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K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao
( 1661 ~ 1722 A.D. )

Part A


In 1661, The young Shun Chih Emperor caught smallpox and passed away. His third son, Hsuan Yeh was chosen to succeed the throne at the age of eight with the reign title K'ang Hsi. The Emperor K'ang Hsi had reigned China for 61 years. His long and prosperous reign periods was famous not only of the Qing dynasty but of the whole of Chinese history. When he passed away in 1722, he left a flourshng and stable kingdom.
The coinage of the K'ang Hsi series is very interesting. Have you heard about the K'ang Hsi Ch'ien Shih ? It was arranged by the Chinese collector with the different mints in the form of a Chinese poetry during the Chien Long period and now it is the favourite target for the Chinese collectors.


T'ung

Fu

Lin

Tung

Chiang,

Hsuan

Yuan

Su

Chi

Ch'ang,

Nan

Ho

Ning

Kuang

Che,

T'ai

Kuei

Shen

Yun

Chang.



I give below is an interesting belief wrote by Mr. Fr. Schjoth in 1929. I came across it in my reading a few weeks before.

Mr. Fr. Schjoth wrote:

The Chinese attach a talismanic virtue to the above coins. If genuine and placed together, they have the power of expelling evil influences and of preventing fires. Their genuineness according to popular belief can be tested by placing them, when strung together, on the top of a chickencoop: If genuine, they will prevent the cocks from crowing in the morning !

The coinage of K'ang Hsi reign followed the forms of the last two issues of the Shun Chih coin. The obverse of the coins bearing with the reign title of the Emperor K'ang Hsi, along with the characters "T'ung Pao" in Chinese. The reverse of the coins, except those cast by the two principal mints in Peking, Kung-pu Pao Yuan Chu [Board of Works] and Hu-pu Pao Ch'uan Chu [Board of Revenue], all the provincial K'ang Hsi coins, show the mint mark in Manchu script [left] along with the mint mark [right] in Han script. The mint marks of the two principal mints were written in Manchu scripts only, appear on either side of the hole on the reverse. The forms are consistent until the beginning of the Yung Zheng coinage. But the number of the provincial mints was often changed. This was certainly caused by the increased or decreased work in connection with the cash production. In 1662, most of the provincial mints were terminated casting coins except Kiangsi Mint (Nanchang) and the two principal mints in Peking. It might be because of the over supply of the copper cash or the price of cash was too low at the beginning of K'ang Hsi reign.*

All the provincial mints were reopened in 1667. But I believe that a limited amount of K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao were possibly cast by the provinceial mints in 1661.
I have selected 25 pieces of K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao coin from my collection and divide them into 5 parts showing here. All the K'ang Hsi cash would be shown with a detailed description.

*
[The Official exchange rate of copper cash to silver was 1000 to 1 (1000 standard cash to 1 tael of silver). Actually, the changes in the cash-silver exchange rate were determined by the natural economic forces. Sometimes when the ingredients contained in a copper cash became more valuable than its face value, copper cash were melted down by the criminals in order to get the copper.]

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

Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0046
Mint: Shansi
Diam. 27 mm
Wt. 4.3 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was cast from 1667 to 1670, bearing Manchu character "Tung" [left] and Chinese character "T'ung" [right] (Tat'ung) on the reverse. Tat'ung mint was established in 1645, and moved to Yangh'u in 1649. In 1656, the thirteenth year of the Shun Zhi reign, the mint moved back to Tat'ung, began casting coins bearing with Chinese character "T'ung" on the reverse. [For the better administration of the national finance, the Qing government ceased casting cash in all the provincial mints in the 1st year of the K'ang Hsi reign (1662AD), except Kiangning Mint, Board of Revenue and Board of Works. In 1667, all the provincial mints were reopened for the need of the society.]
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0047
Mint: Fukien
Diam.
26.5 mm
Wt. 3.3 g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was cast by Foochow mint with Manchu character "Fu"[left] and Chinese character "Fu" [right] on the reverse. As the character "Fu" means happiness; good fortune and felicity, Chinese collectors are especially fond of this coin. It is popularly used as amulet and people hope that it will protect the wearer against evil. The Foochow mint was first established in 1649 and It ceased minting in the 9th year of the K'ang Hsi reign (1670AD). In 1685, Foochow mint was reopened, and it terminated casting coins again in 1695.
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0048
Mint: Shantung
Diam.
26.5 mm
Wt. 4.0 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao [upper] was cast by Linching mint of Shantung province. On the reverse are characters "Lin" in both Manchu and Han scripts. Linching mint cast coins between 1647AD and 1675AD. There were two mints in Shantung province during K'ang Hsi reign.
No. 0049
Mint: Shantung
Diam. 27 mm
Wt. 5.2 g.
Rareness D
This coin was cast by Tsinan mint which was another mint in Shantung province. The mint was first established in the sixth year of Shun Chih reign (1649AD). On the reverse are mint marks "Tung" in both Manchu and Han scripts.
Please be noted that if Chinese character "T'ung" with two dots on the obverse would be a very rare coin. Of course, for K'ang Hsi coin of Tsinan mint only. The upper Linching coin is showing the Chinese character "T'ung" with two dots on the obverse.
This coin [lower] might be a Mu Ch'ien [Mother Cash weighing about 1.6 mace] for its inscriptions and rim are deep and clear. It is heavy in weight too. [5.22 grams = 1.4 mace] If this coin is not Mu Ch'ien, it should be a Chung Ch'ien [means heavy cash and suitable for K'ang Hsi copper cash only.] which was first cast in the 41st years of K'ang Hsi reign. (1702AD)
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0050
Mint: Kiangsi
Diam. 27 mm
Wt. 4.3 g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
Kiangsi Mint (Nanchang) which began to cast coins in 1653 of the Shun Zhi reign. It had not stopped casting coins even in the first year of K'ang Hsi reign (1662AD). Although most of the provincial mints were terminated casting coins, due to the over supply of the copper cash and the price of cash was too low at the beginning of K'ang Hsi reign.



More about K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao Part B, or Part C, or Part D, or Part E.




    Bibliography

  1. T'ang Yu K'un:制錢通考 Chih Ch'ien T'ung K'ao (A comprehensive study of chinese coins.)
  2. Wei Chien Yu:中國近代貨幣史,群聯出版社 ,1955, (Currency history of Modern China.)
  3. Ting Fu Pao:古錢大辭典, 中華書局 (A dictionary of ancient Chinese coins.)
  4. Werner Burger : Ch'ing Cash until 1735, Mei Ya Publications, Inc. 1976.
  5. Pang Hsin Wei:中國貨幣史, 上海人民出版社, (The Currency History of China.), 1988. ISBN7-208-00196-0/K.47
  6. 張作耀:中國歷史便覽,人民出版社,1992, (Zhong Guo Lishi Bianlan) ISBN 7-01-000308-4/k.53.




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Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.








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