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

Part E

 

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. 0066
Mint: Peking
Diam. 27 mm
Wt. 4.8 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
The Hu-pu Pao Ch'uan Chu [Board of Revenue] was first established at Peking in 1644 for the minting of the Shun Chih T'ung Pao cash coins, each weighting 1 mace, and increased to 1.2 mace in 1645. [1 mace = 1/10 tael = 3.73 gram.] It ceased minting in the 2nd year of the Hsuan T'ung reign (1910AD). This is a typical K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao copper cash. On the obverse of the coin bearing with the reign title of the Emperor K'ang Hsi, along with the characters "T'ung Pao" in Chinese. The mint marks on the reverse were written in Manchu scripts on either side of the hole.
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0067
Mint: Peking
Diam. 23 mm
Wt. 3.6 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was cast by the Hu-pu Pao Ch'uan Chu too. It is about 1 mace in weight, so that I know this coin was cast in the period between 1684 to 1702.
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0068
Mint: Peking
Diam. 27.5 mm
Wt. 5.7 g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was cast by the Hu-pu Pao Ch'uan Chu [Board of Revenue]. It is very heavy in weight [5.7 grams = 1.52 mace]. I think this is a "Chi Yuan Ch'ien" [ Copper cash which was cast to mark the first year of a new era during Qing Dynasty.]. It should be cast in the 8th month of the 18th year of the Shun Chih reign (1861AD). It is even heavier than a Chung Ch'ien [means heavy cash which is 1.4 mace in weight, and the name of Chung Ch'ien is suitable for K'ang Hsi copper cash only.] Chung Ch'ien was first cast in the 41st years of the K'ang Hsi reign (1702AD).
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0069
Mint: Peking
Diam. 26 mm
Wt. 4.8 g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
On the obverse of this coin, we find that the left hand vertical stroke of the Chinese character "HSI" is omitted, and with a small "K'ou" in the middle, instead of character "Ch'en". From these interesting varieties, we know that this coin is a "Lohan Ch'ien" ( or Lohan cash). [Lohan: disciples of Buddha] Though it is believed that Lohan cash originated from the metal of 18 melted down idols from Buddhist temple, so that they may contain a considerable portion of gold. Actually it is not true. Lohan cash is the "Wan Shou Ch'ien" (birthday-cash) of Emperor Kang Hsi. It was minted to mark Kang Hsi 60th birthday. This cash was used as an amulet for its mystic background and the special character "Hsi". The story of "Lohan Ch'ien" first appeared in the book "Chih Ch'ien T'ung K'ao" wrote by T'ang Yu K'un in 1852.
Another famous copper cash used as charm is "Kuan Tao Chien", Yung Zheng T'ung Pao, Part C, Coin No. 009 and No. 010.
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0070
Mint: Peking
Diam. 26.5 mm
Wt. 4.7 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was cast by the Kung-pu Pao Yuan Chu [Board of Works] with the "Yuan" mint marks written in Manchu script on the reverse. K'ang Hsi T'ung Pao of Pao Yuan Chu was first cast in 1662. As the character "Yuan" means Pao-Yuan Chu [Board of Works], another one "Yuan" means Taiyuan Mint, it could be easily mixed up with the same pronunciations. So be careful.
Obverse Reverse Description
No. 0070B
Mint: Peking
Diam. 22.6 mm
Wt. 3 g.
Rareness E
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This coin was another cash coin cast by the Kung-pu Pao Yuan Chu in Peking. This cash coin weighs 3 grams only. It is a light cash (normally weighs 7 candareens, about 2.611 gram.), known as 七分錢 (means cash coin weighs 7 candareens.) by the Chinese collectors. It was first cast in the 41st year of K'ang Hsi reign (1702AD).


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



    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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