List of Chinese cash coins by inscription

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Chinese cash coins from every major dynasty in Chinese history and the Republic of China.

Chinese cash coins were first produced during the Warring States period, and they became standardised as the Ban Liang (半兩) coinage during the Qin dynasty. Over the years, cash coins have had many different inscriptions and the Wu Zhu (五銖) inscription, which first appeared under the Han dynasty, became the most commonly used inscription and was often used by succeeding dynasties for 700 years until the introduction of the Kaiyuan Tongbao (開元通寳) during the Tang dynasty. This was also the first time regular script was used as all earlier cash coins exclusively used seal script. During the Song dynasty a large different number of inscriptions was used and many different styles of Chinese calligraphy were used often on coins with the same inscriptions produced during the same period, these cash coins are known as matched coins (對錢), this was originally pioneered by the Southern Tang.

After the Mongols conquered China the Yuan dynasty largely deprecated copper coinage in favour of paper money, this trend continued under the Ming dynasty after the Chinese became independent again, during the Ming dynasty cash coins only contained the reign titles of the emperor, due to a naming taboo the term "Yuanbao" (元寶) was phased out from cash coin inscriptions as the founder of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang had the word "Yuan" (元) in his name.

Under the Manchu Qing dynasty the trend of exclusively using the reign title of the Emperor continued and all cash coins issued during this period were written in regular script.

Below is a list of inscriptions that were used on Chinese cash coins organized by period and/or dynasty.[1][2][3]

Contents

Warring states period[edit]

During the Warring states period of the Zhou dynasty the first precursors of the Chinese cash coins started to appear, these early round coins (圜錢, huánqián) circulated alongside the knife and spade money. As most of these early round coins had round holes the first "true" cash coins were the Yi Hua (一化) produced by the State of Yan.[4][5] Apart from two small and presumably late coins from the State of Qin, coins from the spade money area have a round hole and refer to the jin and liang units. Those from the knife money area have a square hole and are denominated in hua.[6]

Round hole, no rims, reverses plain and flat[edit]

List of early round coins produced between 350 BC and 220 BC:[7][8][9][10][11]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Meaning Alternative reading(s) Image
Gong gòng A city in the state of Liang None Circular Coin with Character "Gong".jpg
Gong Tun Chi Jin 共屯赤金 gòng tún chì jīn "Gong Pure Red Metal" 共純赤金
(Gong Chun Chi Jin)
Gong Tun Chi Jin.jpg
Gong Ban Jin 共半釿 gòng bàn jīn "Gong, half jin" None
Yuan[a] yuán A city in the state of Liang None Circular Coin with Character "Yuan".jpg
Gu "Old" None
An Zang 安臧 ān zāng A city in the state of Zhou None
Qi Yuan Yi Jin 桼垣一釿 qī yuán yì jīn "Qiyuan, one Jin",
State of Liang
長垣一釿
(Chang Yuan Yi Jin)
桼圜一釿
(Qi Yuan Yi Jin)
桼垣一釿 "Qi Yuan Yi Jin" Round Coin.jpg
Qi Yuan Yi Jin 桼睘一釿 qī yuán yì jīn
Xiang Yin[b] 襄陰 xiāng yīn A city in the state of Liang 濟陰
(Ji Yin)
畢陰
(Bi Yin)
Li Shi 離石 lí shí A city in the state of Zhao None
Feng Ping 封坪 fēng píng Unknown 陰坪
(Yin Ping)
武坪
(Wu Ping)
Hou Jin 侯釿 hóu jīn "Hou, (one) Jin" 𥎦釿
(Hou Jin)
Lin lìn A city in the state of Zhao 藺 / 閵
(Lin)
Circular Coin with Character "Lin".jpg
Wu'an 武安 wǔ ān "Martial peace" None
Pishi 皮氏 pí shì None
Pingbei 平備 píng bèi "Perfect peace" None
Xi Zhou 西周 xī zhōu State of Western Zhou None Xi Zhou Coin.jpg
Dong Zhou 東周 dōng zhōu State of Eastern Zhou None Dong Zhou Coin.jpg
Ban Yuan 半睘 bàn qióng "Half Coin"[c] None

State of Yan[edit]

List of early round coins produced by the State of Yan between 300 BC and 220 BC:[12]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Alternative reading(s) Image
Yi Hua[d] 一化 yī huà 一刀
(Yi Dao)
S464 Yan YiHua (6986331180).jpg
Ming Hua 明化 míng huà 明刀
(Ming Dao)
匽化
(Yan Hua)
Ming Hua (明化) - Scott Semans.jpg
Ming Si 明四 míng sì 匽四
(Yan Si)

State of Qi[edit]

List of early round coins produced by the State of Qi between 300 BC and 220 BC:

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Alternative reading(s) Image
Yi Hua 益化 yì huà 賹化
(Ai Hua)
Yi Si Hua 益四化 yì sì huà 賹四化
(Ai Si Hua)
Yi Si Hua (益四化) - Scott Semans.jpg
Yi Liu Hua[e] 益六化 yì liù huà 賹六化
(Ai Liu Hua)
Yi Liu Hua (益六化) - Scott Semans.jpg

State of Qin[edit]

List of early round coins produced by the State of Qin between 250 BC and 220 BC:

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Meaning Image
Zhu Zhong Yi Liang Shi Er 珠重一兩十二 zhū zhòng yī liǎng shí èr "Weight of 1 Liang and 12 times 1 Zhu" Zhong Yi Liang Shi Er Yi Zhu (重一兩十二一珠) - Scott Semans.jpg
Zhu Zhong Yi Liang Shi Si 珠重一兩十四 zhū zhòng yī liǎng shí sì "Weight of 1 Liang and 14 times 1 Zhu" Zhong Yi Liang Shi Si Yi Zhu (重一兩十四一珠) - Scott Semans.jpg
Chang'an 長安 cháng'ān Said to have been cast by Zhao Chengjiao,
Lord of Chang'an.
Changan Coin.jpg
Wenxin 文信 wén xìn Said to have been cast by Lü Buwei,
the Marquis of Wenxin.
Wenxin Coin.jpg
Liang Zi 兩甾[f] liǎng zī "Two Zi"
(12 Zhu)
Liang Zi (兩甾) - Scott Semans.jpg
Ban Liang 半兩 bàn liǎng "Half tael" S561 banliang Qin 1 (8213170667).jpg

Qin dynasty[edit]

During the Qin dynasty production of the Ban Liang cash coins continued and its weight was standardised.[13]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Literal translation Years of production Emperors Image
Ban Liang 半兩 bàn liǎng "Half tael" 221 BC–206 BC Qin Shi Huang
Qin Er Shi
S443 banliang (6996317362).jpg

Western Han dynasty[edit]

Under the Western Han dynasty the Ban Liang cash coins of the earlier Qin dynasty were retained until a series of monetary reforms replaced them first with the San Zhu and then the Wu Zhu, the latter would be continued to be manufactured for around 700 years.

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Literal translation Years of production Image
Ban Liang 半兩 bàn liǎng "Half tael" 206 BC–119 BC S-88 or 82, W Han banliang, Empress Gao, 187-180, 34mm.jpg
San Zhu 三銖 sān zhū "Three Zhu" 119 BC–118 BC[g] San Zhu - Scott Semans 02.jpg
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 118 BC–9 AD Shang Lin San Guan Wu Zhu.jpg

Xin dynasty[edit]

After Wang Mang usurped the throne he instituted various monetary reforms, in AD 9 he retained the Wu Zhu cash coins but introduced two new types of Knife money, between AD 9 and 10 he introduced an impossibly complex system involving tortoise shell, cowries, gold, silver, six round copper coins, and a reintroduction of the spade money in ten denominations. In AD 14, all these tokens were abolished, and replaced by another type of spade coin and new round coins.[14][15][16][17]

List of cash coins issued by the Xin dynasty:

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Literal translation Years of production Emperor Image
The Six Round Coins (series 9–14)
Xiao Quan Zhi Yi 小泉直一 xiǎoquán zhí yī "Small Coin, Value One" 9–14 Wang Mang Xiao Quan Zhi Yi - Scott Semans (Cropped).png
Yao Quan Yi Shi 么泉一十 yǎo quán yīshí "Baby Coin, Ten" 9–14 Wang Mang
You Quan Er Shi 幼泉二十 yòu quán èrshí "Juvenile Coin, Twenty" 9–14 Wang Mang
Zhong Quan San Shi 中泉三十 zhōng quán sānshí "Middle Coin, Thirty" 9–14 Wang Mang Zhong Quan San Shi (中泉三十) - Scott Semans.jpg
Zhuang Quan Si Shi 壯泉四十 zhuàng quán sìshí "Adult Coin, Forty" 9–14 Wang Mang
Da Quan Wu Shi 大泉五十 dàquán wǔshí "Large coin with a nominal value of fifty (Wu Zhu cash coins)" 9–14 Wang Mang Da Quan Wu Shi, flat top Da.jpg
Later issues
Huo Quan 貨泉 huòquán "Wealth/Money Coin" 14–23 Wang Mang S-150 Xin Wang Mang, 9-23, 20mm.jpg
Bu Quan 布泉 bù quán "Spade Coin" 14–23 Wang Mang Bu Quan - Scott Semans.jpg

Chengjia[edit]

The rebel Gongsun Shu cast iron cash coins based on the Wu Zhu's of the Western Han dynasty in his rebel state of Chengjia in present-day Sichuan:[18]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Emperor Approximate years of mintage Image
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū Gongsun Shu 25–36 Wu Zhu (五銖) - Gongsun Shu, Sichuan Rebel, Iron coin - Scott Semans 01.jpg

Eastern Han dynasty[edit]

The Eastern Han dynasty only cast Wu Zhu (五銖) cash coins.[19]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Image
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū Wu Zhu (East Han Dynasty) - Scott Semans 04.jpg

Kingdom of Khotan[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Kingdom of Khotan:[20][21][22]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Approximate years of production King Illustration
(from A. Stein)
Image
Yu Fang 于方 yú fāng 129–130 Fang Qian Ancient-Khotan-XXXIX-5 (Sir Mar Aurel Stein).jpg

The Three Kingdoms[edit]

List of Chinese cash coins issued during Three Kingdoms period:[23]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Literal translation Approximate years of production King Image
Cao Wei (222–265)
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 227–265 All
(except for Cao Pi)
Shu Han (221–265)
Zhi Bai Wu Zhu 直百五銖 zhí bǎi wǔ zhū "Value One Hundred Wu Zhu" 214 Liu Bei Zhi Bai Wu Zhu (Rosette) - Scott Semans.jpg
Zhi Bai 直百 zhí bǎi "Value One Hundred" 214 Liu Bei Zhi Bai (Kingdom of Shu) - Scott Semans.jpg
Tai Ping Bai Qian 太平百錢 tàipíng bǎi qián "Taiping One Hundred Cash" Unknown Liu Bei Tai Ping Bai Qian (Rosette) - Scott Semans.jpg
Tai Ping Bai Jin[h] 太平百金 tàipíng bǎi jīn "Taiping One Hundred Cash" Unknown Liu Bei
Zhi Yi 直一 zhí yī "Value One" Unknown Liu Bei
Ding Ping Yi Bai 定平一百 dìngpíng yībǎi "Ding Ping One Hundred" Unknown Liu Bei S542 (7901036552).jpg
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" Unknown Liu Bei Wu Zhu (East Han Dynasty) - Scott Semans 01.jpg
Eastern Wu (222–280)
Da Quan Wu Bai 大泉五百 dàquán wǔbǎi "Large Coin Five Hundred" 236 Sun Quan S534 (7881112924).jpg
Da Quan Dang Qian 大泉當千 dàquán dāng qiān "Large Coin Worth a Thousand" 238 Sun Quan Daquan dangqian bronze coins, Three Kingdoms period, from the construction site of Guangbai Xinyi, Xihu Lu, Guangzhou - Hong Kong Museum of History - DSC00851.JPG
Da Quan Er Qian 大泉二千 dàquán èrqiān "Large Coin, Two Thousand" Unknown Sun Quan
Da Quan Wu Qian 大泉五千 dàquán wǔqiān "Large Coin, Five Thousand" Unknown Sun Quan

