CHINA QIAN LONG TONG BAO Guizhou mint Shan LONG 1 cash 1760-94 AD


CHINA, QING Dynasty, 1644-1911 AD, 1 cash, no date (1760-94 AD), Guizhou mint, Obverse: QIAN LONG TONG BAO, Shan LONG, Reverse: BOO KIYAN left-right, brass, 24.5mm, 3.91g, dH22.287, C20-1.1, KM418, ex-Fisher collection, F

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The Qian Long period began well, succeeding the well run Yong Zheng period. Frontier wars and rebellions were repressed. Economy grew. Cultural affairs were attended to. The regime was a strong believer in a party line, and had an extensive program of literary suppression and “revision.” This is the Emperor, who, when a visiting British delegation asked for trade privileges, told the envoys to go home and tell their so-called “king” that his country had nothing that they needed in China.

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.