CHINA SHAO SHENG 1094-97 AD dot reverse


CHINA, NORTHERN SONG Dynasty, 960-1127 AD, 1 cash, no date (1094-97 AD), Obverse: SHAO SHENG YUAN BAO, seal script, small characters, Reverse: large dot top, bronze, 25mm, 3.58g, H16.296, light crust spots, aVF

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Zhezong of the seventh Song Emperor. He came to the throne at the age of 9 and ruled for 15 years. There was a political split between conservatives who appeased threatening foreigners and reformists who were more internationally confrontational. The conservative regent died in 1093 and some reforms were implemented. The Emperor got sick and died.

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.