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CHINESE COINS & CURRENCY

All items guaranteed to be genuine.  I have over 40 years experience with Chinese coins and buy only from reliable suppliers in the United States.


THE REMARKABLE WU-CH'U COIN Restocked

Ancient Chinese Wu Shu coinIn 118BC Emperor Yuan-shou withdrew the Pan-Liang coin and introduced a new coin, called the Wu Ch'u (Wu Shu or Wu Chu)  It had a value of 5 Shu.  Unlike the earlier Pan Liang coins it had a raised rim to prevent filing.  The coin proved quite popular, and continued to be issued in various versions for the next six centuries!
Item CN-WU CHINA WU-CH'U COIN 118BC - 618AD (Scj.114+) VG-F  $6.00



ONLY COIN OF THE SHORT-LIVED SUI DYNASTY OF CHINA

China, Sui Dynasty Wu Chu coin, 581-618ADThe Sui Dynasty lasted only 37 years, from 581 to 618AD, yet led a major transition in China’s history.  The dynasty united China for the first time after four centuries of division and strife.  Buddhism was encouraged and Confucian rituals reintroduced. Major construction projects were undertaken, including upgrades to the Great Wall and construction of the Grand Canal which is still in use today.  The canal connected northern and southern China together with the inland capitals of the dynasty.  Major reforms were implemented, redistribution of farm lands, including making the penal code and administrative rules fairer, more lenient and simpler, taxation reform, and a major coinage reform.  A new, well made, broad-rimmed Wu Chu coin with distinct characters was introduced. The Dynasty conquered northern Vietnam and made a disastrous attempt to conquer Korea.  Large numbers of conscripts were needed for the construction projects and to fight wars, leading to a shortage of agricultural workers.   The heavy taxation and compulsory labor duties needed for the ambitious wars and construction projects led to widespread revolts and the dynasty was overthrown in 618AD.
Item CN-SUI CHINA, SUI DYNASTY WU CH'U 581-618AD VG $10.00



FAMOUS K'AI YUAN COIN OF THE TANG DYNASTY 

China 1 Cash K'ai Yuan coin of Tang DynastyThe K'ai Yuan coin was introduced by Chinese Emperor Kao Tsu, who founded the Tang Dyansty in 618AD.  The coins replaced the previously used Wu-Chu and other coins.  The high quality of the coins and excellent calligraphy set a standard for Chinese coins for the next 1000 years!   The legend on the coin, K'ai Yuan Tung Pao translates as "precious currency of the K'ai Yuan era".   The Tang Dynasty was a brilliant period in Chinese history.  It was an era of great prosperity and artistry.   The K'ai Yuan coin continued to be issued for the next 300 years, until the collapse of the Dynasty in 907AD.   During much of the dynasty the coin was the only denomination struck.  Because of the relatively low value of the coin and the high level of commerce a LOT of the coins were issued during that period. (Think of doing all your transactions with only pennies!)   As a result the coin, though over 1000 years old, is still plentiful and inexpensive.
Item CN-KAI CHINA K'AI YUAN 1 CASH COIN, (Scj. 312+) 618-907AD F-VF $4.00



A WORD ABOUT THE NAMES OF CHINESE EMPERORS

 The names of Chinese emperors can be confusing - because one Emperor will have many names.  Like everyone, they have personal name, but that is often different than their birth name.  Once they become emperor however,  the emperor choses a reign title.  The reign title is the name that appears on their coins.  Some emperors used one reign title for their entire reign.  Others would change their reign title every few years. Some reign title would be used by more than one emperor.  In addition, after an emperor died he was given a posthumous name, which often was long enough to read like an entire sentence. 

Adding the confusion is that there are multiple ways of translating the same name.  Most traditional English language references used the Wade-Giles transcription.  Many recent books use the modern Pinyin transcription.  Thus the emperor who ruled China from 1022 to 1063AD is known as Jen Tsung in the Wade-Giles transcription and Ren Zong in the Pinyin transcription. He used nine reign titles during his reign.   His reign titles in the Wade-Giles transcription are T'ien-Sheng, Ming-tao, Ching-yu, Pao-yuan, K'ang-ting, Ch'ing-li, Huang-yu, Chih-ho, and Chia-yu.  In the Pinyin transcription that is Tian Sheng, Ming Dao, Jing You, Huang Song, Kang Ding, Huang You, Zhi He and Jia You.  His birth name (using Pinyin) was Zhao Zhen.  His Posthumous name (using Pinyin) is Emperor Titian Fadao Jigong Quande Shenwen Shengwu Ruizhe Mingxiao, but that is too long for anyone to use!