Kingdom of Kucha[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Kingdom of Kucha:[24][25][2][26]

Inscription
(Obverse)
Inscription
(Reverse)
Approximate years of production Differentiating features Image
Blank Blank 265–589 These have a rim around the square centre hole on one side while the other side is rimless, they tend to thin on the outside while they're thick on the inside.
Blank Blank 265–589 Similar to the first type but these cash coins have no inner rim.
Blank Blank 265–589 These cash coins are completely without rim but are square in shape and have a square centre hole, they tend to be very thin.
Blank Blank 265–589 These cash coins are irregularly shaped, diminutive in size, thin, and are cast of poor workmanship. Some are merely five millimeters in diameter and weigh as little as 0.2 grams.
五銖
(Wu Zhu)
An undeciphered Kuśiññe language inscription. Unknown These are the only known cash coins produced by Kucha with an inscription. A114 Koutcha TIV 1ar (8627360241).jpg

Jin Dynasty and the 16 Kingdoms[edit]

List of Chinese cash coins produced during the Jin dynasty and Sixteen Kingdoms period:[27][2]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu pinyin Literal translation Approximate years of production Monarch Image
Jin dynasty (265–420)
Wu Zhu[28] 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" Unknown Unknown S469 Jin (7165769962).jpg
Former Liang Kingdom (301–376)
Liang Zao Xin Quan 涼造新泉 liáng zào xīnquán "Liang Made New Coin" 317–376 King Zhang Gui
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" Unknown King Zhang Gui[i]
Later Zhao Kingdom (319–352)
Feng Huo 豐貨 fēng huò "The Coin of Abundance" 319 Shi Le Feng Huo (豐貨) - Later Zhao Kingdom - Scott Semans 06.jpg
Cheng Han Kingdom (303–347)
Han Xing 漢興 hàn xìng "the period title of [Han Xing]"[j] 337–343 Li Shou S532 (7881115854).jpg
Xia Kingdom (407–431)
Tai Xia Zhen Xing 太夏眞興 tài xià zhēnxìng "Great Xia, Zhenxing [period]" 419–424 Helian Bobo

The North and South dynasties[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Northern and Southern dynasties:[29][30]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Literal translation Years of production Emperor
(South / North)
Image
Southern dynasties
Song dynasty (420–479)
Si Zhu 四銖 sì zhū "Four Zhu" 430 Emperor Wen Liu Song 4 Zhu.png
Xiao Jian (obverse)
Si Zhu
(reverse)
孝建 (obverse)
四銖 (reverse)
xiào jiàn (obverse)
sì zhū (reverse)
"Xiaojian period" (obverse)
"Four Zhu" (reverse)
454–467 Emperor Xiaowu Xiao Jian - Si Zhu (孝建 - 四銖) - Southern Song Dynasty (420 - 479) - Scott Semans.jpg
Xiao Jian 孝建 xiào jiàn "Xiaojian period" 454–467 Emperor Xiaowu Xiao Jian (孝建) - Southern Song Dynasty (420 - 479) - Scott Semans 01.jpg
Jing He 景和 jǐng hé "[Jing He period title]" 465 Emperor Fei Southern Dynasties - Liu Song Dynasty, Emperor Qian Feidi- Jing He.jpg
Yong Guang 永光 yǒng guāng "[Yong Guang period title]" 465 Emperor Fei
Liang Zhu 兩銖 liǎng zhū "Two Zhu",
"A pair of Zhu's"
465 Emperor Fei
Liang dynasty (502–556)
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 502–556 All S470 Liang (7165781598).jpg
Taiqing Fengle 太清豐樂 tài qīng fēng lè "Tai Qing, Prosperous and Happy" 547–549 Emperor Wu Tai Qing Feng Le (太清豐樂) - Liang Dynasty - Scott Semans.jpg
Chen dynasty (557–589)
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 560–566 Emperor Wen S529 Chen Wendi (7180620619).jpg
Taihuo Liuzhu 太貨六銖 tài huò liù zhū "The Large Coin Six Zhu" 579 Emperor Xuan Southern Chen - Tai Huo Liu Zhu.png
Liu Zhu[2][k] 六銖 liù zhū "Six Zhu" 579 Emperor Xuan
Northern dynasties
Northern Wei dynasty (386–534)
Taihe Wuzhu 太和五銖 tài hé wǔ zhū "Taihe [period] Wu Zhu" 495 Emperor Xiaowen Northern Wei - Tai He Wu Zhu.png
Wu Zhu[2] 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 510 Emperor Xuanwu
Yongan Wuzhu 永安五銖 yǒng'ān wǔ zhū "Yong An [period] Wu Zhu" 529–543 Emperor Xiaozhuang S277 Wei Nord Yonganwuzhu (7157283864).jpg
Western Wei dynasty (535–557)
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū "Five Zhu" 546 Emperor Wen S444 WeiOuest 546 (7165775416).jpg
Northern Qi dynasty (550–77)
Chang Ping Wu Zhu 常平五銖 chángpíng wǔ zhū "The Constant and Regular Wu Zhu" 553 Emperor Wenxuan S95 Qi-Nord (7157280020).jpg
Northern Zhou dynasty (557–581)
Bu Quan 布泉 bù quán "Spade Coin" 561 Emperor Wu S526 ZhouNord Wudi buquan (7274255398).jpg
Wuxing Dabu 五行大布 wǔháng dà bù "The Large Coin of the Five Elements [metal, wood, water, fire, and earth]" 574 Emperor Wu S527 ZhouNord Wudi Wuwingdabu (7274251850).jpg
Yongtong Wanguo 永通萬國 yǒng tōng wànguó "Everlasting Circulation in Ten Thousand Kingdoms" 579 Emperor Xuan Northern Zhou - Yong Tong Wan Guo.png

Sui dynasty[edit]

The Sui dynasty only cast Wu Zhu (五銖) cash coins.[31][32]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Image
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū S483 Sui (7165772954).jpg

Tang dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins issued by the Tang dynasty:[33]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo 621–846 Various S406 Kaiyuan TIIIA3 croissant (7243228908).jpg
Qianfeng Quanbao 乾封泉寶 qián fēng quán bǎo 666 Gaozong Tang Dynasty - Qian Feng Quan Bao.png
Qianyuan Zhongbao 乾元重寶 qián yuán zhòng bǎo 758–762 Suzong 50cash SuZong Tang H14105 S570 1ar85 (8667716203).jpg

Local issues[edit]

List of local issue cash coins of the Tang dynasty:[34]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Approximate years of production Place of mintage Emperor Image
Dali Yuanbao 大曆元寶 dà lì yuánbǎo 766–779 Kucha area,
Protectorate General to Pacify the West
Daizong S531 Tang DaLi Anxi (7180622611).jpg
Da 766–779 Kucha area,
Protectorate General to Pacify the West
Daizong
Yuan yuán 766–779 Kucha area,
Protectorate General to Pacify the West
Daizong
Jianzhong Tongbao 建中通寶 jiàn zhōng tōng bǎo 780–783 Kucha area,
Protectorate General to Pacify the West
Dezong Tang Dynasty - Jian Zhong Tong Bao.png
Zhong zhōng 780–783 Kucha area,
Protectorate General to Pacify the West
Dezong
Xiantong Xuanbao 咸通玄寶 xián tōng xuán bǎo 860–874 Guiyang Inspectorate Yizong
Gaochang Jili 高昌吉利 Gāochāng jí lì 860–874 Gaochang Yizong

Yan dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins issued by the Great Yan dynasty during the An Lushan Rebellion:[35]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Deyi Yuanbao 得壹元寶 de yī yuánbǎo 758 Shi Siming De Yi Yuan Bao (得壹元寶) - Great Yan Dynasty - Scott Semans.jpg
Shuntian Yuanbao 順天元寶 shùn tiān yuánbǎo 759–761 Shi Siming Shun Tian Yuan Bao (順天元寶) - Great Yan Dynasty - Scott Semans.jpg

Uyghur Khaganate[edit]

The Uyghur Khaganate manufactured a cash coin with an Old Uyghur inscription under the reign of Boquq Khagan.[36][37][38] A later cash coin is known to have been cast by the Uyghurs but it is not known when it was manufactured.[39][40]

Inscription
(obverse)
Inscription
(reverse)
Approximate years of production Khagan Image
Köl bilgä Tängri Boquq Uiğur qağan Il tutmiš yarliğinga 795–808 Boquq Khagan
Iduq yarliq yurisun Unknown Unknown Uyghur Khaganate - Xizhou Huihu.png

The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms[edit]

Later Liang dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Later Liang dynasty (907–923):[41]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Kaiping Tongbao 開平通寶 kāipíng tōng bǎo 907 Zhu Wen

Later Tang dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Later Tang dynasty (923–936):[41]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Tiancheng Yuanbao 天成元寶 tiānchéng yuánbǎo 926–929 Ming 天成元寶 (Tian Cheng Yuan Bao) - Dr. Luke Roberts 01.png

Later Jin dynasty (936–947)[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Later Jin dynasty (936–947):[41]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Tianfu Yuanbao 天福元寶 tiānfú yuánbǎo 938 Gao Zong Tianfu Yuanbao. Coin of the Tianfu era.jpg

Later Han dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Later Han dynasty (948–951):[41]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Hanyuan Tongbao 漢元通寶 hàn yuán tōng bǎo 948 Gao Zu Han Yuan Tong Bao.png

Later Zhou dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Later Zhou dynasty (951–960):[42]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production Emperor Image
Zhouyuan Tongbao 周元通寶 zhōuyuán tōng bǎo 955–960 Shi Zong Zhou Yuan Tong Bao - Scott Semans 01.jpg

Former Shu[edit]

List of cash coins attributed to the Former Shu Kingdom (907–925):[43]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Years of production King Image
Yongping Yuanbao 永平元寶 yǒng píng yuánbǎo 911–915 Wang Jian
Tongzheng Yuanbao 通正元寶 tōng zhèng yuánbǎo 916 Wang Jian Tong Zheng Yuan Bao.jpg
Tianhan Yuanbao 天漢元寶 tiānhàn yuánbǎo 917 Wang Jian
Guangtian Yuanbao 光天元寶 guāng tiān yuánbǎo 918 Wang Jian Guang Tian Yuan Bao.jpg
Qiande Yuanbao 乾德元寶 qián dé yuánbǎo 919–924 Wang Zongyan S563 Shuanterieur WangYan 1 (8213184679).jpg
Xiankang Yuanbao 咸康元寶 xián kāng yuánbǎo 925 Wang Zongyan Xian Kang Yuan Bao - Scott Semans.jpg

