CHINA YUAN FU TONG BAO 1098-1100 AD 1 cash


CHINA, NORTHERN SONG Dynasty, 960-1127 AD, 1 cash, no date (1098-1100 AD), Obverse: YUAN FU TONG BAO, running script, spread feet BAO, bronze, 24mm, 4.08g, H16.342, S602, blue patina, aVF

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Zhe Zong became the seventh Song Emperor at the age if 9. He ruled for 15 years, predeceased by his son. The throne went to half-brother Hui Zong. There was factionalism during his reign, progressive and reactionary. Meanwhile he beat up on the Tangut Western Xia Dynasty.

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.