 For the purposes of these coins, I will usually refer to both the reign title that appears on the coin (as that is what is used by most collectors of Chinese coins), and the common personal name that the emperor is known by in the history books.  I will usually include both the Wade-Giles and Pinyin transcription.






ATTRACTIVE LARGE COINS OF CHINA’S NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY

China, Northern Sung Dynasty, Ch'ung Ning 10 Cash, Orthodox and Gold ScriptThe Northern (Pei) Song (Sung) Dynasty came to power in 960AD.  China prospered under its wise Emperors. In 1101 Emperor Hui Zong (Hui Tsung) came to power.  A cultured man, poet, painter and avid patron of the arts, he spent vast sums collecting art, supporting artists, and building a costly imperial garden.   He neglected the affairs of state.  The civil service became increasingly corrupt, the army weak, and the treasury bankrupt. The Emperor allied himself with the increasingly powerful Jin (Chin Tarters) of Manchuria to attack and destroy the neighboring Liao Kingdom.  The Jin (Chin), then turned against him and succeeded in sacking and destroying the weakened Song Dynasty.  Hui Zong was captured, along with most of the Imperial Court, and died in exile in Manchuria.
    In 1102 Hui Zong began to issue this attractive, large (32 to 35mm) copper 10 Cash coin (some references call it a 5 Cash) using the reign title Chong Ning (Ch'ung Ning). The coins had far less copper than ten one cash coins, so brought in substantial extra revenue for the government.  As might be expected, this devalued money drove the good money out of circulation which caused a severe coin shortage.  The public outcry caused the Emperor to discontinue the coins by 1106AD.  In keeping his appreciation for calligraphy, the coins were minted in two beautiful script styles: orthodox script and “Slender Gold” a script which he developed. We have examples of both styles.  The orthodox script coins grade Fine to Very Fine and are problem free.  The “Slender Gold” coins grade Fine to Very Fine for wear, but tend to have heavy encrustations.  They are attractive coins from a cultured, but inept, Emperor of China.
Item CN-S622 CHINA 10 CASH CHONG NING 1102-1106AD ORTHODOX SCRIPT Sch. 622-623 F-VF $15.00
Item CN-S621 CHINA 10 CASH CHONG NING 1102-1106AD SLENDER GOLD SCRIPT Sch. 621 F-VF-CRUSTY $6.00



Book: Old Coins of China by Holger Jorgensen. Chinese cash coin identification guideOLD COINS OF CHINA by Holger Jorgensen

A small but complete identification guide book for Chinese cash coins from 600BC to 1912AD. Best book if you just want to identify Chinese cash coins by emperor and date without going into varieties. Features line drawings of coins with reign title and reign dates, but not much further information.   Reprint. 26 pages and plates. 5.5" x 8.5",  softcover.
Item BK-Jorgensen Book: OLD COINS OF CHINA by Holger Jorgensen $6.00



CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL GAMBLING TOKENS

Chinese Mother of Pearl Gambling tokensThese beautiful, hand carved mother-of-pearl gambling tokens were manufactured in China from the late 18th Century to the late 19th Century.  Most were exported to Europe where they were used in a card games.  They come a variety of shapes and sizes, including round, rectangular, oval and even fish-shaped.  Most are about 28mm to 55mm.  
Item CHINA-MOPx1 1 CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL GAMBLING TOKEN $15.00
Item CHINA-MOPx3 3 DIFFERENT CHINESE MOTHER OF PEARL GAMBLING TOKENS $39.75



CHINESE DRAGON AND FLAG COPPERS

China 10 Cash Dragon and Flag coppersThe first machine-struck Chinese copper 10 and 20 Cash coins were issued by the Canton mint in 1900.  The coins were popular and soon other provincial mints began making them.  The 10 cash are approximately 27mm, the 20 Cash are approximately 32mm.  Both coins featured the Imperial Dragon on one side and Chinese inscriptions on the other.  In 1911 China became a republic and new designs were introduced featuring the crossed flags of the Republic of China and the Revolutionary Army Flag.  The reverse usually included stalks of grain and the inscriptions in English. Numerous varieties were issued by warlords who controlled the provincial mints.  By about 1927 coinage of the copper 10 Cash coins ceased as the central government gained control over the mints.  There are far too many varities of these coins for me to take the time to sort and catalog them. But then the many varieties have made these coins popular with collectors, so I will let you have all the fun.
Item CN-10DRAGONx1 CHINA DRAGON 10 CASH, (circa 1900-1911) VG-VF $3.00
Item CN-20DRAGONx1 CHINA DRAGON 20 CASH, (circa 1900-1911) VG-VF $3.50
Item CN-DRAGONx10 10 MIXED CHINESE DRAGON 10 & 20 CASH VG-VF $25.00
Item CN-10FLAGx1 CHINA FLAG 10 CASH, (circa 1912-17) VG-VF $2.50
Item CN-20FLAGx1 CHINA FLAG 20 CASH, (circa 1912-17) VG-VF $3.00
Item CN-FLAGx5 5 MIXED CHINESE FLAG 10 & 20 CASH, VG-VF $12.00