Kingdom of Min[edit]

List of cash coins attributed to the Kingdom of Min (909–945):[44]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features and notes Years of production Monarch Image
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo A small lead Kai Yuan coin was minted in Ninghua County of Dingzhou Prefecture in Fujian Province, where deposits of lead had been discovered. The lead coins circulated together with copper coins. 916 Wang Shenzhi
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo These cash coins have a large dot above on the reverse side. They are made of iron and the same coin cast in bronze is extremely rare. 922 Wang Shenzhi
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo These cash coins have the character Min (Chinese: 閩; pinyin: mǐn) on the reverse.
They are from the Fujian region and made of lead.
Wang Shenzhi
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo These cash coins have the character Fu (Chinese: 福; pinyin: ) on the reverse in reference to Fuzhou.
They are made of lead.
Wang Shenzhi Kai Yuan Tong Bao (開元通寶) - Kingdom of Min under Wang Shenzhi, Fuzhou Mint - Scott Semans.jpg
Yonglong Tongbao 永隆通寶 yǒnglóng tōng bǎo These iron cash coins have the character Min (Chinese: 閩; pinyin: mǐn) on the reverse and comes from the Fujian region.
There is a crescent below.
One of these large Yonglong Tongbao coins was worth 10 small coins and 100 lead coins. A string of 500 of these poorly made Min iron coins were popularly called a kao ("a manacle").
942 Wang Yanxi Yong Long Tong Bao (永隆通寶) - Kingdom of Min - Scott Semans.jpg
Tiande Tongbao 天德通寶 tiān dé tōng bǎo These cash coins are made of iron. 944 Wang Yanzheng

Kingdom of Chu[edit]

List of cash coins attributed to the Kingdom of Chu (907–951):[45]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features and notes Years of production Monarch Image
Tiance Fubao 天策府寶 tiān cè fǔ bǎo These cash coins are made of iron. 911 Supreme Commander Ma Yin 天策府宝.jpg
Qianfeng Quanbao 乾封泉寶 qiān fēng quán bǎo These cash coins are made of iron.
According to the histories, because there was much lead and iron in Hunan, Ma Yin took the advice of his minister Gao Yu to cast lead and iron coins at Changsha in 925.
Extremely rare bronze specimens are also known.
925 King Wumu of Chu S588 Chu MaYin H1562 1ar854000 (9111151934).jpg
Qianyuan Zhongbao 乾元重寶 qiān yuán zhòng bǎo These cash coins bear an inscription that is also found on Tang coins.
This small lead coin is thought to have been issued by the Chu kingdom. Similar bronze coins are sometimes attributed to Ma Yin, but could be funerary items.
Unknown Ma Yin

Later Shu[edit]

Cash coins produced by the Later Shu (926–965) include:[46]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features Years of production Monarch Image
Dashu Tongbao 大蜀通寶 dà shǔ tōng bǎo These cash coins are attributed to Meng Zhixiang when he became Emperor Gao Zu of Shu in Chengdu in 934. He died three months later. Despite its rarity, some say this coin continued to be cast by his son, Meng Chang, until 937. 934(–937) Gao Zu
Guangzheng Tongbao 廣政通寶 guǎng zhèng tōng bǎo These cash coins are either made of bronze or iron.
The bronze coins were cast by Meng Chang from the beginning of this period, 938.
In 956, iron coins began to be cast to cover additional military expenses.
938–963 Meng Chang

Southern Tang Kingdom[edit]

Cash coins manufactured by the Southern Tang Kingdom (937–975) include:[47][48]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features Years of production Monarch Image
Daqi Tongbao 大齊通寶 dà qí tōng bǎo These cash coins were said to have been cast by the Prince of Qi or by the founder of the Southern Tang with the original name of the Tang kingdom.
Only two specimens were known, and these have now disappeared.
937 Xu Zhigao
Baoda Yuanbao 保大元寶 bǎo dà yuán bǎo This cash coin has on its reverse the character Tian (天) above.
They are made of iron and date between.
There is also an extremely rare bronze example of this coin.
943–957 Yuan Zong
Yongtong Quanhuo 永通泉貨 yǒng tōng quán huò 959–964 Yuan Zong
Tangguo Tongbao 唐國通寶 tang guó tōng bǎo The inscriptions of these cash coins could be written in seal, li, and regular script.[49] 959 Yuan Zong S619 YuanZu H1593 1ar85 (10312127253).jpg
Datang Tongbao 大唐通寶 dà táng tōng bǎo These coins are all written in li script. 959 Yuan Zong
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo These versions of the Kaiyuan Tongbao are written in li script and have broader rims. 961 Li Yu 1cash Kaiyuan LiYU H1599 1ar85 (8721918475).jpg

Southern Han Kingdom[edit]

The cash coins produced by the Southern Han dynasty were:[50]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features Years of production Monarch Image
Kaiping Yuanbao 開平元寶 kāi píng yuán bǎo These cash coins were made from lead. 907–910 Liu Yin
Qianheng Tongbao 乾亨通寶 gān hēng tōng bǎo 917–942 Lie Zu
Qianheng Zhongbao 乾亨重寶 gān hēng zhòng bǎo These cash coins were made from bronze and lead. 917–942 Lie Zu S523 HanSud LiuYan (7210437712).jpg

Crude lead coins[edit]

Crude lead cash coins attributed to the Southern Han/Chu area (900–971):

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features Image
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 kāiyuán tōng bǎo These cash coins are based on Tang Dynasty coins. They have a local style with numerous reverse inscriptions which are apparently series numbers. Crude lead Kai Yuan Tong Bao (開元通寶) - Southern Han Kingdom - Scott Semans.jpg

There is a very great variety of such coins; some have crescents on the reverse. The Kai character sometimes looks like yong (Chinese: 永; pinyin: yǒng). Characters and legends often reversed because the incompetent workmen had not mastered the art of engraving in negative to make the moulds. Some specimens have meaningless characters.

Cash coins with hybrid inscriptions from this same area:

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Image
Wu Wu 五五 wǔ wǔ
Wu Wu Wu 五五五 wǔ wǔ wǔ
Wu Wu Wu Wu 五五五五 wǔ wǔ wǔ wǔ
Wu Zhu 五朱 wǔ zhū
Kai Yuan Wu Wu 開元五五 kāiyuán wǔ wǔ

These cash coins are typical of the hybrid inscriptions formed by combinations of inappropriate characters. They also have series numbers on the reverse. Note that the radical "" is missing from this Wu Zhu (五朱) coin. One variant of the Wu Wu (五五) coin has the Xin dynasty inscription Huo Quan (貨泉) on its reverse.[51]

You Zhou Autonomous Region[edit]

The following cash coins were produced in the You Zhou Autonomous region (which enjoyed virtual independence from the rest of the empire) between 900 and 914:[52]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Differentiating features Image
Yong An Yi Shi 永安一十 yǒng'ān yīshí
Yong An Yi Bai 永安一百 yǒng'ān yībǎi Yong An Yi Bai (You Zhou Autonomous Region) - Scott Semans.jpg
Yong An Wu Bai 永安五百 yǒng'ān wǔbǎi
Yong An Yi Qian 永安一千 yǒng'ān yīqiān These cash coins are found in either bronze or iron.
Wu Zhu 五銖 wǔ zhū These Wu Zhu cash coins are made from iron.
Huo Bu (obverse)
San Bai (reverse)
貨布 (Obverse)
三百 (reverse)
huò bù (obverse)
sānbǎi (reverse)
Shuntian Yuanbao 順天元寶 shùn tiān yuánbǎo Are made from iron. These poorly made coins are imitations of coins of previous regimes and are attributed to the You Zhou.

Liao dynasty[edit]

Liao dynasty coins (like some contemporary Song dynasty coins) can be read top-right-bottom-left (clockwise), but unlike the Song's coinage never appeared top-bottom-right-left. Liao dynasty era cash coins have appeared in both Chinese and Khitan scripts, but the latter can more accurately be described as a type of Chinese numismatic charms as they weren't meant for circulation.[53][54][55][56][57]

List of cash coins produced by the Khitans under the Liao dynasty:[58][59]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of minting Emperor Image
Tian Xian Tong Bao 天顯通寶 天显通宝 927–937 Taizong
Tian Chao Wan Shun 天朝萬順 天朝万顺 ?
Qian Qiu Wan Sui 千秋萬歲 千秋万岁 938 Taizong
Hui Tong Tong Bao 會同通寶 会同通宝 938–947 Taizong
Tian Lu Tong Bao 天祿通寶 天禄通宝 947–951 Shizong
Ying Li Tong Bao 應曆通寶 应历通宝 951–969 Muzong
Bao Ning Tong Bao 保寧通寶 保宁通宝 969–982 Jingzong
Tong He Yuan Bao 統和元寶 統和元宝 983–1011 Shengzong
Chong Xi Tong Bao 重熙通寶 重熙通宝 1032–1055 Xingzong Zhong Xi Tong Bao (重熙通寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Qing Ning Tong Bao 清寧通寶 清宁通宝 1055–1064 Daozong Qingning Tongbao.jpg
Xian Yong Tong Bao 咸雍通寶 咸雍通宝 1065–1074 Daozong Xian Yong Tong Bao - Scott Semans.jpg
Da Kang Tong Bao 大康通寶 大康通宝 1074–1084 Daozong S508 Liao (8000209791).jpg
Da Kang Yuan Bao 大康元寶 大康元宝 1074–1084 Daozong Da Kang Yuan Bao (大康元寶) - BabelStone.jpg
Da An Yuan Bao 大安元寶 大安元宝 1085–1094 Daozong S507 Liao DaoZong DaAn 1085 1094 (6966386872).jpg
Shou Chang Yuan Bao 壽昌元寶 寿昌元宝 1095–1101 Daozong S539 (7901029368).jpg
Qian Tong Yuan Bao 乾統元寶 乾统元宝 1101–1110 Tianzuo S583 TianZuo QianTong H1821 1ar85 (8805324799).jpg
Tian Qing Yuan Bao 天慶元寶 天庆元宝 1111–1120 Tianzuo Tian Qing Yuan Bao (天慶元寶) - BabelStone.jpg

Northern Song dynasty[edit]

The cash coins of the Song dynasty are notable in the aspect that many cash coins of the same era that use the same inscription and have the same nominale value has multiple Chinese calligraphic fonts. Many Emperors of the Song dynasty personally wrote the calligraphy to be inscribed on the cash coin. There are generally three scripts used on Song dynasty era cash coins which include Regular script, Seal script, and Running hand script/Grass script. The reading order of Song dynasty era cash coins exist in top-bottom-right-left and top-right-bottom-left orders.[60]

