CHINA, KAI YUAN TONG BAO, seal script, 961-78 AD


CHINA, SOUTHERN TANG Dynasty, 950-78 AD, no date (961-78 AD), Obverse: KAI YUAN TONG BAO, seal script, Reverse: outer and inner rims, bronze, 25mm, 3.05g, H15.99, S446, XF

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The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period followed the demise of Tang. Later (Posterior) Liang, Tang, Han, Jin, and Zhou Dynasties, Former (Anterior) Shu, Min, Chu, Later Shu, Southern Tang and Han, You Zhou kingdoms and regions issued coins. There was extensive use of iron and lead coinage in some regions.

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.