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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.




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.





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



NEWOLD CHINESE LOTTERY LOAN BOND

China 1926 Lottery Loan Bond for Port of Whampoa
The Republic of China issued this 5 Dollar Second Nationalist Government Lottery Loan bond in 1926 to raise money to finance improvements in the Port of Whampoa in Canton, (now Pazou, a section of Guangzhou).  Rather than pay interest the bonds were automatically entered into a tri-monthly lottery that paid prizes from $1,000 to $50,000. This made the bonds popular with the Chinese, who are natural gamblers.  The front of the bond is in Chinese, the reverse in English.  Both the front and back are underprinted with a map of the port. The bonds specify that they are denominated  as "5 Dollars Canton Currency".  At the time the bond was issued China was involved in a three-way civil war between Northern China, Southern China and the Communists, each issuing its own currency, so it was necessary to specify which exactly Chinese currency.   The bond measures about 7 1/4" x 5" (18cm x 13cm).
Item BND-CN26-5D CHINA 5 DOLLARS 1926 LOTTERY LOAN BOND, VF-XF $10.00




NEW1938 CHINESE WAR BONDS DEPICTS AIR AND SEA BATTLES

Kwangtung, China $10 1938 Defense bond with coupons
Vignette of naval battle on 1938 Kwangtung, China Defense bondVignette of air battle on 1938 Kwangtung, China Defense bond
These 1938 Chinese War bonds include two wonderful vignettes.  One showing an aerial dogfight, the other depicting costal gun emplacements blasting ships offshore.  The bonds were issued by Kwangtung Province of China in March 1938 to raise funds in a desperate attempt to stop the Japanese invasion of China.  By the time the bonds were issued, Japan had already begun an naval and aerial blockade of Canton (now Guangzhou), the capital of Kwangtung Province (now Guangzhou).  Beijing, Shanghai and the national capital of Nanjing had already fallen to the Japanese.  The bonds were issued in low denominations in order to allow most Chinese to purchase them.  The defense of Canton failed and the city fell to the Japanese in December 1938. The bonds are labeled in Chinese "27th year Kwangtung Province National Defense Public Bond" and paid a 4% interest.  Only the first three coupons on each bond have been clipped.  The bonds measure approximately 10.5"x12.5" (26x31.5cm)      The 5 Dollar bonds are blue, the 10 Dollar bonds are brown.  It is an important item issued during the Japanese invasion of China.
Item BND-CN39-$5 KWANGTUNG CHINA, 1938 $5 DEFENSE BOND, XF $39.95
Item BND-CN39-$10 KWANGTUNG CHINA, 1938 $10 DEFENSE BOND, XF $49.95
Item BND-CN39-BOTH BOTH OF THE ABOVE CHINESE DEFENSE BONDS $79.95


NewOLD BANKNOTES OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF CHINA

Central Bank of China, 1, 5 & 10 Yuan 1936, Thomas de la Rue issue, P212-P214
This three-note set includes the orange 1 Yuan, green 5 Yuan and blue 10 Yuan notes of the Central Bank China dated 1936. The notes were issued as part of a major monetary reform which removed the peg between silver and the Chinese Yuan. The notes are inscribed "National Currency" to distinguish them from the many provincial and private issues that had been in circulation. The notes were printed in London by Thomas de la Rue & Co. Ltd..  All three have similar designs.  The front is in Chinese and depicts Sun Yat Sen.  The back is in English and depicts trees and the gate to the Cemetery of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong Province.  The notes have a watermark of Sun Yat Sen.
Item PM-CN-CBCSET3 CENTRAL BANK OF CHINA 1, 5 & 10 YUAN NOTES 1936 P212-P214 XF $8.50




HISTORIC BANK OF CHINA CURRENCY

The Bank of China is the oldest and one of the largest banks in China.  It was founded in 1905 and was named Bank of China in 1912. It was one of four major note issuing banks for the Republic of China.  It currently issues banknotes for both Hong Kong and Macao. It is one of the only banks in the world to issue currency for three different realms.  