List of cash coins produced by the Northern Song dynasty:[61][1][3]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Scripts Period minted Emperor Image
Song Yuan Tong Bao 宋元通寶 宋元通宝 Regular script 960–976 Taizu S170 Taizu SongNord (7930295452).jpg
Tai Ping Tong Bao 太平通寶 太平通宝 Regular script 976–989 Taizong S171 SongNord TaiZong TaiPing 976 994 (7112437651).jpg
Chun Hua Yuan Bao 淳化元寶 淳化元宝 Regular script, Seal script, Running script 990–994 Taizong
Zhi Dao Yuan Bao 至道元寶 至道元宝 Regular script, Grass script,[62] Running script 995–997 Taizong S97 SongNord ZhenZong (7992567567).jpg
Xian Ping Yuan Bao 咸平元寶 咸平元宝 Regular script 998–1003 Zhenzong S97 SongNord ZhenZong (7992567567).jpg
Jing De Yuan Bao 景德元寶 景德元宝 Regular script 1004–1007 Zhenzong S255 SongNord ZhenZong (7992563301).jpg
Xiang Fu Tong Bao 祥符通寶 祥符通宝 Regular script, Running script 1008–1016 Zhenzong S234 SongNord ZhenZong (7992578802).jpg
Xiang Fu Yuan Bao 祥符元寶 祥符元宝 Regular script 1008–1016 Zhenzong Xiang Fu Yuan Bao - 10 Cash (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Tian Xi Tong Bao 天禧通寶 天禧通宝 Regular script 1017–1022 Zhenzong S289 SongNord ZhenZong (7992565541).jpg
Tian Sheng Yuan Bao 天聖元寶 天圣元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1023–1031 Renzong S177 SongNord RenZong (8014838014).jpg
Ming Dao Yuan Bao 明道元寶 明道元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1032–1033 Renzong S177 SongNord RenZong (8014838014).jpg
Jing You Yuan Bao 景佑元寶 景佑元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1034–1038 Renzong S178 SongNord RenZong (8014834217).jpg
Huang Song Tong Bao 皇宋通寶 皇宋通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1039–1054 Renzong S181 SongNord RenZong (8014829975).jpg
Kang Ding Yuan Bao 康定元寶 康定元宝 Regular script 1040 Renzong Kang Ding Yuan Bao (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Qing Li Zhong Bao 慶歷重寶 庆历重宝 Regular script 1041–1048 Renzong 2cash SongNord RenZong QingLi H16128 1ar85 (8721146228).jpg
Zhi he Tong Bao 至和通寶 至和通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1054–1055 Renzong S186 RenZong ZhiHe 1 (8020144883).jpg
Zhi he Yuan Bao 至和元寶 至和元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1054–1055 Renzong S269 RenZong ZhiHe 1 (8020151732).jpg
Zhi he Zhong Bao 至和重寶 至和重宝 Regular script, Seal script 1054–1055 Renzong Zhi He Zhong Bao (至和重寶) - 2 Cash (Mother coin) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jia You Tong Bao 嘉佑通寶 嘉佑通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1056–1063 Renzong S222 RenZong JiaYou 1 (8020155670).jpg
Jia You Yuan Bao 嘉佑元寶 嘉佑元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1056–1063 Renzong S223 RenZong JiaYou 1 (8020155116).jpg
Zhi Ping Tong Bao 治平通寶 治平通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1064–1067 Yingzong S99 YingZong ZhiPing 1 (8074415656).jpg
Zhi Ping Yuan Bao 治平元寶 治平元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1064–1067 Yingzong S188 YingZong ZhiPing 1 (8074418009).jpg
Xi Ning Tong Bao 熙寧通寶 熙宁通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1068–1077 Shenzong Xi Ning Tong Bao (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Xi Ning Yuan Bao 熙寧元寶 熙宁元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1068–1077 Shenzong S189 ShenZong XiNing 2 (8104956094).jpg
Xi Ning Zhong Bao 熙寧重寶 熙宁重宝 Regular script, Seal script 1068–1077 Shenzong S481 ShenZong XiNing 1 (8094688402).jpg
Yuan Feng Tong Bao 元豐通寶 元丰通宝 Regular script, Seal script, Running script 1078–1085 Shenzong S194 ShenZong YuanFeng 2 (8175903407).jpg
Yuan You Tong Bao 元佑通寶 元佑通宝 Seal script, Running script[63] 1086–1094 Zhezong S487 ZheZong YuanYou 1 (8198426609).jpg
Shao Sheng Tong Bao 紹聖通寶 绍圣通宝 Regular script, Seal script, Running script 1094–1098 Zhezong Shao Sheng Tong Bao 1094-1097 - Dr. Luke Roberts 01.jpg
Shao Sheng Yuan Bao 紹聖元寶 绍圣元宝 Regular script, Seal script, Running script 1094–1098 Zhezong S202 SongNord ZheZong ShaoSheng H16308 1ar85 (8729169272).jpg
Yuan Fu Tong Bao 元符通寶 元符通宝 Regular script, Seal script, Running script 1098–1100 Zhezong 1cash SongNord ZheZong YuanFu H16342 S245 1ar85 (8723958974).jpg
Jian Guo Tong Bao[l] 建國通寶 建国通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1101 Huizong
Sheng Song Tong Bao 聖宋通寶 圣宋通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1101–1106 Huizong
Sheng Song Yuan Bao 聖宋元寶 圣宋元宝 Clerical script, Seal script, Running script[64] 1101–1106 Huizong S411 SongNord HuiZong ShengSung 1ar85 (8903949946).jpg
Chong Ning Tong Bao 崇寧通寶 崇宁通宝 Regular script 1102–1106 Huizong Chong Ning Tongbao 1.JPG
Chong Ning Yuan Bao 崇寧元寶 崇宁元宝 Regular script 1102–1106 Huizong
Chong Ning Zhong Bao 崇寧重寶 崇宁重宝 Regular script 1102–1106 Huizong S254 SongNord HuiZong ChongNing fer H16416 1ar85 (8751213634).jpg
Da Guan Tong Bao 大觀通寶 大观通宝 Regular script 1107–1110 Huizong S472 SongNord HuiZong DaGuan (7256117202).jpg
Zheng He Tong Bao 政和通寶 政和通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1111–1117 Huizong S598 SongNord HuiZong ZhengHe H16454 1ar85 (9165912246).jpg
Chong He Tong Bao 重和通寶 重和通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1118–1119 Huizong Northern Song - Emperor Hui Zong. Zhong He Tong Bao.jpg
Xuan He Tong Bao 宣和通寶 宣和通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1119–1125 Huizong S284 SongNord HuiZong XuanHe H16486 1ar85 (8988949678).jpg
Xuan He Yuan Bao 宣和元寶 宣和元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1119–1125 Huizong Xuan He Yuan Bao 1119 - Dr. Luke Roberts.jpg
Jing Kang Tong Bao 靖康通寶 靖康通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1126–1127 Qinzong Jing Kang Tong Bao (靖康通寶) - Iron (Seal script) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jing Kang Yuan Bao 靖康元寶 靖康元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1126–1127 Qinzong Northern Song, Emperor Qin Zong - Jing Kang Yuan Bao.jpg

Sui ethnic minority during the Northern Song dynasty[edit]

In 2004 a coin produced by the Sui people of Guizhou was discovered dating to the Northern Song dynasty most likely produced between 1008 and 1016, this coin had the inscription dà zhōng xiáng fú (大中祥符) on one side and the word "wealth" written in Sui script on the other side, as this is the only known coin produced by the Sui people it established that they don't have a numismatic tradition like the Han Chinese have.[65][66][67]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Years of production Emperor Image
Dazhong Xiangfu 大中祥符 1008–1016 Zhenzong

Great Shu Kingdom[edit]

In the year 993 a group of tea farmers and landless tenant farmers under the leadership if Wang Xiaobo rebelled against the Northern Song dynasty, in the year 994 after Wang Xiaobo died his brother-in-law Li Shun proclaimed himself to be the "King of the Great Shu Kingdom" (大蜀王, dà shǔ wáng) in Chengdu after he captured the city ("Shu" being an archaic name for Sichuan). Li Shun was defeated and killed in the year 995. During his period he used the reign era and produced cash coins with this "Yingyun" (應運, yìng yùn) inscription while after his death his former subordinates used the Yinggan (應感) inscription.[68][69][70]

List of cash coins issued by the Great Shu Kingdom:[71][72]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese King Image
Yingyun Tongbao 應運通寶 应运通宝 Li Shun (李顺)
Yingyun Yuanbao 應運元寶 应运元宝 Li Shun (李顺)
Yinggan Tongbao 應感通寶 应感通宝 None

Southern Song dynasty[edit]

Under the Southern Song dynasty it became customary to add the date of issue on the reverse of the coin and as copper shortages and phenomena known as "currency famines" (錢荒) plagued the land both iron cash coins and paper money (in the form of Jiaozi, Guanzi, and Huizi notes) became more common leading to a decline of the production of bronze coinage.

