CHINA, YUAN YOU TONG BAO, 1086-1093 AD, 1 cash, dot reverse


CHINA, NORTHERN SONG Dynasty, 960-1127 AD, 1 cash, no date (1086-93 AD), Obverse: YUAN YOU TONG BAO, seal script, Reverse: inner and outer rims, dot top, bronze, 22mm, 1.9g, H16.264, S565v, interesting long, almost vertical mark on left reverse, maybe a piece of straw got in the mould, and a very weak dot, ex-Fisher collection, porous, F

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The marks on the reverse of this coin are odd.

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.