CHINA, SOUTHERN HAN kingdom, 905-971 AD, 1 cash, no date (900-971 AD), Tanzhou (Changsha), Obverse: KAI YUAN TONG BAO, Reverse: TAN left, lead, 23mm, 3.78g, H15.115, F

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The Southern Han Kingdom came about because the Prince of the region remained in power after the fall of the main Han Dynasty. He claimed to be more closely connected than he was, but no matter, his ventures did not particularly prosper, and though he handed on something to a succession of short lived successors, the whole thing was done in a few decades. The Kingdom was poor, you can tell by the lead coins. The region now contains Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Back then it was fishing villages. The constant enemy was Vietnam.

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 that issued coins. Extensive use of iron and lead coinage.

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.