JOEL ANDERSON
Interesting World Coins & Paper Money

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China 1 Cash of Kai Yuan 618-626AD


Our logo is of a Chinese coin called the K'ai Yuan.  The K'ai Yuan was introduced by 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.

The Chinese used the basic design of a round copper coin with a square hole for over 2100 years.  The roundness of the coin represented heaven, while the square hole represented the earth, thus their coins were the perfect mix of heaven and earth.  A more practical reason for the design is that the coins were cast.  In order to remove the casting spurs on the coins, a square stick was run through the center hole of a group of coins in order to hold them.  The spurs could then be quickly and easily sanded off the whole group of coins

The origin of our use of the K'ai Yuan coin as a logo is deeply shrouded in the hidden mysteries of the past.   I adopted the logo at a time when a substantial part of our business was dealing with Chinese cash coins. However after selling coins for some forty years I cannot remember exactly why it was choosen.  I think it had something to do with the coin being old and inexpensive.   

Anyway, if you would like to get a Chinese K'ai Yuan coin, we usually have them available for sale on our
Click Here 2400 YEARS OF CHINESE COINS page.


Joel Anderson
PO Box 365
Grover Beach, CA 93483-0365 USA
phone 1 805 489 8045   Fax 1-805-299-1818
email: orders@joelscoins.com

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