CHINA, JIANGSU, bronze, token, 1900s?


CHINA, JIANGSU, token, no date (1900s?), Obverse: AN QUAN GONG CHAN (safe production), Reverse: BAI YI GONG (100 products), brass, 25mm, 11.5g, Zeno #192603, aVF


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Jiangsu province in particular was a hotbed of local tokens in the late 19th and early 20th century.  Brass, copper, bamboo, and lead tokens are known.

Anti-counterfeiting laws substantially prevented manufacture of local money during times of Chinese dynastic strength. In the later 19th century large areas experienced chaos, and in some of those places local money was made by merchant associations and perhaps by municipal authorities. There was a series of bamboo tokens in the early 20th century. Research on these tokens is sparse at this time (2019).

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.