CHINA, JIA QING TONG BAO, 1796-1820 AD, Nanchang mint, Jiangxi


CHINA, QING Dynasty, 1644-1911 AD, 1 cash, no date (1796-1805 AD), Nanchang mint, Jiangxi, Obverse: JIA QING TONG BAO, 2-dot closed head TONG, closed 6-stroke Bei BAO, Reverse: BOO CHANG L-R, dot upper L, brass with fire blackened enamel, 23mm, 2.65g, Board of Revenue type, H22.528, C15-2.1, KM476.2, VG

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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.

In the Jia Qing period a rebellion led by a vegetarian and gender-egalitarian religious group called the Lotus Society endured for eight years. Famine produced large migrations of Han Chinese into Manchuria and Mongolia. There was unrest in Xinjiang.

A rebel took Beijing and the last Ming Emperor committed suicide. A Ming loyalist general invited the Manchus into China to aid the Ming heir but instead they proceeded to conquer the country in what some think produced more casualties than any previous war. The Qing Dynasty promoted culture and the economy flourished until the Europeans arrived with their Industrial Revolution and opium.

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.