List of cash coins produced by the Southern Song dynasty:[1][3]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Scripts Period minted Emperor Image
Jianyan Tongbao 建炎通寶 建炎通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1127–1130 Gaozong S585 SongSud GaoZong JianYan H1726 1ar85 (8823182282).jpg
Jianyan Yuanbao 建炎元寶 建炎元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1127–1130 Gaozong
Jianyan Zhongbao 建炎重寶 建炎重宝 Seal script 1127–1130 Gaozong Jian Yan Zhong Bao (建炎重寶) - 3 Cash (Seal script) - Scott Semans.jpg
Shaoxing Tongbao 紹興通寶 绍兴通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1131–1162 Gaozong Shao Hsing T'ung Pao - John Ferguson.jpg
Shaoxing Yuanbao 紹興元寶 绍兴元宝 Regular script 1131–1162 Gaozong S494 SongSud GaoZong ShaoXing H1745 1ar85 (9016774601).jpg
Longxing Tongbao 隆興通寶 隆兴通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1163–1164 Xiaozong
Longxing Yuanbao 隆興元寶 隆兴元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1163–1164 Xiaozong Long Xing Yuan Bao (隆興元寶) - Regular script - Scott Semans.jpg
Qiandao Tongbao 乾道通寶 干道通宝 Regular script 1165–1173 Xiaozong
Qiandao Yuanbao 乾道元寶 干道元宝 Regular script 1165–1173 Xiaozong Qian Dao Yuan Bao (乾道元寶) - Scott Semans 01.jpg
Chunxi Tongbao 淳熙通寶 淳熙通宝 Regular script 1174–1189 Xiaozong S593 SongSud XiaoZong Chunxi H17304 1ar85 (9171759443).jpg
Chunxi Yuanbao 淳熙元寶 淳熙元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1174–1189 Xiaozong S500 SongSud XiaoZong Chunxi H17198 1ar85 (9024890827).jpg
Shaoxi Tongbao 紹熙通寶 绍熙通宝 Regular script, Seal script 1190–1194 Guangzong Shao Xi Tong Bao - 2 Cash (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Shaoxi Yuanbao 紹熙元寶 绍熙元宝 Regular script, Seal script 1190–1194 Guangzong S502 SongSud GuangZong ShaoXi 1190 1194 (6966389284).jpg
Qingyuan Tongbao 慶元通寶 庆元通宝 Regular script 1195–1200 Ningzong S594 SongSud NingZong Qingyuan H17395 1ar85 (9182388551).jpg
Qingyuan Yuanbao 慶元元寶 庆元元宝 Regular script 1195–1200 Ningzong
Jiatai Tongbao 嘉泰通寶 嘉泰通宝 Regular script 1201–1204 Ningzong S504 SongSud NingZong JiaTai H17485 1ar85 (9046944101).jpg
Jiatai Yuanbao 嘉泰元寶 嘉泰元宝 Regular script 1201–1204 Ningzong
Kaixi Tongbao 開禧通寶 开禧通宝 Regular script 1205–1207 Ningzong Kai Xi Tong Bao - 2 Cash (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Kaixi Yuanbao 開禧元寶 开禧元宝 Regular script 1205–1207 Ningzong
Shengsong Yuanbao 聖宋元寶 圣宋元宝 Regular script 1210 Ningzong
Shengsong Zhongbao 聖宋重寶 圣宋重宝 Regular script 1210 Ningzong Sheng Song Zhong Bao (聖宋重寶) - Iron 5 Cash - Scott Semans.jpg
Jiading Tongbao 嘉定通寶 嘉定通宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong S595 SongSud NingZong Jiading H17589 1ar85 (9174640457).jpg
Jiading Zhongbao 嘉定重寶 嘉定重宝 Regular script, seal script 1208–1224 Ningzong Jia Ding Zhong Bao (嘉定重寶) - IRON 5 Cash, ABRL, Seal script, Rev.Xing & 5. 34.2 mm. (S950) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jiading Yuanbao 嘉定元寶 嘉定元宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong Jia Ding Yuan Bao - 2 Cash (Iron) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jiading Dabao 嘉定大寶 嘉定大宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Chongbao 嘉定崇寶 嘉定崇宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Quanbao 嘉定全寶 嘉定全宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Yongbao 嘉定永寶 嘉定永宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Zhenbao 嘉定真寶 嘉定真宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Xinbao 嘉定新寶 嘉定新宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Anbao 嘉定安寶 嘉定安宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Longbao 嘉定隆寶 嘉定隆宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Quanbao 嘉定泉寶 嘉定泉宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Zhengbao 嘉定正寶 嘉定正宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Hongbao 嘉定洪寶 嘉定洪宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Wanbao 嘉定万寶 嘉定万宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Zhibao 嘉定之寶 嘉定之宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong Jia Ding Zhi Bao (嘉定之寶) - IRON 2 Cash, ABRL, Rev. Li zhlu xing shi (but barely visible). 31 mm (S940v) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jiading Zhenbao 嘉定珍寶 嘉定珍宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Xingbao 嘉定興寶 嘉定兴宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong Jia Ding Xing Bao (嘉定興寶) - IRON 5 Cash, ABRL, Rev. Zheng & official 5. 34.6 mm (S953) - Scott Semans.jpg
Jiading Yongbao[73] 嘉定用寶 嘉定用宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Zhibao 嘉定至寶 嘉定至宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Jiading Fengbao 嘉定封寶 嘉定封宝 Regular script 1208–1224 Ningzong
Baoqing Yuanbao 寶慶元寶 宝庆元宝 Regular script 1225–1227 Lizong Bao Qing Yuan Bao (寶慶元寶) - Iron - Scott Semans.jpg
Dasong Tongbao 大宋通寶 大宋通宝 Regular script 1225 Lizong
Dasong Yuanbao 大宋元寶 大宋元宝 Regular script 1225–1227 Lizong Da Song Yuan Bao - Scott Semans.jpg
Shaoding Tongbao 紹定通寶 绍定通宝 Regular script 1228–1233 Lizong S501 SongSud LiZong ShaoDing H17700 1ar85 (9049358032).jpg
Shaoding Yuanbao 紹定元寶 绍定元宝 Regular script 1228–1233 Lizong Shao Ding Yuan Bao (紹定元寶) - Iron 3 Cash - Scott Semans.jpg
Duanping Tongbao 端平通寶 端平通宝 Regular script 1234–1236 Lizong S620 DuanPing H17741 1ar85 (10246361604).jpg
Duanping Yuanbao 端平元寶 端平元宝 Regular script 1234–1236 Lizong Duan Ping Yuan Bao - Scott Semans.jpg
Duanping Zhongbao 端平重寶 端平重宝 Regular script 1234–1236 Lizong
Jiaxi Tongbao 嘉熙通寶 嘉熙通宝 Regular script 1237–1240 Lizong S258 SongSud LiZong JiaXi H17756 1ar85 (8996837238).jpg
Jiaxi Zhongbao 嘉熙重寶 嘉熙重宝 Regular script 1237–1240 Lizong Jia Xi Zhong Bao (嘉熙重寶) - 5 Cash - Scott Semans 02.jpg
Chunyou Tongbao 淳佑通寶 淳佑通宝 Regular script 1241–1252 Lizong
Chunyou Yuanbao 淳佑元寶 淳佑元宝 Regular script 1241–1252 Lizong
Huangsong Yuanbao 皇宋元寶 皇宋元宝 Regular script 1253–1258 Lizong S538 SongSud LiZong BaoYou H17817 1ar85 (9160561738).jpg
Kaiqing Tongbao 開慶通寶 开庆通宝 Regular script 1259 Lizong Kai Qing Tong Bao (開慶通寶) - 1st year - Scott Semans 02.jpg
Jingding Yuanbao 景定元寶 景定元宝 Regular script 1260–1264 Lizong Jingding Yuanbao.jpg
Xianchun Yuanbao 咸淳元寶 咸淳元宝 Regular script 1265–1274 Duzong Xianchun Yuanbao.jpg

The Southern Song dynasty General Liu Guangshi (劉光世) also cast special cash coins with the inscription "Zhaona Xinbao" (招納信寶) to recruit Jin soldiers and allow them to defect to the Song Army,[74][75][76] however these weren't meant for circulation.[77]

Northern Liao dynasty[edit]

A number of cash coins were reported to have the reign titles of Northern Liao dynasty emperors, however as no historical records mention them the authenticity of these coins has been called into question.

List of cash coins presumably issued by the Khitan Northern Liao dynasty:[78][79][80][81][82]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of production Emperor Image
Jianfu Yuanbao 建福元寳 建福元宝 1122 Xuanzong
Dexing Tongbao 德興通寳 德兴通宝 1122–1123 Yelü Yali
Dexing Yuanbao 德興元寳 德兴元宝 1122–1123 Yelü Yali
Shenli Tongbao 神曆通寳 神历通宝 1123 Yingzong
Shenli Yuanbao 神曆元寳 神历元宝 1123 Yingzong

Western Liao dynasty (Qara Khitai Khanate)[edit]

In November 2008, October 2010, and February 2011 three specimens of cash coins produced by the Qara Khitai Khanate were unearthed in Kyrgyzstan, the first specimen of these cash coins were initially thought to bear the inscription "Jixing Yuanbao" (績興元寳) but after the second one was unearthed its inscription was better understood.[83]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Presumed years of production Presumed Khan Image
Xuxing Yuanbao 續興元寳 续兴元宝 xù xìng yuán bǎo 1150-1164 Yelü Yilie

Western Xia dynasty[edit]

The Tangut Western Xia dynasty produced both cash coins with Chinese and Tangut inscriptions.[84][85][86] Despite issuing coins the economy of the Tangut Empire mostly relied on barter which is why Western Xia era coins today are rare.

With Tangut inscriptions[edit]

Coins with Tangut inscriptions:[87][88][m]

Inscription
(Tangut)
Inscription
(Mandarin)
Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of casting Emperor Image
śjɨj ljo ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𗼃𗼕𘏨𘔭) Fu Sheng Bao Qian 福聖寶錢 福圣宝钱 1053–1056 Yizong Tangut Fusheng Baoqian coin.jpg
tha nej ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𘜶𗵐𘏨𘔭) Da An Bao Qian 大安寶錢 大安宝钱 1074–1084 Huizong Tangut Da'an Baoqian coin.jpg
tśhja bio̲ ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𗣼𘝯𘏨𘔭) Zhen Guan Bao Qian 貞觀寶錢 贞观宝钱 1101–1113 Chongzong
tśhja mji̲ ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𗣼𘇚𘏨𘔭) Zheng De Bao Qian 正德寶錢 正德宝钱 1127–1134 Chongzong
tshjwu ꞏwu ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𘀗𘑨𘏨𘔭) Qian You Bao Qian 乾佑寶錢 乾佑宝钱 1170–1193 Renzong Tangut Qianyou Baoqian coin 2.jpg
ŋwər ljwu ljɨ̣ dzjɨj (𘓺𘅝𘏨𘔭) Tian Qing Bao Qian 天慶寶錢 天庆宝钱 1194–1206 Huanzong Tangut Tianqing Baoqian coin.jpg

With Chinese inscriptions[edit]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Script Years of casting Emperor Image
Da An Tong Bao 大安通寶 大安通宝 Clerical script 1074–1084 Huizong
Yuan De Tong Bao 元德通寶 元德通宝 Clerical script 1119–1126 Chongzong
Da De Tong Bao 大德通寶 大德通宝 Regular script 1135–1139 Chongzong
Tian Sheng Yuan Bao 天盛元寶 天盛元宝 Regular script 1149–1169 Renzong 1cash XiXia RenZong TianSheng H1897 1ar85 (8723443024).jpg
Qian You Yuan Bao 乾佑元寶 乾佑元宝 Regular script, Semi-cursive script, Seal script[89][90] 1170–1193 Renzong S540 (7901023548).jpg
Tian Qing Yuan Bao 天慶元寶 天庆元宝 Regular script 1194–1206 Huanzong Tian Qing Yuan Bao (天慶元寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Huang Jian Yuan Bao 皇建元寶 皇建元宝 Regular script 1210–1211 Xiangzong
Guang Ding Yuan Bao 光定元寶 光定元宝 Semi-cursive script, Seal script 1211–1223 Shenzong Western Xia - Guang Ding Yuan Bao.png

Jin dynasty (1115–1234)[edit]

Cash coins produced by the Jurchen Jin dynasty compared to earlier Liao dynasty coinage are both of higher quality, and quantity; this is because the Jurchens chose to model their coins more closely after the Song's both in production as superficially in its calligraphic style.

List of cash coins produced by the Jurchen Jin dynasty:[1][3]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Scripts Years of minting Emperor Image
Zheng Long Yuan Bao 正隆元寶 正隆元宝 Regular script 1158–1161 Wanyan Liang S431 Jin (8000211405).jpg
Da Ding Tong Bao 大定通寶 大定通宝 Regular script 1178–1189 Shizong S430 Jin ShiZong DaDing 1178 1189 (6966384718).jpg
Tai He Tong Bao 泰和通寶 泰和通宝 Regular script 1204–1209 Zhangzong Tai He Tong Bao (泰和通寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Tai He Zhong Bao 泰和重寶 泰和重宝 Regular script, Seal script 1204–1209 Zhangzong
Chong Qing Tong Bao 崇慶通寶 崇庆通宝 Regular script 1212–1213 Wanyan Yongji
Chong Qing Yuan Bao 崇慶元寶 崇庆元宝 Regular script 1212–1213 Wanyan Yongji
Zhi Ning Yuan Bao 至寧元寶 至宁元宝 Regular script 1213 Wanyan Yongji
Zhen You Tong Bao 貞祐通寶 贞佑通宝 Regular script 1213–1216 Xuanzong
Zhen You Yuan Bao 貞祐元寶 贞佑元宝 Regular script 1213–1216 Xuanzong

Li Pobei[edit]

During a Jurchen invasion that occurred in November 1125, Li Pobei (李婆備) took advantage of this situation and rebelled against the Northern Song dynasty. He is known to have cast cash coins with the inscription "Taiping Tongbao" (太平通寶).[91]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Denominations Years of production Leader Image
Taiping Tongbao 太平通寶 太平通宝 1 wén, 2 wén, 5 wén 1127–1130 Li Pobei

Great Qi dynasty[edit]

In 1130 during the Jin–Song Wars the Jin dynasty had set up a second puppet state called “Da Qi” (after the failed first puppet state, Da Chu), this puppet state briefly produced its own coins until it was defeated by the Song in 1137.[92][93]

Coins produced by the brief Jurchen vassal state include:

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Script Emperor Image
Fu Chang Tong Bao 阜昌通寶 阜昌通宝 Regular script, Seal script Liu Yu
Fu Chang Yuan Bao 阜昌元寶 阜昌元宝 Regular script, Seal script Liu Yu
Fu Chang Zhong Bao 阜昌重寶 阜昌重宝 Regular script, Seal script Liu Yu Fu Chang Zhong Bao.png

Eastern Xia dynasty[edit]

During a coin hoard in the Russian Far East in 2011 seven cash coins were discovered that bore an inscription which was previously unknown, these coins bore a title alluding to a rebel state that was founded during the Mongol conquest of the Jin dynasty.

