CHINA, WANG MANG, HUO QUAN, bronze, cash, 7-25 AD


CHINA, WANG MANG, 7-22 AD, cash, Obverse: HUO QUAN, no vertical line at top of QUAN, half dot center upper inner rim obv., thin characters, 8mm hole, bronze, 21-22mm, H9.46v, S165v, traces of 2 other impressions, obv., ex-Fisher collection, XF

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Wang Mang was a relative of the Han Emperor, was appointed regent to the child emperor Ruzi in 7 AD, usurped the throne in 9 AD, and embarked on a series of financial and administrative reforms that mostly didn’t work, resulting in famine and war. The Han resurged and returned to their old ways. The political situation deteriorated until China broke up into independent regions.

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.