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Ming Mang T'ung Pao

Legend on the reverse with 4 Chinese characters
"Yuan Heng Li Cheng" , 'Lien Fu Hsi Min' and "Ti Te Kuang Yun"

I have received an e-mail from Ms. S.J. of U.S.A. on 14 Jan, 1998. When I read her e-mail, I have got to keep quiet a few minute in order to steady my thought. Because her Annamese cash is a quite rare coin. I think only very few people have seen the coin before.

I received another email from Mr. Yang Rong of America on 26 February 2001. He is so kind as to send me the images of "Ti Te Kuang Yun" of Ming Mang T'ung Pao cash that I have never seen before. Thanks indeed !



Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 08:59:47
From: S.J.
Subject: coin

We have a round coin with a square hole in the middle. It has four symbols on the front and four symbols on the back. We know what some of the symbols mean. On one side there are Ming (Top) Mandate of Heaven (bottom) Tung (Left) Pao (right). on the other side Yuan is at the top and there are three other symbols that we cannot find. We have searched the internet and cannot find them any where. If you know what this might be please contact me. Or, if you know of a book that would tell what these symbols mean please forward the name of it to me
Thank you,
S.J.




Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E

ObverseReverseDescription
No. 133
Diam.
51 mm
Wt. 22.5 g.
Rareness B
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin is a Vietnamese cash. In the ancient time, Vietnamese used Chinese characters for official documents and copper cash. Thought some were modified to their liking and will sometimes not match the original character of the Chinese word. This large square holed copper cash with emperor's name on the obverse and a four- characters legend on the reverse was cast in the 11th year of the Ming Mang (Minh Mang) reign (1830AD) of the Yuan (Nguyen) Dynasty of Dai Nam (Vietnam).
[For cash of this type, diameter from 50mm to 52mm and weight from 23 to 28.5 grams were found. (The second Nguyen Emperor, Ming Mang period is from 1820AD to 1841AD)]
The total mintage of the same type cash are 10,000 pieces in 30 different legends. This means that cash of this type exist less than 333 pieces in the world, I guess.
I think this coin is worth about US$100 to US$150 in fine condition. On the other hand, if this coin is a Chinese copper cash, it would be worth much more. The value of a coin is highly dependent on the trend of collection in the world.

According to 大南實錄 "Dai Nam Shih Lu", the second Nguyen Emperors ordered to cast 10000 pieces of the large size copper or brass cash. [The copper cash were cast with eight or four characters on the reverse] The cash were cast in 30 different legends on the 5th month of the 11th year of the Ming Mang reign (1830AD) of the Yuan Dynasty of Dai Nam (Vietnam).
[For eight-characters legends are 20 types, and for four-characters legends are 10 types.
Cash inscripted with 4 Chinese characters on the reverse including : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; and . The last two legends in red are cash that I have never seen, whether they are published in a book or on the internet, and the legend on the reverse with 4 Chinese characters "Yuan Heng Li Cheng" is the first time I have seen.
]
These large cash were believed to have been given as gifts or bestowed as rewards and circulated to some extent although they do not carry any designation of weight or denomination. The cash of this type were intended to circulate as one hundred normal cash
Chemical analysis of "Ming Mang T'ung Pao" coins reveals that copper formed 58.36 per cen of the alloy. Tin formed 0.30 per cen and Zinc 34.51 per cen. The amount of lead was 3.65 per cen. Iron formed only 0.07 per cen.

The inscriptions on the reverse of this large cash are four Chinese characters "Yuan Heng Li Cheng":
"Yuan" means beginning; origin; predicates supremacy;
"Heng" means prosperous; sucessful; fortunate, "Heng" and "Hsiang" is the same character in ancient China;
"Hsiang" means enjoy; receive;
"Li" means gain; profit; advantage; potentiality;
"Cheng" means pure; upright; perseverance
It is come from "Chien Hexagram" (the symbol of heaven) which is the first phrase [totally 64 hexagrams consists of "Eight Trigrams"] from "I Ching" or the "Canon of Changes" and or the "Book of Changes". "I Ching" is the earliest philosephical work extant in China. It is also used to divine the unknown or the future by supernatural means by the Chinese over three thousand years.
As it is full of images and symbols, this book has been tinged with mysticism. Ancient Chinese had been confused by the patterns of change that govern the world. As I know that western people in present day also show wide interest in this anonymous masterpiece.

When the Chinese people use "I Ching" to foretell the unknown future, they will get one hexagrams amount the 64 hexagrams come from the "Eight Trigrams". Each hexagram is attached with one phrase. The phrase of "Chien Hexagram" is "Yuan Heng Li Cheng". After they got the phrase, they find out the meaning of the phrase from "I Ching". "I Ching" has recorded most of the important events happened in China during 3 thousand years ago. Chinese believe that "Yuan Heng Li Cheng" is a very good phrase, for those who get it will have a prosperous and sucessful future. The knowledge in "I Ching" is much more than an encyclopeidia to Chinese.

ObverseReverseDescription
No. 333
Diam.
unknown
Wt. unknown
Rareness B
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This is the first time for me to view the Ti Te Kuang Yun cash. May be this cash is rarer than the above one. In Chinese, Ti means 'Emperor", Te means 'morality; virtue', Kuang means 'extensive; broad' and Yun means 'carry out or carry to; employ; put into practice; luck or fortune'. All four Chinese characters mean 'The Emperor carries out his morality and virtue broadly.' I am sure this coin is very rare among the Chinese cash collectors' circle.
ObverseReverseDescription


By courtesy of Mr. Watxr (明泊先生) of 易泉齋



By courtesy of Mr. Watxr (明泊先生) of 易泉齋

No. 354
Diam.
unknown
Wt. unknown
Rareness B
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This Ming Mang T'ung Pao known as Lien Fu Hsi Min cash. Lien means 'collect; control or concentrate', Fu means 'Happiness; good fortune or prosperity', Hsi means 'give; grant or confer' and Min means 'The people; citizens or inhabitants'. All four Chinese characters 'Lien Fu Hsi Min' on the reverse mean 'The Emperor collects Happiness or good fortune and gives them to his people.' The quality of this coin is very good. The Nguyen emperors opened a new phase in the history of Vietnamese coinage, copper coins minting continued, but coins were casted from zinc for the consequence of shortage of copper and silver was also introduced for responsing to the increase in foreign trade.


More about Annamese big cash Shao Chih T'ung Pao

    Bibliography

  1. Tang Kuo Yen & Chang Shih Chuan : Lieh Su Dong Tien Viet Nam, 1993 ISBN 7-5049-1118-6/F.710
  2. Wang Rangpei & Ren Xiuhua : Book of Change, Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press 1993, ISBN 7-81009-832-2/G.307
  3. Chester L. Krause and Clifford Mishler Colin R. Bruce II. : Standard catalog of World Coins 1991, 18th edition.
  4. Coins in The Collection of The Shanghai Museum, Foreign Currencies, Shanghai Calligraphy & Painting Publishing House, 1995, ISBN 7-80512-668-2/J.551






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