TIBET 5 sho 16-23 (1949 AD)


TIBET, 5 sho, 16-23 (1949 AD), Obverse: 3 mountains and 2 suns,Reverse: without dot after 16, copper, Y28.1, XF

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Tibet had an empire in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, and fought the Chinese in eastern Central Asia. It disintegrated during the Mongol period, and when the Mongols passed, administratively speaking, it eventually found itself unable to resist Chinese influence. From the 18th century the Tibetan government acknowledged Chinese overlordship. Successive Chinese governments have maintained the relationship. In 1959 the Chinese government abolished the old status and incorporated Tibet as a region of China.

I think I have to respect reality. When we were designing the categories I went for geographical, because that’s the way most coin collectors think, I think. Tibet isn’t really “South Asia,” is it? And I didn’t really see a purpose, commercially speaking, of having a “Central Asia” category, because the market is kind of small. I kind of think that, if I have to put it somewhere, with something, it kind of goes with China.

The big player in East Asia is China, of course. Then there is Japan and Korea, throw in Mongolia. South of China and east of India, but not including, for the most part, the islands to the east, is what we call Southeast Asia. From Burma to Malaya there have been a series of local kingdoms for about 2000 years. Russia, with its Asian Siberia, doesn’t count. We consider it part of Europe.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.