List of cash coins issued by the Jurchen Eastern Xia dynasty:[94][95]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Presumed years of production Heavenly King Image
Dongzhen Xingbao 東眞興寶 东真兴宝 dōng zhēn xìng bǎo 1215–1233 Puxian Wannu

Mongol Empire (prior to the establishment of the Yuan dynasty)[edit]

Cash coins issued by the Mongols before 1230:[96]

Obverse inscription
(Romanisation)
Reverse Notes Image
大朝通寶
(Dachao Tongbao)
Unknown

Arabic characters

This coins was possibly cast between 1206 and 1227 in Karakorum by Genghis Khan as "大朝" was a name the Mongols gave themselves.
The coin is mostly found made from silver although copper variants exist.
Da Chao Tong Bao.jpg
大朝金合
(Dachao Jinhe)
Blank The attribution of this coins to the Mongols is doubtful as the name "大朝" was used by various countries that bordered China. This coin was first mentioned in the Record of Coins which was published around 1094.
Peng Xinwei attributes this coin to the Liao dynasty.
支鈔半分
(Zhichao Banfen)
Blank Zhichao Banfen (支鈔半分) could be translated as "Exchange for paper money half a fen [of silver]".
The inscription could alternatively read Jiaochao Banfen (交鈔半分).

Cash coins issued by the Mongol Empire while it occupied Jin dynasty territory (circa 1230–1280):[96]

Obverse inscription
(Romanisation)
Reverse Notes Image
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)
Blank This cash coins has rather broad rims.
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)

(Zhong)
The "中" is written in seal script and is above the square center hole on the reverse.
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)
半錢
(Ban Qian)
The reverse inscription indicates that this cash coin had a nominal value of half a qián of silver.
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)
Blank This is a cash coin of diminutive size with the Chinese character "觀" written in an imperfect way.
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)
Dot pattern The reverse of this coin is completely covered with dots.
大觀通寶
(Daguan Tongbao)
Blank The inscription is written in a very barbarous manner.

Yuan dynasty[edit]

Under Mongol rule paper money such as the Jiaochao completely replaced copper coinage, during times of inflation Temple coins issued by Buddhist temples became the de facto currency. Under Külüg Khan a large number of cash coins were issued to pay for the state's expenditures but these got phased out in favour of paper currency, it wasn't until the reign of Toghon Temür that the Mongols attempted to produce cash coins at a large scale again.

List of cash coins issued by the Mongols during Yuan dynasty:[97][98][n]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Script Khagan
(Mongolian name)
Emperor
(Mandarin Chinese name)
Image
Zhongtong Yuanbao 中統元寶 Chinese script (Regular script and Seal script), Mongol script Kublai Khan Shìzǔ ()
Zhiyuan Tongbao 至元通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script Kublai Khan Shìzǔ (世祖)
Yuanzhen Tongbao 元貞通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script Temür Khan Chéngzōng ()
Yuanzhen Yuanbao 元貞元寶 Chinese script, Mongol script Temür Khan Chéngzōng (成宗)
Dade Tongbao 大德通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script, Mongol script Temür Khan Chéngzōng (成宗)
Zhida Tongbao 至大通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script, Mongol script Külüg Khan Wǔzōng () S564 Yuan WuZong H1939 1ar85 (8594666069).jpg
Zhida Yuanbao 至大元寶 Chinese script Külüg Khan Wǔzōng (武宗)
Dayuan Tongbao 大元通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script, Mongol script Külüg Khan Wǔzōng (武宗) S496 Yuan WuZong 1 (8118859266).jpg
Huangqing Yuanbao 皇慶元寶 Chinese script Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan Rénzōng ()
Yanyou Tongbao 延祐通寶 Chinese script Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan Rénzōng (仁宗)
Yanyou Yuanbao 延祐元寶 Chinese script Ayurbarwada Buyantu Khan Rénzōng (仁宗)
Zhizhi Tongbao 至治通寶 Chinese script Gegeen Khan Yīngzōng ()
Zhizhi Yuanbao 至治元寶 Chinese script Gegeen Khan Yīngzōng (英宗)
Taiding Tongbao 泰定通寶 Chinese script Yesün Temür Jìnzōng ()
Taiding Yuanbao 泰定元寶 Chinese script Yesün Temür Jìnzōng (晉宗)
Zhihe Yuanbao 致和元寶 Chinese script Yesün Temür Jìnzōng (晉宗)
Tianli Yuanbao 天曆元寶 Chinese script Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür Wénzōng ()
Zhishun Yuanbao 至順元寶 Chinese script Jayaatu Khan Tugh Temür Wénzōng (文宗)
Yuantong Yuanbao 元統元寶 Chinese script Toghon Temür Huìzōng ()
Zhiyuan Tongbao 至元通寶 Chinese script, Mongol script, Uighur script, Jurchen script, Tangut script[99] Toghon Temür Huìzōng (惠宗)
Zhiyuan Yuanbao 至元元寶 Chinese script Toghon Temür Huìzōng (惠宗)
Muqing Tongbao 穆清銅寶 Chinese script Toghon Temür Huìzōng (惠宗)
Zhizheng Tongbao 至正通寶 Chinese script, 'Phags-pa script, Mongol script Toghon Temür Huìzōng (惠宗) Zhi Zheng Tong Bao (至正通寶) - Scott Semans 01.png
Zhizheng Zhibao 至正之寶 Chinese script Toghon Temür Huìzōng (惠宗) 91619 SMVK EM objekt 1015960.jpg

Rebels of the Yuan dynasty[edit]

During the Red Turban rebellion organised by the White Lotus society; many of its leaders proclaimed their own kingdoms and empires that ruled over different regions of China, the most successful of these was Zhu Yuanzhang's Ming dynasty which would unify China. Though the majority of these countries were short-lived some did produce their own coinage.[100]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Denominations Years of mintage Monarch Rebel faction Image
Longfeng Tongbao 龍鳳通寶 龙凤通宝 1, 2文, 3文, 5文 1355–1366 Han Lin’er (韓林兒) Early Red Turban rebellion Longfeng Tongbao (龍鳳通寶).png
Tianyou Tongbao 天佑通寶 天佑通宝 1文, 2文, 3文, 5文 1354–1357 Zhang Shicheng (張士誠) Kingdom of Great(er) Zhou (大周) Tian You Tong Bao (天佑通寶) - 3 Cash - Scott Semans.jpg
Tianqi Tongbao 天啟通寶 天启通宝 1文, 2文, 3文 1358 Xu Shouhui (徐壽輝) Tianwan (天完)
Tianding Tongbao 天定通寶 天定通宝 1文, 2文, 3文 1359–1360 Xu Shouhui (徐壽輝) Tianwan (天完) Tian Ding Tong Bao (天定通寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Dayi Tongbao 大義通寶 大义通宝 1文, 2文, 3文 1360–1361 Chen Youliang (陳友諒) Kingdom of Dahan (大漢)

Ming dynasty[edit]

Under the Ming dynasty the policy of predominantly using paper money (such as the Da Ming Baochao banknotes) which was started under the Mongols would continue until 1505 when Spanish dollars and other silver coins became the dominant currency. Native production of cash coins had ceased between 1375 and 1376, from 1387 until 1379, from 1393 (as paper money superseded cast coinage completely) until 1433, and finally from 1435 until 1503.[101]

Yongle Tongbao cash coins were mostly cast for foreign trade.[102]

From the Ming dynasty onwards only period titles were used for coin inscriptions and these period titles would (usually) remain constant throughout the reign of an Emperor.[2][1]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of production Emperor Image
Dazhong Tongbao 大中通寶 大中通宝 1361–1393 Zhu Yuanzhang 3cash Ming ZhuYuangzhang H2033 1ar85 (8720972112).jpg
Hongwu Tongbao 洪武通寶 洪武通宝 1367–1393 Hongwu Emperor S402 Ming Taizu HongWu 1ar85 (8856412198).jpg
Yongle Tongbao 永樂通寶 永乐通宝 1408–1424 Yongle Emperor Yong Le Tong Bao - Dr. Luke Roberts.jpg
Xuande Tongbao 宣德通寶 宣德通宝 1426–1435 Xuande Emperor S537 (7881120610).jpg
Hongzhi Tongbao 弘治通寶 弘治通宝 1488–1505 Hongzhi Emperor S585 Ming Xiaozong HongZhi H20125 1ar85 (8812355691).jpg
Jiajing Tongbao 嘉靖通寶 嘉靖通宝 1527–1567 Jiajing Emperor S590 Ming Shizong JiaJing H20129 1ar85 (9124968494).jpg
Jiajing Anbao 嘉靖安寶 嘉靖安宝 1527–1567 Jiajing Emperor
Longqing Tongbao 隆慶通寶 隆庆通宝 1567–1572 Longqing Emperor
Wanli Tongbao 萬曆通寶 万历通宝 1572–1620 Wanli Emperor Wan Li Tong Bao - Dr. Luke Roberts.jpg
Wanli Nianzao[103] 萬曆年造 万历年造 1572–1620 Wanli Emperor Silver coins of Wanli.JPG
Taichang Tongbao 泰昌通寶 泰昌通宝 1620 Taichang Emperor S408 Ming GuangZong TaiChang H201168 1ar85 (8869232074).jpg
Tianqi Tongbao 天啟通寶 天启通宝 1620–1627 Tianqi Emperor Une monnaie de 10 liang, ère Tian Qi de Xizong des Ming (34635644202).jpg
Chongzhen Tongbao 崇禎通寶 崇祯通宝 1628–1644 Chongzhen Emperor S536 (7881126154).jpg

Note that under the reign of the Zhengde Emperor no copper-alloy cash coins were minted however a very large number of Zhengde Tongbao (正德通寶) coin amulets exist, the production of these coin-like amulets started from the late Ming dynasty period and these amulets are still being produced today.

