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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Asian Coins ▸ VietnamView Options:  |  |  |   

Coins of Vietnam

Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen The To (Gia Long), 1 June 1802 - 3 February 1820

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A nephew of the last Nguyen lord who ruled southern Vietnam, at age 15, Nguyen The To (also known as Nguyen Anh) was forced into hiding when his family was slain in the Tay Son revolt. After several changes of fortune in which his loyalists regained and again lost Saigon, he befriended the French Catholic priest Pigneau de Behaine. Pigneau recruited volunteers to help him take the throne. From 1789, he advanced north, defeating the Tay Son, reaching the Chinese border 1802, and reuniting all Vietnam, from China down to the Gulf of Siam, after centuries of feudal warfare. He took the regnal name Gia Long, moved the capital from Hanoi to Hue, and reinstated Confucian education and civil service. In return for French support, he tolerated Catholic missionaries, which was increasingly restricted under his successors. Using French expertise, he modernized Vietnam's military, gained dominance in Indochina, and made Cambodia into a vassal state.Gia Long

VN84043. Zinc Cash (7 Phan), Barker 99.11, Toda 213, Krause KM173a, Schroeder 441, VF, thin patina and earthen deposits, weight 2.625 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, 1 Jun 1802 - 3 Feb 1820; obverse Gia Long Thong Bao; reverse That phan (right to left, seven phan); $24.00 (20.40)


Kingdom of Quangnam (Southern Vietnam), The Nguyen Lords, Nguyen Phuc Khoat (Vo Vuong), 1738 - 1765

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In 1744 Nguyen Phuc Khoat proclaimed the southern region a kingdom and took the regnal name Vo Vuong. Although he listened to music by western missionaries, Vo Vuong banned both missionaries and Christianity. He expanded his territory, taking parts of Cambodia. The Vietnamese-Cambodian border established by the end of his reign remains the border today. After declining availability of coins became a serious problem, in 1746 he purchased zinc from Dutch merchants to cast coins. He also allowed over 100 private mints. Unfortunately, some of these mints mixed cheaper black lead (lead) with the white lead (zinc). In 1776, Le Quy Don wrote in Phu Bien Tap Luc ('Miscellaneous records in the border area'), "There was one kind of coin called Thien Minh Thong Bao, which had black lead mixed in and became very fragile. People refused to accept it because of its ugliness; therefore the trade did not go smoothly, coins were not circulated well."Vo Vuong

VN83962. Zinc cash, Barker 85.1, Toda 285, VF, weight 2.101 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, 1746 - 1765; obverse Thien Minh Thong Bao; reverse plain; $20.00 (17.00)


Kingdom of Quangnam (Southern Vietnam), The Nguyen Lords, Nguyen Phuc Khoat (Vo Vuong), 1738 - 1765

Click for a larger photo
In 1744 Nguyen Phuc Khoat proclaimed the southern region a kingdom and took the regnal name Vo Vuong. Although he listened to music by western missionaries, Vo Vuong banned both missionaries and Christianity. He expanded his territory, taking parts of Cambodia. The Vietnamese-Cambodian border established by the end of his reign remains the border today. After declining availability of coins became a serious problem, in 1746 he purchased zinc from Dutch merchants to cast coins. He also allowed over 100 private mints. Unfortunately, some of these mints mixed cheaper black lead (lead) with the white lead (zinc). In 1776, Le Quy Don wrote in Phu Bien Tap Luc ('Miscellaneous records in the border area'), "There was one kind of coin called Thien Minh Thong Bao, which had black lead mixed in and became very fragile. People refused to accept it because of its ugliness; therefore the trade did not go smoothly, coins were not circulated well."Vo Vuong
VN83963. Zinc cash, Barker 85.2, Toda 285, VF, weight 2.032 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, 1746 - 1765; obverse Thien Minh Thong Bao; reverse plain, thin raised rim on edge; $20.00 (17.00)


Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Thanh To (Minh Mang), 14 February 1820 - 20 January 1841 A.D.

