Most of the collectors have seen this coins in their life and their is even a big chance you have one or maybe more of them in your collection. If you don’t know the name of these coins you probably describe them as ‘’ those Chinese coins with a hole in them’’. I talk about Chinese cash coins.
These coins were in use in the biggest parts of China and in later periods in some parts of East Asia. They were first cast in the 4th century B.C. in the so called Warring states period.
This was the period with a lot of warfare all around China with one specific goal, namely to create one Chinese empire. This warfare period led in the end to the Qin state’s victory in 221 BC this, again, led to the first unified Chines Empire, the Qin dynasty. The coins were used for an, unique, long period, from the 4th century until the 20th century.
Weight: 70.46 g – Diameter: 57.50 mm
For most of the time these coins were, originally, cast only during the latest period some types are struck. This as a result of the industrialisation. In general these coins were made from an alloy with copper or bronze combined with iron, zinc or lead. There are also cash coins made from gold or silver.
To be honest I’m not sure if the silver and gold coins were in use for the same goal as the ‘’normal’’ cash coins. It is possible that these coins were made for pure religious and/or aesthetic purposes.
These coins had several purposes during the long period there were struck. Of course they were used ,originally, as a form of currency.
Weight: 81.00 g – Diameter 58,8 mm
obv: Xiang Feng yuan Bao
rev: Manchurian inscription ‘Bao Quan’
This is a heavy early red copper issue, casted only from march to august 1854 only!
Coins strung together
They didn’t had a high value and therefor they had a square hole so you could strung them together. When you strung them together in strings of 1000 cash coins you had a value of 1 tael of silver. It is known that these coins were worn around the neck on a string. It must have been really heavy to wear!
Cash coins were also used for religious purposes and as luck coins. It is known that these coins were hung around the sick, children and pregnant women. The cash coins are used within traditional Chinese medicine and Feng shui.
Have a look and see more Cash Coins on MA-Shops. Click on this link.
Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.
Weight 12,45 g – Diameter 33,88 mm
The Northern Song Dynasty. 960-1127 AD. Rare.
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