Guizhou local issues[edit]

During the Hongzhi period from 1488 until 1505 some Tribal Commissioners in the province of Guizhou issued their own cash coins, rather than being bases on reign titles the inscriptions were based on place names.[104][105]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Emperor Image
Shuiguan Tongbao 水官通寶 水官通宝 Hongzhi Emperor Shuiguan Tongbao - Scott Semans.jpg
Taiguan Tongbao 太官通寶 太官通宝 Hongzhi Emperor Taiguan Tongbao (太官通寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Huoguan Tongbao 火官通寶 火官通宝 Hongzhi Emperor
Dading Tongbao 大定通寶 大定通宝 Hongzhi Emperor Dading Tongbao (Guizhou local issue) - Scott Semans.jpg
Taiding Tongbao 太定通寶 太定通宝 Hongzhi Emperor S559 HongZhi Ming Dali 1 (8188627066).jpg
Taizi Tongbao 太子通寶 太子通宝 Hongzhi Emperor

Yunnan local issues[edit]

Under the Ming dynasty the territory which used to belong to the Dali Kingdom cast their own coins, these cash coins were issued in the province of Yunnan under the reign of the Hongzhi Emperor and are known to be of poor workmanship and crude casting, it is often unknown if these cash coins were cast by the Bai people in Dali, the Hmong tribes living in the area, or one of the many other tribes that live in Yunnan as records of their casting weren't bring kept.[106] Many of these cash coins were also cast by using regular cash coins as "mother coins" which explains their rather crude appearances.

These Yunnan local issue cash coins include:[107][108][109][110]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Emperor Image
Huoping Xinbao 火平信寶 火平信宝 Hongzhi Emperor S553 Ming Dali HuoPing 1 (8112001575).jpg
Hongwu Tongbao 洪武通寶 洪武通宝 Hongzhi Emperor
Hongzhi Tongbao 弘治通寶 弘治通宝 Hongzhi Emperor
Taiping Tongbao 太平通寶 太平通宝 Hongzhi Emperor Taiping Tongbao (太平通寶) - Probably Mongol era Dali issue - Scott Semans.jpg
Dazhou Tongbao 大周通寶 大周通宝 Hongzhi Emperor
Kaiyuan Tongbao 開元通寶 开元通宝 Hongzhi Emperor

Ming-Qing transitional period[edit]

This is a list of cash coins produced during the transition from Ming to Qing.

Southern Ming dynasty[edit]

List of cash coins produced by the Southern Ming dynasty:[111][112]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of production Emperor Image
Hongguang Tongbao 弘光通寶 弘光通宝 1644–1645 Hongguang Emperor Chinese coin Hongguang Tongbao (flickr 8719045207).jpg
Daming Tongbao 大明通寶 大明通宝 1644–1646 Zhu Changfang Da Ming Tong Bao (大明通寶) - Scott Semans.jpg
Longwu Tongbao 隆武通寶 隆武通宝 1645–1646 Longwu Emperor Longwu Tongbao.jpg
Yongli Tongbao 永曆通寶 永历通宝 1646–1659 Yongli Emperor Yongli Tongbao. 10cash.jpg

Kingdom of Tungning (Taiwan)[edit]

Under Koxinga the Kingdom of Tungning (which was a state loyal to the Southern Ming dynasty) had ordered Yongli Tongbao cash coins to be produced (presumably) in Nagasaki, these coins circulated exclusively in Taiwan. The production of these coins lasted until 1682.[113]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of production Kings Image
Yongli Tongbao 永曆通寶 永历通宝 1651–1682 All 永曆通寶.jpg

Rebels[edit]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Years of production Monarch Image
Yongchang Tongbao 永昌通寶 永昌通宝 1644–1645 Li Zicheng S365 Rebelle LiZicheng 5 1644 45 (7112445541).jpg
Dashun Tongbao[114][115] 大順通寶 大顺通宝 1644–1647 Zhang Xianzhong Da Shun Tong Bao - Scott Semans 02.jpg
Xiwang Shanggong[116] 西王賞功 西王赏功 1644–1647 Zhang Xianzhong Xi Wang Shao Gong 2.jpg
Xingchao Tongbao[117] 興朝通寶 兴朝通宝 1648–1657 Sun Kewang[118] 5cash SunKewang H2112 S434 1ar85 (8668625532).jpg
Yumin Tongbao 裕民通寶 裕民通宝 1674–1676 Geng Jingzhong 1cash GengJinzhong Yifen H21123 S367 1ar85 (8717023406).jpg
Liyong Tongbao 利用通寶 利用通宝 1674–1678 Wu Sangui 1cash WuSangui LiYong H21 85 1ar85 (8664123651).jpg
Zhaowu Tongbao 昭武通寶 昭武通宝 1678 Wu Sangui Chao Wu T'ung Pao - John Ferguson 02.jpg
Honghua Tongbao 洪化通寶 洪化通宝 1679–1681 Wu Shifan 1cash WuShifan H22116 S437 1ar85 (8717110465).jpg

Later Jin dynasty (1616–1636)[edit]

The following coins were issued by the Jurchens (later Manchus) before the establishment of the Qing dynasty, these coins were cast when the Jurchen state was known as the Later Jin dynasty:[119][120][121]

Inscription Latin script Denominations Years of mintage Khan Image
ᠠᠪᡴᠠᡳ
ᡶᡠᠯᡳᠩᡤᠠ
ᡥᠠᠨ
ᠵᡳᡴᠠ
Abkai fulingga han jiha 1 wén 1616–1626 Abkai fulingga Khan Nurhachi Coin, Aphai fulingga han chiha.jpg
天命通寳 Tiān Mìng Tōng Bǎo 1 wén 1616–1626 Abkai fulingga Khan Nurhachi Coin. Tianming Tongbao.jpg
ᠰᡠᡵᡝ
ᡥᠠᠨ
ᠨᡳ
ᠵᡳᡴᠠ
Sure han ni jiha 10 wén 1627–1643 Sure Khan Sure han ni jiha (ᠰᡠᡵᡝ ᡥᠠᠨ ᠨᡳ ᠵᡳᡴᠠ) - Scott Semans.png

A cash coin with the inscription "Tiancong Tongbao" (天聰通寳) reported to be in the denominations of 1 wén and 10 wén has also been attributed to Hong Taiji, however the authenticity of this coin is doubtful.[122]

Qing dynasty[edit]

Qing dynasty era cash coins generally bear the reign title of the Emperor in Chinese characters, with only a single change of reign title occurring with the Qixiang Emperor becoming the Tongzhi Emperor by decision of his mother, Empress Dowager Cixi.[1][123][124]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Hànyǔ Pīnyīn Denominations Years of mintage Image Emperor
Shunzhi Tongbao 順治通寶 顺治通宝 shùn zhì tōng bǎo 1 wén 1643–1661 Coin. Qing Dynasty. Shunzhi Tongbao. Bao Yuan. obv Shunzhi Emperor
Kangxi Tongbao 康熙通寶 康熙通宝 kāng xī tōng bǎo 1 wén 1661–1722 Coin. Qing Dynasty. Kangxi Tongbao. Bao Quan. obv Kangxi Emperor
Yongzheng Tongbao 雍正通寶 雍正通宝 yōng zhèng tōng bǎo 1 wén 1722–1735 S597 ShiZong YongZheng TP H22159 1ar85 (9125482270) Yongzheng Emperor
Qianlong Tongbao 乾隆通寶 乾隆通宝 qián lóng tōng bǎo 1 wén, 10 wén 1735–1796 (1912)[o] Coin. Qing Dynasty. Qianlong Tongbao. Bao Quan. obv Qianlong Emperor
Jiaqing Tongbao 嘉慶通寶 嘉庆通宝 jiā qìng tōng bǎo 1 wén 1796–1820 Chia Ch'ing T'ung Pao (24 mm) - John Ferguson.png Jiaqing Emperor
Daoguang Tongbao 道光通寶 道光通宝 dào guāng tōng bǎo 1 wén, 5 wén, 10 wén 1820–1850 Coin. Qing Dynasty. Daoguang Tongbao. Bao Quan. obv Daoguang Emperor
Xianfeng Tongbao 咸豐通寶 咸丰通宝 xián fēng tōng bǎo 1 wén, 5 wén, 10 wén, 50 wén, 100 wén 1850–1861 Xián Fēng Tōng Bǎo (咸豐通寶) 1850–1861 Qing Dynasty cash coin.png Xianfeng Emperor
Xianfeng Zhongbao 咸豐重寶 咸丰重宝 xián fēng zhòng bǎo 4 wén, 5 wén, 8 wén, 10 wén, 20 wén, 30 wén, 40 wén, 50 wén, 100 wén 1850–1861 10cash WenZong XianFeng Zhejiang H221031 1ar85 (8506370671) Xianfeng Emperor
Xianfeng Yuanbao 咸豐元寶 咸丰元宝 xián fēng yuán bǎo 80 wén, 100 wén, 200 wén, 300 wén, 500 wén, 1000 wén 1850–1861 Qing Dynasty 500 Cash Xianfeng Emperor
Qixiang Tongbao 祺祥通寶 祺祥通宝 qí xiáng tōng bǎo 1 wén 1861 Tongzhi Emperor
Qixiang Zhongbao 祺祥重寶 祺祥重宝 qí xiáng zhòng bǎo 10 wén 1861 Qí Xiáng Zhòng Bǎo (祺祥重寶) Early Tóng Zhì cash coin (1861).png Tongzhi Emperor
Tongzhi Tongbao 同治通寶 同治通宝 tóng zhì tōng bǎo 1 wén, 5 wén, 10 wén 1862–1875 MuZong HangzhouZhejiang H221219 1ar85 (8550612599).jpg Tongzhi Emperor
Tongzhi Zhongbao 同治重寶 同治重宝 tóng zhì zhòng bǎo 4 wén, 10 wén 1862–1875 Tongzhi Zhongbao. 10cash. Bao Yuan.jpg Tongzhi Emperor
Guangxu Tongbao 光緒通寶 光绪通宝 guāng xù tōng bǎo 1 wén, 10 wén 1875–1908 1cash DeZong Zhili trait H221458 1ar85 (8581385185) Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Zhongbao 光緒重寶 光绪重宝 guāng xù zhòng bǎo 5 wén, 10 wén 1875–1908 10cash DeZong Finances H221292 1ar85 (8574498847).jpg Guangxu Emperor
Xuantong Tongbao 宣統通寶 宣统通宝 xuān tǒng tōng bǎo 1 wén, 10 wén 1909–1911 Last Qing Emperor 1 Wén coin Xuān Tǒng Tōng Bǎo (宣統通寳) from 1908-1912 under Pǔyí.jpg Xuantong Emperor

Xinjiang issues[edit]

Certain parts of Xinjiang under Qing rule had a monetary system separate from that was separate from that of China proper, this was largely due to the fact that the area which formerly belonged to Dzungaria paid with pūl coins which were made from almost pure copper, when some these pūl coins were melted down to make "red cash coins" the pūl-system was essentially continued and 1 "red cash coin" had a value of 10 regular cash coins. Another differentiating feature of Xinjiang as a whole was that under the Jiaqing Emperor it was ordered that 1 in 5 coins produced in Xinjiang should bear the inscription Qianlong Tongbao (乾隆通寶) to honour the Qianlong Emperor, and celebrate his conquest of the region. New obverse inscriptions were introduced by the Kucha mint during the early twentieth century however the production of "red cash coins" with these new inscriptions didn't last very long as they featured only two different dates from the Chinese cyclical calendar during the Guangxu era and the Kucha mint closed in 1909.