THE BANK OF CHINA'S CURSED BUILDING


China, Bank of China, 5 & 10 Yuan 1937 P80 & P81
In 1930 The Bank of China began to construct a new 34-story headquarters on the Bund in Shanghai.  It was built on property that had been confiscated from the Germans during World War I. Perhaps a departing German cursed the property.   It was to be the highest building in the Far East. However, Britisher Victor Sassoon, the owner of the Sassoon House (now Fairmont Peace Hotel) located next door, demanded that no building be higher than his.  The municipal government, under British control, limited the height of the bank building giving it a chopped off appearance.  In 1937 the building was topped out at a height of 15 stories and the bank issued new banknotes to mark the occasion.  The back of the notes depict the Bank of China building along with a partial image of the Sasson House on the left and the Yokohama Specie Bank the right.. The front depicts Sun Yat Sen and have a watermark of the Temple of Heaven.  Unfortunately, the war with Japan broke out the same year which delayed the completion and move into the building.  The bank was not able to move into the building until 1946. In 1949 the bank was nationalized by the Chinese communists. The notes were printed by Thomas De La Rue in London.
Item PM-CN-BOC37 BANK OF CHINA 5 & 10 YUAN NOTES 1937 P80 & P81 XF $5.00

WORLD WAR II NOTES OF THE BANK OF CHINA

Bank of China 10 Yuan banknote 1940, P85
In 1937 Japan invaded China,  forcing the Chinese government and The Bank of China to retreat to the remote city of Chungking (now Chongqing). From there the Bank of China issued this  red 10 Yuan note.  Sun Yat Sen is on the front and the Temple of Heaven is on the back of all the notes.  The notes were printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York. The notes were among the last released by the Bank of China for the Republic of China, which ceased to issue notes for China in 1942.
Item PM-CN-BOC10Y BANK OF CHINA 10 YUAN NOTE, 1940 P85 VF-XF $4.00

BANK OF CHINA CURRENCY FOR HONG KONG AND MACAU

Hong Kong - Bank of China 20 Dollars banknote, 2015 P341eMacau Banco da China 10 Patacas banknote 2008 P108
After World War II most of the Bank of China was nationalized by the People's Republic of China, which operates it as a government owned commercial bank. Ahead of China's takeover of Hong Kong and Macau, China insisted that the Bank of China be allowed to issue banknotes for both territories. It is one of three banks that issues currency for Hong Kong and one of two banks issuing currency for Macau. This 2015 Bank of China 20 Dollar note for Hong Kong note depicts Bauhinia flowers and the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong on the front.  The distinctive building was designed by I. M. Pei and was the tallest building in Hong Kong when it opened in 1990.  The back of the note portrays the shore of Repulse Bay.  The note includes braille to assist the blind and many security devices including, microprinting, watermark, security thread, SPARK (an optically variable magnetic ink) and iridescent ink.  The Bank of China Macau 10 Pataca note dated 2008 features the A-Ma temple on the front.  Built in 1488, the temple is one of the oldest in Macau and thought to be the settlement's namesake. The back depicts the Bank of China Building in Macau.  It is the second highest building in Macau.  The bank's name is in Portuguese "Banco da China"
Item PM-HK-BOC20-15 BANK OF CHINA HONG KONG 20 DOLLARS NOTE 2015 P341e UNC. $6.00
Item PM-MO-BOC10-08 BANK OF CHINA MACAU 10 PATACAS NOTE 2008 P108 UNC. $6.00

Also see:

Click HereMACAO - BANK OF CHINA YEAR OF THE PIG BANKNOTE




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



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


UNUSUAL FIBER COINS FROM WWII JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF CHINA  

Manchukuo 5 Fen 1944-1945 Red Fiber YA13aManchukuo 1 Fen 1945 Y13a "red fiber"
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 relatively 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-5F MANCHUKUO 5 FEN 1944-45 YA13a G-VG $7.00
Item MAN-1F MANCHUKUO 1 FEN 1945 Y13a G-VG $7.00




