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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.


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

Click for a larger photo
Seal script, Zhuan Shu in Mandrin Chinese, is a formal style of Chinese calligraphy, closest to the archaic form of the charicters.
CH86066. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.270, Schjoth 575, Fisher 983, VF, weight 8.317 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan Yu tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $20.00 (€17.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86083. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.224, Schjoth 553, VF, weight 6.349 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $20.00 (€17.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86084. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.224, Schjoth 553, VF, weight 6.748 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $20.00 (€17.00)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Semi-cursive script is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. Also referred to in English both as running script and by its Mandarin Chinese name, xíngshu, it is derived from clerical script, and was for a long time after its development in the first centuries A.D. the usual style of handwriting.
CH86059. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.284, Schjoth 576, Fisher 984, VF, weight 8.348 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan You tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $19.00 (€16.15)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Semi-cursive script is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. Also referred to in English both as running script and by its Mandarin Chinese name, xíngshu, it is derived from clerical script, and was for a long time after its development in the first centuries A.D. the usual style of handwriting.
CH86061. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.285, Schjoth 576, Fisher 984, weight 6.920 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan You tong bao, running script, clockwise, claw foot bao; reverse plain; $19.00 (€16.15)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Zhezong ascended the throne at age 10 under the supervision of Empress Dowager Gao. He was powerless until the Empress' death in 1093. Under Zhenzong the country prospered. But after the Khitan attacked, despite initial successes, he concluded a treaty agreeing to an inferior position and an annual tribute of 100,000 oz. of silver and over 200,000 bolts of silk. The treaty brought over a century of peace, but the admission of inferiority would plague foreign affairs and the payments slowly depleted the empire's coffers. Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng and was succeeded by his younger brother. He was only 24.
CH86089. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.319, Schjoth 595, Fisher 996, VF, weight 7.478 g, maximum diameter 30.5 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; obverse Shao Sheng yuan bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $19.00 (€16.15)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Semi-cursive script is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. Also referred to in English both as running script and by its Mandarin Chinese name, xíngshu, it is derived from clerical script, and was for a long time after its development in the first centuries A.D. the usual style of handwriting.
CH86060. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.284, Schjoth 576, Fisher 984, VF, weight 7.885 g, maximum diameter 30.2 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan You tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Semi-cursive script is a partially cursive style of Chinese calligraphy. Also referred to in English both as running script and by its Mandarin Chinese name, xíngshu, it is derived from clerical script, and was for a long time after its development in the first centuries A.D. the usual style of handwriting.
CH86062. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.284, Schjoth 576, Fisher 984, VF, weight 9.327 g, maximum diameter 30.3 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan You tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Seal script, Zhuan Shu in Mandrin Chinese, is a formal style of Chinese calligraphy, closest to the archaic form of the charicters.
CH86069. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.270, Schjoth 575, Fisher 983, VF, weight 7.507 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, 1086 - 1093 A.D.; obverse Yuan Yu tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Zhezong ascended the throne at age 10 under the supervision of Empress Dowager Gao. He was powerless until the Empress' death in 1093. Under Zhenzong the country prospered. But after the Khitan attacked, despite initial successes, he concluded a treaty agreeing to an inferior position and an annual tribute of 100,000 oz. of silver and over 200,000 bolts of silk. The treaty brought over a century of peace, but the admission of inferiority would plague foreign affairs and the payments slowly depleted the empire's coffers. Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng and was succeeded by his younger brother. He was only 24.
CH86087. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.319, Schjoth 595, Fisher 996, aVF, weight 8.079 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; obverse Shao Sheng yuan bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
In 1071, the Xi Ning zhong bao coin was issued as a 10 cash to meet military expenses. Later illicit minting forced devaluation to 3 cash and then in 1073 to 2 cash. The slightly smaller size than expected, edge flaws and casting pearl flaws, visible in the photographs, suggest this may have been one of the illicit examples that forced devaluation.
CH87006. Bronze 2 cash, Gorny 2016 26b.36, Hartill 16.198, VF, edge chip, casting pearls (raised bumps), weight 7.194 g, maximum diameter 32.1 mm, 1068 - 1078 A.D.; obverse Xi Ning zhong bao, Lishu (clerical script), clockwise, squat boxy wide characters, no left hand stroke on Xi, short compact Ni, short boxy bao; reverse plain; $18.00 (€15.30)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86028. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.248, Schjoth 556, VF, weight 6.928 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $17.00 (€14.45)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86031. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.248, Schjoth 556, VF, weight 8.013 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $17.00 (€14.45)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86032. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.193, Schjoth 5438, Fisher 955, VF, weight 7.456 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, 1071 - 1077 A.D.; obverse Xi Ning zhong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $16.00 (€13.60)
 