The following "red cash coins" with new inscriptions were produced by the Kucha mint in Xinjiang:[125][126]

Inscription Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Denominations Years of mintage Emperor Image
Guangxu Dingwei 光緒丁未 光绪丁未 10 wén 1907 Guangxu Emperor
Guangxu Wushen 光緒戊申 光绪戊申 10 wén 1908 Guangxu Emperor

Rashidin Khan Khoja[edit]

During the Dungan revolt from 1862 to 1877, Sultan Rashidin Khan Khoja proclaimed a Jihad against the Qing dynasty in 1862, he issued Chinese-style cash coins minted at the Aksu and Kucha mints with exclusive Arabic inscriptions.[127][128]

Obverse inscription
(Romanised)
Reverse inscription
(Romanised)
Sultan Mint Years of production Image
سيد غازي راشدين خان
(Sayyid Ghazi Rashidin Khan)
زرب دار السلطانات كوجا
(Zarb dar al-Sultanat Kuqa)
Rashidin Khan Khoja Kucha 1864–1865
سيد غازي راشدين خان
(Sayyid Ghazi Rashidin Khan)[p]
زرب دار السلطانات كوجا
(Zarb dar al-Sultanat Kuqa)
Rashidin Khan Khoja Kucha 1865–1867 Rashidin Khan Khoja.jpg
سيد غازي راشدين خان
(Sayyid Ghazi Rashidin Khan)
زرب دار السلطانات أقسو
(Zarb dar al-Sultanat Aqsu)
Rashidin Khan Khoja Aksu 1864–1867

Taiping Heavenly Kingdom[edit]

In 1850 the Taiping Rebellion was started by the head of the God worshippers Hong Xiuquan who founded the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, this rebellion lasted until 1864. Although very little documentation exists about the coinage manufactured by the Taiping rebels, it is known that in June 1853 the occupying Taiping rebels ordered copper workers in Tianjing (present day Nanjing) with the skills to cast coins to open new furnaces for the production of cash coins with the inscription Tianguo Shengbao that were reported to be "the size of foreign coins" (Mexican pesos), these coins were reported to be of very poor workmanship and their production was quickly discontinued and although no coins fitting this description are extend it is known that Taiping rebels in other areas and provinces did cast coinage.

The following cash coins are known to have been cast by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom:[129]

Obverse inscription
(Romanised)
Reverse inscription
(Romanised)
Denominations Years of production Image
天囯
(Tianguo)
通寳
(Tongbao)
10 wén 1853–1855 Tian Guo Tong Bao.jpg
天囯
(Tianguo)
聖寶
(Shengbao)
10 wén 1856–1860
天囯聖寶
(Tianguo Shengbao)
太平
(Taiping)
1 wén 1858–1864
天囯聖寶
(Tianguo Shengbao)
5 wén 1850s
太平天囯
(Taiping Tianguo)
聖寶
(Shengbao)
1 wén, 5 wén, 10 wén, 50 wén 1860–1862
天囯太平
(Tianguo Taiping)
聖寶
(Shengbao)
1 wén 1861–1864
太平聖寶
(Taiping Shengbao)
天囯
(Tianguo)
1 wén, 5 wén 1861–1864
太平聖宝
(Taiping Shengbao)[2]
天囯
(Tianguo)
1860s
太平
(Taiping)[130][q]
聖寶
(Shengbao)
1860s

Heaven and Earth Society, Shanghai Small Swords Society, and other secret societies during the Taiping rebellion[edit]

At the time of the Taiping rebellion a large number of secret societies such as the Heaven and Earth Society took advantage of the chaos and started to flourish, these secret societies all claimed to want to overthrow the Qing dynasty and restore the Ming dynasty, for this reason many of the coins cast by these secret societies contain hidden messages such as some of them containing characters from the reign titles of Ming dynasty emperors.[131]

Shanghai Small Swords Society[edit]

The Shanghai Small Swords Society under the leadership of Liu Lichuan seized control of the city of Shanghai in September 1853 and awarded themselves the period title of "Tianyun" (天運), as Shanghai had a lot of gold and silver but not much cash coins the rebels confiscated all scrap copper they could find and this was all cast into cash coins with the inscription "Taiping Tongbao" (太平通寶) on the obverse and a sun and a crescent on the reverse, the sun (日) and moon (月) symbolised their intent on restoring the Ming (明). As merchants who traded with Shanghai entered the Qing those found carrying cash coins issued by rebels were arrested and put on trial and after a few were executed the Shanghai Small Swords society decided that these coins were essentially useless and decided to cast coins based on the Xianfeng reign title.[132]

Obverse inscription
(Romanised)
Reverse inscription
(Romanised)
Calligraphic style Years of production Image
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)
Northern Song era Li script 1854–1855
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)
Crescent (moon) above.
明 (Ming) below.
Northern Song era Li script 1854–1855
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)
Sun (circle) above,
Crescent (moon) below.
Contemporary regular script 1854–1855
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)
ᠪᠣᠣ
ᠶᡡᠨ

(Boo Yūn)
Contemporary regular script 1854–1855

Other secret societies[edit]

Obverse inscription
(Romanised)
Reverse inscription
(Romanised)
Years of production Secret society Image
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)

(Wen) above.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
太平通寶
(Taiping Tongbao)

(Wen) sideways right.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
開元通寶
(Kaiyuan Tongbao)

(Wu) above.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
開元通寶
(Kaiyuan Tongbao)

(Wu) sideways right.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
天朝通寶
(Tianchao Tongbao)

(Yong) above.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
天朝通寶
(Tianchao Tongbao)

(Yong) upside down below.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
黃帝通寶
(Huangdi Tongbao)

(Sheng) above.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
黃帝通寶
(Huangdi Tongbao)

(Sheng) sideways right.
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
黃帝通寶
(Huangdi Tongbao)
ᠪᠣᠣ
(Boo Zhe)
1858–1864 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
義記金錢
(Yiji Jinqian)[133][134]
Two intertwined lozenges on the right and left side. 1858–1863 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會) Yi Ji Jin Qian.png
義記金錢
(Yiji Jinqian)
The Chinese character "離" () above and two intertwined lozenges on the right and left side. 1858–1863 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
義記金錢
(Yiji Jinqian)[135]
震忠團練
(Zhenzhong Tuanlian)
1858–1863 Small Sword and Heaven and Earth Societies (天地會)
明道通寶
(Mingdao Tongbao)

(Tian)
1850s The Triad Society (三合會)

Other contemporary rebellions[edit]

Other than secret societies several other rebellions cast their own coinages contemporary to the Taiping rebellion, in Guizhou the rebel Zhang Baoshan who claimed descent from the Hongwu Emperor is said by David Hartill to have cast the Sitong Tongbao (嗣統通寶) cash coins according to two references. Li Wenmao who was the leader of the Triad Society in the province of Guangdong proclaimed half to be "the King who shall restore peace" (平靖王) in March 1857 but his rebellion got suppressed by the Qing in 1858. The coinage cast by Li Wenmao often contains the character "勝" (victory or to vanquish) which is often found in lodges of Tiandihui groups creating the inscription "勝寶" (victorious treasure or vanquishing treasure), meanwhile as the guerilla tactics of the Guangdong Triad relied on having their forces be divided into a "left flank", "right flank", "middle flank", "front flank", and "rear flank" this is reflected in the reverse inscriptions of the coins cast by this rebellion as "营" (garrison or camp) is accompanied by which flank the garrison belonged to.[136]

Obverse inscription
(Romanised)
Reverse inscription
(Romanised)
Years of production Rebel leader Image
平靖通寶
(Pingjing Tongbao)

(Zhong) in seal script on the right.
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
中营
(Zhongying)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
前营
(Qianying)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
後营
(Houying)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
左营
(Zuoying)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
右营
(Youying)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
御林軍
(Yulinjun)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
平靖勝寶
(Pingjing Shengbao)
長勝軍
(Changshengjun)
1857–1858 Li Wenmao (李文茂)
嗣統通寶
(Sitong Tongbao)
1860–1863 Zhang Baoshan (張保山)

Republic of China[edit]

Chinese cash coins continued to be produced into the first year of the Republic of China until their production was completely phased out in 1912. A large number of trial coins were also cast, however these weren't ever officially issued.

The following cash coins were cast during the Republic of China in 1912:[137]

Inscription
(Obverse,
Reverse)
Traditional Chinese
(Obverse,
Reverse)
Simplified Chinese
(Obverse,
Reverse)
Issuing office Image
Fujian Tongbao,
1 cash
福建通寶,
一文
福建通宝,
一文
Fujian province
Fujian Tongbao,
2 cash
福建通寶,
二文
福建通宝,
二文
Fujian province Fujian Tongbao - Scott Semans 01.jpg
Minguo Tongbao,
Dongchuan
民國通寶,
東川
民国通宝,
东川
Dongchuan, Yunnan Minkuo Tungpao (David Hartill 431.23.7).png
Minguo Tongbao,
10 cash
民國通寶,
當十
民国通宝,
当十
Dongchuan, Yunnan Min Guo Tong Bao 10 cash.png

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A version of this coin exists with the inscription reversed.
  2. ^ A version of this coin exists with the inscription reversed.
  3. ^ "Yuan Fa" (圜法) was a contemporary term for early round coinage.
  4. ^ As this was the first coin with a square hole this could be considered to be the first "true" Chinese cash coin. This inscription was formerly read as "Yi Dao" (一刀, "one knife"). A version exists where the inscription is reversed, and one where the character "吉" (, "auspicious") is on its reverse side.
  5. ^ The "Liu" (六) was formerly read as "Bao" (寶, "treasure").
  6. ^ Could alternatively be read as "兩錙".
  7. ^ Some historical records state that San Zhu cash coins were produced between 140 BC until 136 BC.
  8. ^ A "goose eye" variant of ghe Tai Ping Bai Qian where the "Qian" (錢) is abbreviated as "Jin" (金).
  9. ^ This is presumed based on archeological evidence.
  10. ^ This is the first recorded use of a period title on a Chinese cash coin.
  11. ^ Only one specimen of this cash coin is known to exist.
  12. ^ These cash coins were cast to celebrate the period title of Jian Zhing Jing Guo which was considered too long to use as an inscription and these cash coins were not made for general circulation. The Jian Guo Tong Bao is notably made from white copper.
  13. ^ The transliterations are those from Tangutologist Li Fanwen, as opposed to David Hartill's usage "Lee Ndzen" and similar phonetics which are common in the numismatics community.
  14. ^ Chinese, and 'Phags-pa scripts would generally appear on the obverse of these coins, while Mongol script would appear on the reverse and would serve as a mint mark (and in one instance the Jurchen, Uighur, and Tangut scripts); Kublai Khan's Zhong Tong Yuan Bao (中統元寶) was the only coin that contained Seal script, all other Chinese inscriptions during the Mongol period were written in regular script
  15. ^ In Xinjiang coins bearing the inscription Qián Lóng Tōng Bǎo (乾隆通寶) continued to be produced until the fall of the Qing dynasty to commemorate the regions annexation under the Qianlong Emperor, 1 in every 5 coins cast in Xinjiang bear this inscription regardless of era.
  16. ^ The characters on this series are larger than the previous one which featured rather small Arabic writing.
  17. ^ These are perhaps the rarest of all cash coins issued by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.

References[edit]

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