OLD TOKEN FROM SHANGHAI

Tong K Wing, Shangha, China i 5 Jiao tokenTong K. Wing, a merchant in Shanghai, issued this 5 Jiao (50 Cents) token about 1920.  The 32mm aluminum token is believed to have been issued about 1920.  One side has legend “TONG K WING SHANGHAI, CHINA” and the numeral “5”  The other side has a floral pattern.  The coin grades XF for wear but has significant tarnish. 
Item CN-TONG TONG K WING, SHANGHAI CHINA 5 JIAO TOKEN $19.50


WORLD WAR II CHINESE CURRENCY

Bank of China 10 Yuan banknote 1940, P85Bank of China 100 Yuan banknote with Chungking Overprint 1940, P88c
Reduced size images
In July 1937 Japan began a full scale invasion of China. Japanese forces quickly took Peking (Beijing) and Shanghai.  In December the Japanese conquered the capital city of Nanking, and engaged in a campaign of mass murder and rape.   Rather than surrender, the Chinese retreated and moved their capital to the remote city of Chungking (now Chongqing) in south-west China.  The 1940 red 10 Yuan and purple 100 Yuan notes were issued by the Nationalist Chinese government's Bank of China in Chungking.  Both notes feature Sun Yat Sen, the founding father of the Republic of China on the front.  The back pictures the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  The notes were printed by the American Banknote Company and are in Chinese on the front, English on the back.  The 100 Yuan note is overprinted "Chungking" in English on the back, and in Chinese on the front.
Item PM-CN-10Y CHINA 10 YUAN NOTE, 1940 P85 F-VF $5.00
Item PM-CN-100Y CHINA 100 YUAN NOTE, 1940 P88c F-VF $7.50



WORLD WAR II JAPANESE MILITARY CURRENCY USED IN CHINA  

China - Japanese Military Currency: 5 Yen P25 (1938-44)
Reduced size images
Japan  issued Military Currency starting in 1938 for use in the areas of China that they occupied. Because civilians were forced to accept the Military Yen, which was not backed and could not be exchanged into Japanese Yen, it cost the Japanese government virtually nothing to purchase whatever they wanted. The initial issues of Military currency were created by taking partially completed Japanese homeland notes and overprinting them on the front and back with four large red characters that read "Military Note". 
Item PM-CN-M5YOVPT JAPANESE MILITARY 5 YEN OVERPRINTED NOTE FOR CHINA, 1938-44 PM25 F $3.00


SCARCE MANCHUKUO 1 CHIAO

Manchukuo 1 Chiao 1940 (K'ang Te 7) Y10In 1931 Japan invaded the three north-eastern provinces of China and set up the nominally independent nation of Manchukuo. A puppet government was set up under P’u-Yi, the last Emperor of China.  In early 1940 Manchukuo introduced a new 1 Chiao (10 Fen) coin.  The 21mm copper-nickel coin was smaller and thinner than the previous 1 Chiao, and only 1mm larger than the copper-nickel 5 Fen.  The coin was replaced later that year with a larger aluminum 1 Chiao, which both avoided confusion between the coins and saved copper and nickel for the war effort. The coin is dated Year 7 in the Kang Te era.  One side features two stylized winged horses.  The other has the national emblem and the denomination in Chinese.
Item MAN-10 MANCHUKUO 1 CHIAO 1940 (KT7) VF-XF $20.00



UNUSUAL FIBER COINS FROM WWII JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF CHINA  

Manchukuo 1 Fen 1945 Y13a "red fiber"Manchukuo 5 Fen 1944-1945 Red Fiber YA13a
Manchukuo was a Japanese puppet state carved out of Northeastern China prior to World War II.  Due to a severe metal shortage towards the end of the war, it issued these unusual 1 Fen and 5 Fen coins struck in a thick, red material rather than metal. The coins are dated in the year of the reign of Emperor Kang Te of Manchukuo.   Kang Te was formerly known as Pu Yi, who was the last Emperor of China until he was deposed in 1911. The Japanese used him as the figurehead leader for Manchukuo.  The 1 Fen struck only a single year; 1945.  The 5 Fen was struck in 1944 and 1945. Because the material used was relitively soft, the coins show considerable wear. These historic World War II coins are some of the few circulating non-metallic coins of the 20th century.  
Item MAN-1F MANCHUKUO 1 FEN 1945 Y13a G-VG $3.00
Item MAN-5F MANCHUKUO 5 FEN 1944-45 YA13a G-VG $7.50