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.
CH86035. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.437, Schjoth 638, Fisher 1077, VF, weight 7.935 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, 1111 - 1117 A.D.; obverse Zheng He tong bao, seal script, round bao; reverse plain; $16.00 (€13.60)
 


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.
CH86036. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.436, Schjoth 638, Fisher 1077, VF, weight 5.181 g, maximum diameter 28.62 mm, 1111 - 1117 A.D.; obverse Zheng He tong bao, seal script, narrow rims; reverse plain; $16.00 (€13.60)
 


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.
CH86037. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.437, Schjoth 638, Fisher 1077, VF, weight 9.365 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, 1111 - 1117 A.D.; obverse Zheng He tong bao, seal script, round bao; reverse plain; $16.00 (€13.60)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Zhezong ascended the throne at age 10 under the supervision of Empress Dowager Gao. He was powerless until the Empress' death in 1093. Under Zhenzong the country prospered. But after the Khitan attacked, despite initial successes, he concluded a treaty agreeing to an inferior position and an annual tribute of 100,000 oz. of silver and over 200,000 bolts of silk. The treaty brought over a century of peace, but the admission of inferiority would plague foreign affairs and the payments slowly depleted the empire's coffers. Zhezong died in 1100 in Kaifeng and was succeeded by his younger brother. He was only 24.
CH86086. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.319, Schjoth 595, Fisher 996, VF, weight 9.055 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; obverse Shao Sheng yuan bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $16.00 (€13.60)
 


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, Hartill 16.303, Schjoth 593, Fisher 995; small flan variety, VF, weight 6.810 g, maximum diameter 30.6 mm, 1094 - 1097 A.D.; obverse Shao Sheng yuan bao, seal script, clockwise; reverse plain; $14.00 (€11.90)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Seal script, Zhuan Shu in Mandrin Chinese, is a formal style of Chinese calligraphy, closest to the archaic form of the charicters.
CH86092. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.335, Schjoth 604, Fisher 1010, VF, weight 8.256 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, 1098 - 1100 A.D.; obverse Yuan Fu tong bao, seal script, clockwise; reverse plain; $14.00 (€11.90)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86085. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.224, Schjoth 553, weight 7.448 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $12.00 (€10.20)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86987. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.224, Schjoth 553, aVF, earthen deposits, weight 6.606 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, round bao; reverse plain; $12.00 (€10.20)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Homer Hulbert, an American missionary and educator considered a hero by the Koreans, lived in Korea from 1886 until 1907, when he was thrown out by the Japanese. He returned to Korea after World War II and is buried in Seoul. In his book, The Passing of Korea, he explains the square hole on cash coins, "The metal was poured into molds...These were broken up, and the coins were strung on square metal rods that just fitted the hole in the coin. The ends of this rod were then put in a rude vise, and men with enormous coarse files ground down the edges of a thousand or more coins at a time."
CH87005. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.199, Schjoth 542a, Fisher 956, aVF, weight 6.990 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, 1071 - 1077 A.D.; obverse Xi Ning zhong bao, regular script, clockwise, no left hand stroke on Xi, large square characters; reverse plain; $12.00 (€10.20)
 