CHINA CELEBRATES HIGH SPEED RAIL

China 10 Yuan 2018 High Speed Rail bi-metallic coinChina has the world's longest and most extensive high speed rail network, covering almost 17,000 miles (27,000 km.).  China issued this 2018 dated 27mm bi-metallic 10 Yuan to commemorate the nation's high speed rail network.  The reverse of the coin depicts a "Fuxing" high-speed train, Dashengguan Yangtze River Bridge and the Beijing South Railway Station.  The Fuxing trains run at speeds of 155 to 215 mph (250 to 350 km/h).  The obverse features the arms of the People's Republic of China and the date.
Item CN-RAIL18 CHINA 10 YUAN 2018 HIGH SPEED RAIL, BI-METAL BU $7.00



NEWNEW 2019 CIRCULATING COINS OF CHINA

China 1 Jiao, 5 Jiao, 1 Yuan 2019, ObversesChina 1 Jiao, 5 Jiao, 1 Yuan 2019, Reverses
The People's Republic of China recently released new versions of the 1 and 5 Jiao and 1 Yuan coins with updated designs. All three coins continue to feature flowers on the reverse.  The size of the 1 Yuan is reduced from 25mm to 22.5mm.  The numeral "1" incorporates latent image of “” and “1”.  The coin has a lettered edge with "RMB" repeated three times.  The metallic content of the 5 Jiao is changed to nickel-plated steel, the typeface of the denomination revised and the orchid blossoms on the reverse scaled down.  The numeral on the 1 Jiao was also revised and the orchid on the reverse scaled down.    
Item CN-SET19 CHINA 3 COIN SET, 1 JIAO - 1 YUAN 2019, UNC. $3.00



CHINA CELEBRATES YEAR OF THE RAT WITH BI-METAL 10 YUAN  Restocked

China 10 Yuan 2020 Year of the Rat bi-metallic coinChina recently released this 2020 dated bi-metallic 10 Yuan coin to commemorate the Year of the Rat.  The 27mm coin depicts a cute mouse, a palace lantern, and grapes on the obverse. The reverse features the denomination surrounded by an intricate etched design. The large number 10 contains latent images, which change as the coin is moved.
Item CN-RAT20  CHINA 10 YUAN 2020 YEAR OF THE RAT, BI-METAL BU $7.00




NewWU HAN COIN FEATURES PANGOLIN

Wu Han 20 Yuan 2020 coin depicts PangolinThe city of Wu Han in China is believed to be where COVID-19 began its deadly spread around the world.  Pictured on one side of the unofficial 2020 20 Yuan coin of Wu Han is a Pangolin, the animal from which the disease likely spread to humans.  Pangolins were sold Wu Han Wet Market for their meat and their use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.   The other side of the coin depicts the Yellow Crane Tower in Wu Han.  The tower may have had its origins as early as 223AD. It has been destroyed, rebuilt many times over the centuries.  The present structure was built in 1981.  It is 169 feet (51.4m) tall.  The eight-sided, silver-plated coin is 40mm.  The coin has a mintage of only 160 pieces and is Proof.
Item WU-HAN WU HAN 20 YUAN 2020 PROOF $19.95




YEAR OF THE PIG NOTES FROM MACAU

Macao 10 Patacas Bank of China Year of the Pig
Macao 10 Patacas Banco Nacional Ultramarino Year of the Pig
The two banks that issue currency for Macao, the Bank of China and the Banco Nacional Ultramarino, each a released 10 Patacas banknote honoring the Year of the Pig for 2019.  Both notes have similar designs.  The front of both notes include a stylized pig, bird and flowers, a Chinese zodiac and a color-shifting gold "10".  The backs depict the headquarters building for the issuing bank, children with fireworks outside the A-Ma temple, and the stylized pig, bird and flowers.  Security features include both a security thread and watermarks.  Both notes were printed by Hong Kong Printing Ltd. The last five digits of the serial numbers will match.
Item PM-MO-PIG MACAO SET OF TWO YEAR OF THE PIG (2019) NOTES, UNC. $15.00


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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