CHINA DUAN PING YUAN BAO iron 5 cash 1234-37 AD Jiading mint


CHINA, SOUTHERN SONG Dynasty, 1127-1280 AD, 5 cash, no date (1234-37 AD), Jiading prefecture mint, Sichuan, Obverse: DUAN PING YUAN BAO, Reverse: DING WU DONG SHANG (#5 east upper) top-bottom, iron, 37mm, 13.1g, H17.745, ex-Fisher collection, cracks, VG

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Emperor Lizong was not in line for the Imperial succession but was elevated in a palace coup by the Dowager Empress. He was a playboy who ruled for four decades while the power of the Mongols grew and he stayed up late partying. As for coins, he had nine year titles. Many of his coins are relatively common. Next to last Song Emperor.

Pressure from Turks, Tungus, and other peoples to the North grew until the Song felt obliged to retreat to the south. The Song paid tribute to the northern invaders, and continued their traditions in reduced circumstances until the coming of the Mongols.

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.