CHINA iron 2 cash 1039-54 AD HUANG SONG TONG BAO


CHINA, NORTHERN SONG Dynasty, 960-1127 AD, 2 cash, no date (1039-54 AD), Obverse: HUANG SONG TONG BAO, orthodox script, Reverse: inner and outer rims, iron, 25mm, 6.75g, H16.117/8, S502, “ex-Schjöth,” written on George Fisher holder, aG

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The regular cash of this year title are common, but the iron coin is rare.

Huang Song was the fourth year title of Emperor Ren Zong.

Song Renzong reigned from 1022 to 1063, the longest reign of the Song dynasty. He came to the throne as a child. Song was at its height of power and prosperity, and adopted a policy of pacific appeasement. The Tanguts to the north had a more belligerant idea of how things could be done, and pulled off recognition as a rival Empire with a regime of mutual “gifting.” Song bought off other northern kingdoms too. It got expensive, taxes were raised. Rebellions developed. Things got worse. Renzong was considered a nice guy, and remained popular until his death. It didn’t matter what people thought, though. He was the Emperor. Did whatever he wanted to do.

The Song Dynasty was established by a rebel general who overcame his Later Zhou employer and went on to conquer the rest of the country. Military reforms produced two centuries of stability, but administrative costs reduced efficiency, and lack of preparedness invited invasion by the Jin from the north, while the Song moved their capital to the south.

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.