted to commoner rank. Schjoth notes: "The currency of the father and son of the Wang family was coarse and vile."
CH36131. Bronze 1 cash, Qian De yuan bao, seal script, clockwise, large bao; Hartill 15.42, Schjoth 433, VF, weight c. 3.43 g, maximum diameter c. 23.7 mm, Sichuan, Chengdu mint, 919 - 924 A.D.; Forum's random selection from the coins in the photograph, one coin; common; $7.00 (€6.23)
 


China, Northern Song, Emperor Tai Zu, 960 - 976 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Zhao Kuangyin (later Emperor Taizu) was from a family of modest origins.

According to legend, as a child, he found an untamed horse to practice archery on horseback. The horse threw him into a wall. Witnesses thought he was seriously injured but he jumped up unharmed and chased down and subdued the horse.

When his father lost his government position, he wandered for two years but a monk, seeing through his beggar appearance, noticed his unusual aura and told him to go north where there was war and he would fight and become famous.

He distinguished himself in the army, was promoted a commander of cavalry units, and the future Emperor Shizong noticed his potential. After he rallied 4000 palace troops and held off the Liao army until reinforcements arrived, he was made Chief of the Palace troops. He continued his rise and was promoted to jiedushi, controlling most of the military power under Shizong.

When Shizong died, the throne was left to an infant. After a "prophet" reported a vision of two suns, which was interpreted as the transfer of the Heaven's Mandate, the troops declared Taizu emperor. He met no resistance and was proclaimed Taizi, the Emperor of Song. Taizu sent the dethroned baby-emperor with his mother to Xi Jing and personally ordered the Chai family to receive the Zhaos into their family's care for generations.

CH36137. Bronze 1 cash, Song Yuan Tong Bao, regular script, VF, weight 3.6 g, maximum diameter 25 mm, 960 - 962 A.D.; Forum's random selection from the coins in the photograph, one coin; $6.00 (€5.34)
 







CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY - FORVM's PRIOR SALES


REFERENCES

Calgary Coin Gallery. "Chinese Cast Coins Reference and Price Guide" - http://www.calgarycoin.com/reference/china/china.htm.
Coole, A., et al. An Encyclopedia of Chinese Coins. (1967 - 1976).
Fisher, G. Fisher's Ding. (1990).
Gorny, N. Northern Song Dynasty Cash Variety Guide, Volume 1: Fugo Senshi. (Portland, 2001).
Hartill, D. Cast Chinese Coins. (Victoria, BC, 2005).
Hartill, D. Qing Cash. RNS Special Publication 37. (London, 2003).
Krause, C. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
Mitchiner, M. Ancient Trade and Early Coinage. (London, 2004).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2: the Ancient and Classical World. (London, 1978).
Mitchiner, M. Oriental Coins and Their Values, Vol. 3: Non-Islamic States & Western Colonies. (London, 1979).
Novak, J. A Working Aid for Collectors of Annamese Coins. (Merced, CA, 1989).
Peng, X. A Monetary History of China (Zhongguo Huobo Shi). Trans. Edward H Kaplan. (Bellingham, WA, 1994).
Schjoth, F. Chinese Currency. (Oslo, 1929).
Scott Semans World Coins, The Daniel K.E. Ching Sale, Seattle, 2 June 1991.
Thierry, F. Monnaies chinoises. I L'Antiquité préimpériale. (Paris, 1997).
Thierry, F. Monnaies chinoises. II Des Qin aux Cinq Dynasties. (Paris, 2003).
Tye, R. Wang Mang. (South Uist, UK, 1993).
Von Glahn, R. Fountain of Fortune: Money and Monetary Policy in China, 1000-1700. (Berkley, 1996).
Yuanjie, Z., ed. Xinjiang Numismatics. (Hong Kong, 1991).
Yuquan, W. Early Chinese Coinage. (New York, 1951).

Catalog current as of Saturday, September 23, 2017.
Page created in 1.185 seconds.
China