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Minh Mang was the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam, reigning from 14 February 1820 until his death, on 20 January 1841. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy. He banned missionaries from Vietnam and seven missionaries were sentenced to death. Although he disagreed with European culture and thinking, he studied it closely and was known for his scholarly nature. In 1820, Captain John White of the US Navy was the first American to make contact with Vietnam, arriving in Saigon. Minh Mang was interested in purchasing artillery, firearms, uniforms and books, but a deal was not made. In 1833 the south revolted. Saigon was put under siege in December 1834 and fell nine months later in September 1835.Minh Mang
VN86969. Bronze cash, large flan (9 phan), Barker 101.6, Toda 228, VF, weight 3.641 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, 1822 - c. 1830/1840; obverse Minh Mang Thong Bao, one dash Thong, wide characters; reverse plain; $14.00 (11.90)


Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Thanh To (Minh Mang), 14 February 1820 - 20 January 1841 A.D.

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Minh Mang was the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam, reigning from 14 February 1820 until his death, on 20 January 1841. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy. He banned missionaries from Vietnam and seven missionaries were sentenced to death.

During the reign of Minh Mang a substantial quantity of zinc coins were issued. They are of the same general style and calligraphy as the copper coins.
Minh Mang
VN86971. Zinc cash, Barker 101.22, Toda 228, VF, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.314 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, 1820 - 1822 A.D.; obverse Minh Mang Thong Bao, small Mang, one dot Thong; reverse plain; $12.00 (10.20)


Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Thanh To (Minh Mang), 14 February 1820 - 20 January 1841 A.D.

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Minh Mang was the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam, reigning from 14 February 1820 until his death, on 20 January 1841. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy. He banned missionaries from Vietnam and seven missionaries were sentenced to death.

During the reign of Minh Mang a substantial quantity of zinc coins were issued. They are of the same general style and calligraphy as the copper coins.
Minh Mang
VN84010. Zinc cash, Barker 101.27, Toda 228, VF, thick patina, weight 2.616 g, maximum diameter 2.35 mm, 1820 - 1841; obverse Minh Mang Thong Bao, large closed Minh; reverse plain; $12.00 (10.20)


Japan, Nagasaki Trade Coins, 1659 - 1685, For Trade with Vietnam

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From 1641, under the Sakoku isolationist policy, Nagasaki was the only Japanese port open to trade with Vietnam. Japan traded silver and copper for raw silk, sugar spices and sandalwood. Nagasaki Trade Coins were cast from 1659 to 1685. By law, they could not bear the officially issued Kanei Tsuho inscription. The inscription on this type copies Chinese Northern Song Dynasty cash coins, inscribed Yuan Feng Tong Bao, issued 960 - 1122. The clerical script style on these imitatives is quite different from the Song coins. A string of these trade coins was worth 1 liang of silver in Japan but 10.5 liang of silver in Vietnam! Copies of this type were also cast in Vietnam; their style is even further removed from their Song prototypes.
JA20709. Bronze cash, Hartill EJC 3.172 (copies Northern Song, Yuan Feng Ton Bao, Hartill 16.234), gVF, dark patina, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 2.656 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, Nagasaki mint, early issue, 1659 - 1667; obverse Gen Ho Tsu Ho (Vietnamese: Nguyen Phong Thong Bao), li (clerical) script, clockwise, two dot tsu, right horizontal on Gen almost touching vertical right foot; reverse plain; $12.00 (10.20)


Vietnam, Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Thanh To (Minh Mang), 14 February 1820 - 20 January 1841 A.D.

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Minh Mang was the second emperor of the Nguyen dynasty of Vietnam, reigning from 14 February 1820 until his death, on 20 January 1841. He was well known for his opposition to French involvement in Vietnam and his rigid Confucian orthodoxy. He banned missionaries from Vietnam and seven missionaries were sentenced to death.