MENG CHIANG JAPANESE PUPPET BANK   

Meng Chiang Bank 5 Chiao 1938 KM521During the 1930's Japan conquered much of Northern China.  The Meng Chiang Bank was a puppet bank established by the Japanese to provide currency for the area between Mongolia and Manchukuo, known as Inner Mongolia.  In 1938 the Bank issued its only coin: a copper-nickel 5 Chiao. One side of the coin features a pair of stylized dragons and the denomination.   The other side has a floral design.
Item MENG521 MENG CHIANG BANK 5 CHIAO 1938 (KM521) VF-XF $10.00


FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CHINA

China-Provisional Government (Japanese occupation issue) 1 Chiao Year 31 (1943) KM525The Federal Reserve Bank of the Provisional Government of China was a Japanese puppet bank based in Beijing that provided coins and currency for northern China.  Its coins picture the famous Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  This 1 Chiao is dated Year 32 of the Republic of China, which was 1943.   It was the last year the bank issued coins.  The coin shows little or no wear, but does have some spots or stains.
Item CN-PROV525 PROVISIONAL GOVT. OF CHINA 1 CHIAO Year 32=1943 VF-XF-stains $10.00


COIN SET FROM THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA  

People's Republic of China 6 coin set: 1 Fen - 1 Yuan
This unpackaged six coin set from The People's Republic of China includes the 1, 2 and 5 Fen, 1 and 5 Jiao, and 1 Yuan dating from 1986 to 2010. The aluminum 1, 2 and 5 Fen show the national emblem featuring the Tiananmen Gate and the entrance to The Forbidden City on one side and the denomination on the other.. The Forbidden City was the former Imperial Palace that was closed to the public. It is now a vast museum and a major tourist attraction. Above the gate are 5 stars. The 1 Jiao, 5 Jiao and 1 Yuan feature flowers on one side and the denomination on the other.  All six coins are Uncirculated.
Item CN-SET6PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA 6 COIN SET, 1 Fen - 1 Yuan, Unc. $4.50

CHINA CELEBRATES CALLIGRAPHY

China 5 Yuan 2017 Calligraphy - He = HarmonyChina celebrated its long tradition of beautiful calligraphy with this 2017 commemorative 5 Yuan.  The design features the Chinese character "He" which means harmony.  The character is repeated as a latent image that can only be seen when the coin is tilted in the "brush stroke" next to the main character.  The obverse features the arms of the People's Republic of China. The 30mm coin is struck in brass and is Brilliant Uncirculated.
Item CN-CALL17 CHINA 5 YUAN 2017 CALLIGRAPHY BU $6.00




CHINA CELEBRATES YEAR OF THE DOG WITH BI-METAL 10 YUAN

China 10 Yuan 2018 Year of the Dog bi-metallic coinChina recently released this 2018 dated bi-metallic 10 Yuan coin to commemorate the Year of the Dog.  The 27mm coin depicts a dog, a peach-shaped lantern, and plum flowers on the obverse.  The denomination surrounded by an intricate etched design is on the reverse. The large number 10 contains latent images, which change from Western to Chinese characters as the coin is moved.
Item CN-DOG18 CHINA 10 YUAN 2018 YEAR OF THE DOG, BI-METAL BU $6.75


MACAU COIN FEATURES DRAGON DANCE

Macau 50 Avos 1993 Dragon Dance KM72The Dragon Dance is featured on this 1993 50 Avos coin of Macau (Macao).  The dance, often performed during Chinese New Year celebrations dates back over 2000 years and can involve numerous performers to make up a dragon.  The longer the dragon the more luck it will bring the community.  The reverse features a stylized bat above the stylized Chinese characters for Macau and the name of the country in Portuguese.  Bats are harbingers of the five Chinese blessings: long life, wealth, health, love of virtue, and a peaceful death after achieving one's destiny. The Chinese characters are designed in such a way that it symbolizes “Shou” or longevity.   The 23mm brass coin was struck at the British Royal Mint. 
Item MO-50A MACAO 50 AVOS 1993 KM72 UNC. $3.00




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