CHINA, TATAR Dynasties, QIAN TONG YUAN BAO, 1101-1110 AD, bronze, 1 cash


CHINA, LIAO Dynasty, 907-1125 AD, 1 cash, 1101-10 AD, Obverse: QIAN TONG YUAN BAO, bronze, H18.21, S1073, ex-Fisher collection, F

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The Liao Dynasty was a Khitan Turkic kingdom of northern China, Manchuria, and parts of Mongolia. The story is that they lost their nomadic warrior spirit and were pushed out by their neighbors of the Jin Dynasty.

North of China proper lived various peoples such as Tanguts, Tatars, Khitan, Tungus. and others. Some of them formed coherent territories, created dynasties, and issued coins. In the standard references the so-called Tatar dynasties were Liao (Khitan), Jin (Jurched), Qi (a short-lived Jin puppet), and Western Xia (Tangut). Mongols issued coins as well, but they are typically not well treated in the Chinese references.

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.