During the reign of Minh Mang a substantial quantity of zinc coins were issued. They are of the same general style and calligraphy as the copper coins.
Minh Mang
VN84041. Zinc cash, Barker 101.22, Toda 228, VF, two coins stuck together, encrustation, weight 4.874 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, 1820 - 1822 A.D.; obverse Minh Mang Thong Bao, small Mang, one dot Thong; reverse plain; if you try to break these coins apart, you will likely break one or both; $10.00 (8.50)


Japan, Nagasaki Trade Coins, 1659 - 1685, For Trade with Vietnam

Click for a larger photo
From 1641, under the Sakoku isolationist policy, Nagasaki was the only Japanese port open to trade with Vietnam. Japan traded silver and copper for raw silk, sugar spices and sandalwood. Nagasaki Trade Coins were cast from 1659 to 1685. By law, they could not bear the officially issued Kanei Tsuho inscription. The inscription on this type copies Chinese Northern Song Dynasty cash coins, inscribed Yuan Feng Tong Bao, issued 960 - 1122. The clerical script style on these imitatives is quite different from the Song coins. A string of these trade coins was worth 1 liang of silver in Japan but 10.5 liang of silver in Vietnam! Copies of this type were also cast in Vietnam; their style is even further removed from their Song prototypes.
JA20690. Bronze cash, Hartill EJC 3.171 (copies Northern Song, Yuan Feng Ton Bao, Hartill 16.234), VF, attractive patina, scratches, weight 3.714 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, Nagasaki mint, early issue, 1659 - 1667; obverse Gen Ho Tsu Ho (Vietnamese: Nguyen Phong Thong Bao), li (clerical) script, clockwise, two dot Tsu, medium size characters, bao with left closed and right open (horizontal lines within the lower half rectangle touch the left side only); reverse plain; $10.00 (8.50)


Japan, Nagasaki Trade Coins, 1659 - 1685, For Trade with Vietnam

Click for a larger photo
From 1641, under the Sakoku isolationist policy, Nagasaki was the only Japanese port open to trade with Vietnam. Japan traded silver and copper for raw silk, sugar spices and sandalwood. Nagasaki Trade Coins were cast from 1659 to 1685. By law, they could not bear the officially issued Kanei Tsuho inscription. The inscription on this type copies Chinese Northern Song Dynasty cash coins, inscribed Yuan Feng Tong Bao, issued 960 - 1122. The clerical script style on these imitatives is quite different from the Song coins. A string of these trade coins was worth 1 liang of silver in Japan but 10.5 liang of silver in Vietnam! Copies of this type were also cast in Vietnam; their style is even further removed from their Song prototypes.
JA20692. Bronze cash, Hartill EJC 3.176 (copies Northern Song, Yuan Feng Ton Bao, Hartill 16.234), VF, highlighting earthen deposits, weight 3.826 g, maximum diameter 24.9 mm, Nagasaki mint, 1668 - 1685; obverse Gen Ho Tsu Ho (Vietnamese: Nguyen Phong Thong Bao), li (clerical) script, clockwise, one dot Tsu, large characters; reverse plain; $10.00 (8.50)




  



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REFERENCES

Barker, A. The Historical Cash Coins of Viet Nam. (Singapore, 2004).
Krause, C.L. & C. Mishler. Standard Catalog of World Coins. (Iola, WI, 2010 - ).
Krisadaolarn, R. & V. Milhailovs. Siamese Coins: From Funan to the Fifth Reign. (Bangkok, 2012).
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).
Mitchiner, M. "Some Early Annamese Cash" in NC XI. (London. 1971).
Novak, J. A Working Aid for Collectors of Annamese Coins. (Merced, CA, 1989).
Schroeder, A. Albert Schroeder's Gold and Silver Coins of Annam. (London, 1968).
Toda, E. Annam and its Minor Currency. (1882).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
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