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.
CH87030. Iron cash, Hartill 16.502, Schjoth -, Fisher -, F, rust, weight 4.311 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse plain; $12.00 (€10.20)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Homer Hulbert, an American missionary and educator considered a hero by the Koreans, lived in Korea from 1886 until 1907, when he was thrown out by the Japanese. He returned to Korea after World War II and is buried in Seoul. In his book, The Passing of Korea, he explains the square hole on cash coins, "The metal was poured into molds...These were broken up, and the coins were strung on square metal rods that just fitted the hole in the coin. The ends of this rod were then put in a rude vise, and men with enormous coarse files ground down the edges of a thousand or more coins at a time."
CH19988. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.199, Schjoth 542a, Fisher 956, VF, weight 7.229 g, maximum diameter 32.3 mm, 1071 - 1077 A.D.; obverse Xi Ning zhong bao, regular script, clockwise, no left hand stroke on Xi, large square characters; reverse plain; $12.00 (€10.20)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86030. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.248, Schjoth 556, VF, earthen deposits, weight 7.867 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $10.00 (€8.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Seal script, Zhuan Shu in Mandrin Chinese, is a formal style of Chinese calligraphy, closest to the archaic form of the charicters.
CH86091. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.335, Schjoth 604, Fisher 1010, VF, weight 7.292 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, 1098 - 1100 A.D.; obverse Yuan Fu tong bao, seal script, clockwise; reverse plain; $10.00 (€8.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Seal script, Zhuan Shu in Mandrin Chinese, is a formal style of Chinese calligraphy, closest to the archaic form of the charicters.
CH86093. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.335, Schjoth 604, Fisher 1010, gF, weight 8.962 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, 1098 - 1100 A.D.; obverse Yuan Fu tong bao, seal script, clockwise; reverse plain; $10.00 (€8.50)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86986. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.225, Schjoth 553, F, minor encrustations and earthen deposits, weight 7.385 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, squarish bao; reverse plain; $10.00 (€8.50)
 


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.
CH87025. Iron cash, Hartill 16.504, Schjoth 666, Fisher 1119, F, rust, encrustations, edge flaw, weight 3.943 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Shaanxi region mint, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse Shan (Shaanxi Region), Slender Gold script; $9.00 (€7.65)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86996. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.223, Schjoth 553, F, earthen fill, light marks, weight 7.472 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, long bao; reverse plain; $8.00 (€6.80)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH87001. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.223, Schjoth 553, F, light earthen deposits, light marks, weight 8.777 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, long bao; reverse plain; $8.00 (€6.80)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH87003. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.223, Schjoth 553, F, weight 8.953 g, maximum diameter 30.4 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, long bao; reverse plain; $8.00 (€6.80)
 


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.
CH87029. Iron cash, Hartill 16.504, Schjoth 666, Fisher 1119, aF, rust, edge flaw, weight 3.608 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Shaanxi region mint, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse Shan (Shaanxi Region), Slender Gold script; $8.00 (€6.80)
 


China, Southern Song Dynasty, Emperor Gao Zong, 1127 - 1162 A.D.

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The Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) refers to the period after the Song lost control of northern China to the Jin Dynasty. The Song court retreated south of the Yangtze River and established their capital at Lin'an (now Hangzhou). Although the Song Dynasty had lost control of the traditional birthplace of Chinese civilization along the Yellow River, the Song economy was not in ruins, as the Southern Song Empire contained 60 percent of China's population and a majority of the most productive agricultural land. The Southern Song Dynasty considerably bolstered its naval strength to defend its waters and land borders and to conduct maritime missions abroad. To repel the Jin, and later the Mongols, the Song developed revolutionary new military technology augmented by the use of gunpowder. In 1234, the Jin Dynasty was conquered by the Mongols, who took control of northern China, maintaining uneasy relations with the Southern Song. In 1271, Kublai Khan was proclaimed the Emperor of China. After two decades of sporadic warfare, Kublai Khan's armies conquered the Song Dynasty in 1279. China was once again unified, under the Yuan Dynasty. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_Dynasty
CH86994. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 17.45, Schjoth 685, Fischer 1161, aF, rough, small edge chips, weight 5.012 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, 1131 - 1162; obverse Shao Xing yuan bao, regular script, clockwise; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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

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Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86995. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.248, Schjoth 556, aF, light deposits and encrustations, light scratches, weight 7.247 g, maximum diameter 28.4 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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

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Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86997. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.248, Schjoth 556, F, encrustations, weight 7.058 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, running script, clockwise; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86999. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.225, Schjoth 553, F, light encrustations and earthen deposits, weight 8.621 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, squarish bao; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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.
CH87022. Iron cash, Hartill 16.504, Schjoth 666, Fisher 1119, F, rust, edge flaw, weight 3.999 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Shaanxi region mint, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse Shan (Shaanxi Region), Slender Gold script; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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.
CH87026. Iron cash, Hartill 16.502, Schjoth -, Fisher -, F, rust patina, weight 3.457 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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.
CH87027. Iron cash, Hartill 16.502, Schjoth -, Fisher -, F, rough rust, weight 3.614 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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.
CH87031. Iron cash, Hartill 16.502, Schjoth -, Fisher -, F, rough thick rust, weight 4.088 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse plain; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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.
CH87038. Iron cash, Hartill 16.502, Schjoth -, Fisher -, weight c. 3.6 g, maximum diameter c. 25.5 mm, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse plain; aF or better, quality varies, some with edge chips, some with thicker rust, similar to the coins in the photograph, ONE COIN; $6.00 (€5.10)
 


