CHINA, TONG ZHI TONG BAO, 10 cash, Yunnanfu mint, Yunnan,


CHINA, QING Dynasty, 1644-1911 AD, 10 cash, no date (1862-74 AD), Yunnanfu mint, Yunnan, Obverse: TONG ZHI TONG BAO, square head TONG, Reverse: DANG SHI top-bottom, BOO YUN L-R, brass, 37mm 14.3g, local style, H22.1203, C26-8, crudish VF

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A five year old boy was made Emperor in 1861 and his regency council defeated the Taiping Rebellion. Attempts at repairing the torn fabric of society came to naught as the boy grew up and turned out to be an ignorant playboy with a high opinion of himself.

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.