CHINA, XINJIANG, QING Dynasty, 1644-1911 AD, 1 cash, no date (1821-25 AD), Ili mint, Obverse: DAO GUANG TONG BAO, square head TONG, Reverse: BOO I left-right, dot top, large mint name, copper, 24mm, 4.45g, H22.660, C28-3.1, VG/aVF

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The dot is called “Sun” from a mythical point of view, and denotes yang, male, hot, projective, etc., as the crescent is the “Moon,” and points to yin, female, cool, receptive, etc.

During the Dao Guang period the import of opium became a serious drain on the Chinese economy. The refusal of Britain to stop importing opium resulted in the First Opium War, which China lost. Ili is a town in north central Xinjiang.

Xinjiang (Sinkiang) is the western region of China. Dominant ethnic groups are historically Turkic and Mongol, including Uighurs and Kyrghiz. Coinage is at least as old as the 5th century AD, and has included both Chinese and Islamic manufacturing methods and styles.

The oldest Chinese coins are at least as old as the earliest Greek coins. The Chinese coinage system differed from other systems in two ways. It was monometallic, only bronze coins circulated in general commerce. Gold and silver were treated as commodities. And the manufacturing method was by casting in moulds rather than by striking heated solid planchets. The main reference I use in attributing and describing these coins is the book: Chinese Cast Coins, by David Hartill.