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

Click for a larger photo
Shenzong implemented Wang Anshi's famous reforms aimed at improving life for the peasantry and unemployed. He was initially successful against the Tangut Empire but Shenzong's forces were defeated at the City of Yongle battle of 1082. As a result, the Xixia forces grew more powerful and would be a thorn on the side of the Song dynasty in the ensuing decades.
CH86985. Bronze 2 cash, Hartill 16.225, Schjoth 553, F, encrustations, weight 9.056 g, maximum diameter 28.7 mm, 1078 - 1085 A.D.; obverse Yuan Feng tong bao, seal script, clockwise, squarish bao; reverse plain; $5.00 (€4.25)
 


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.
CH87024. Iron cash, Hartill 16.504, Schjoth 666, Fisher 1119, F, rough rust, edge flaw, weight 3.408 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, Shaanxi region mint, 1119 - 1125; obverse Xuan He Tong Bao, Slender Gold script; reverse Shan (Shaanxi Region), Slender Gold script; $5.00 (€4.25)
 


China, Warring States, Yan State, 476 - 221 B.C.

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The history of Yan began in the Western Zhou in the early first millennium B.C. After the authority of the Zhou king declined in the 8th century B.C., Yan survived and became one of the strongest states in China. Its capital was Ji (now Beijing). During the Warring States period, the court was also moved to another capital at Xiadu at times. Despite the wars, Yan survived through the Warring States period. In 227 B.C., with Qin troops on the border after the collapse of Zhao, Crown Prince Dan sent an assassin to kill the king of Qin, hoping to end the threat. The mission failed. Surprised and enraged by such a bold act, the king of Qin determined to destroy Yan. The Yan army was crushed at the frozen Yi River, Ji fell the following year and King Xi fled to the Liaodong Peninsula. In 222 B.C., Liaodong fell and Yan was totally conquered by Qin. Yan was the third to last state to fall, and with its destruction the fates of the remaining two kingdoms were sealed. In 221 B.C., Qin conquered all of China, ending the Warring States period and founding the Qin dynasty. Yan experienced a brief period of independence after the collapse of the Qin dynasty in 207 B.C., but was eventually absorbed by the victorious Han.Yan State Map
CH87043. Bronze 1 hua, Hartill 6.17 - 6.19, Fisher 382 - 383, Schjoth 77, Zhongguo Qianbi DCD 608, weight c. 1.5 g, maximum diameter c. 19 mm, probably Ji (Beijing) mint, 300 - 222 B.C.; obverse Yi Hua (one hua); reverse plain or Ji (Beijing); worn, earthen encrustations, rough patina, similar to the coins in the photograph, ONE COIN; $5.00 (€4.25)
 


China, Xin Dynasty (Wang Mang's Interregnum), 9 - 23 A.D.

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Wang Mang was a Han Dynasty official who seized the throne from the Liu family and founded the Xin (or Hsin, meaning new) Dynasty. The Han dynasty was restored after his overthrow and his rule marks the separation between the Western Han Dynasty (before Xin) and Eastern Han Dynasty (after Xin). Some historians have traditionally viewed Wang as a usurper, while others have portrayed him as a visionary and selfless social reformer. Though a learned Confucian scholar who sought to implement the harmonious society he saw in the classics, his efforts ended in chaos.
CH87041. Bronze 5 zhu, Hartill 9.37 (small variety), weight c. 1.2 g, maximum diameter c. 20 mm, 14 - 23 A.D.; obverse Huo Quan (wealth/money coin); reverse plain; nice blue and green patinas, some with thick patina obscuring the inscription, similar to the coins in the photograph, ONE COIN; $4.50 (€3.83)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Novak, J. A Working Aid for Collectors of Annamese Coins. (Merced, CA, 1989).
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Scott Semans World Coins, The Daniel K.E. Ching Sale, Seattle, 2 June 1991.
Thierry, F. Monnaies chinoises. I L'Antiquité préimpériale. (Paris, 1997).
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Catalog current as of Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
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