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Chinese Coins

The people who lived in the land of present day China made cash coins for more than two thousand years. I think that calligraphically the most beautiful and technically the most sophisticated coins came from the Northern Song dynasty. Even the coins made of iron reveal most extraordinary craftsmanship. China has frequently been part of foreign empires, such as the Mongol, the Jin, the Liao and the Manchu who set their ruling centers in China and both contributed to and were greatly influenced by Han Chinese culture. These dynasties cast coins with legends in their own languages and scripts as well as in the Chinese language. Some of these coins are quite beautiful as well. China is today and has always been a large multi-ethnic realm.

This new arrangement is my first major revision since first creating a China page in 2001. I have divided the Chinese coins into pages devoted to different dynasties. It will take me a long time to scan coins and add them to each page. My collection is very spotty and focuses on the more common coins.

Below are links to the various dynasty pages with a representative coin from the dynasty.

At the bottom of each coin description I have put in the Chinese characters (using Japanese code because I cannot read Chinese as such). Set the viewer to recognize Japanese encoding. If your computer does not support Japanese this will come out in gibberish but don't worry, it is not necessary

origins through Sui (581-618)
Tang (618-907) and Ten States etc. (circa 900-circa 970's)

Northern Song (960-1127)

Part 1 960-1067

Part 2 1068-1127

Southern Song (1127-1229)
Liao(916-1125), Western Xia(1038-1227), Jin (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368) @
Ming (1368-1644)
Qing (1644-1911)