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Hsien Feng Chung Pao

( 1854 ~ 1861 )

This Cash coin may be a "Yang Ch'ien" [ Copper Model ]

On 10th day of December of the 1st year of the Hsien Feng reign (11th January 1851), Hung Hsiu Chuan proclaimed the uprising and announced the establishment of the "Taiping Tien Kuo". The Taiping rebellion took place in the Chintien village in Kwangsi province. The Taiping army moved northward through the provinces of Kwangtung, Hunan, Hupeh and Anhwei reached Nanking of Kiangsu province in the 3rd year of the Hsien Feng reign (1853). They settled in Nanking and changed her name as Tienching and used it as their capital later.
In the 3rd year of the Hsien Feng reign (1854AD), the Qing government found itself in extreme need of revenue to suppress the Taiping rebellion. The big cash with great face value, from ten to a thousand cash were issued to the market in order to meet the military expenses.

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

No. 131
36 mm
Wt. 17 g.
Mint Evolution & PeculiarityRareness E
This big copper cash with a square in the center. There are four Chinese characters (Hsien Feng Chung Pao) on the obverse and two Manchu characters meaning (Sian Mint of Shensi Province) on either side of the hole on the reverse, and there are also two Chinese characters as denomination "Tang Shih"[means equivalent to ten cash] above and below of the hole. Sian Mint cash were cast in a set of 6 denominations including; 1 cash, 10 cash, 50 cash, 100 cash, 500 cash and 1000 cash during the Hsien Feng period. During this reign the quantity of the one cash coins were cast in decreasing.
No. 132
37 mm
Wt. 18.2 g.
Mint Evolution & PeculiarityRareness B
The inscriptions bearing on this coin are the same as the above coin, except the fine surfaces and also the central hole looks likes a circular hole more. Do you know more about this coin? If you know anything about it, drop me a line please.
In the Qing Dynasty, standard copper cash could only be cast by the official minting authorities. A "Tsu Ch'ien" [ancestral coin] was carved first by hand in ivory or pure brass to serve as the die for striking a "Mu Ch'ien" [mother coin] by the Board of Revenue. The "Mu Ch'ien" became the pattern coin for the minting of a cash coin which was cast in an alloy of brass and lead. Both of the "Tsu Ch'ien" and "Mu Ch'ien" were presented to the Emperor. After the imperial approval, the "Tsu Ch'ien" would be retained by the Court as a record, the "Mu Ch'ien" was copied with a chisel in pure copper to many "Yang Ch'ien" [copper models]. Those copper models were sent to the various provincial mints where copper cash were accordingly minted for issue. Both the "Mu Ch'ien" and "Yang Ch'ien" are a little bit larger than the standard cash in diameter. This coin may be a "Yang Ch'ien". It is unexpected for me to find it in my collection, as I just wanted to choose some Hsien Fung coins to post on the Internet a month ago.


  1. Huang P'ing Hsiao : Ku-kung Ch'ing-chien Pu, Peking 1937. (reprint Peking 1994)
  2. Ting Fu Pao : 古錢大辭典, 中華書局 (A dictionary of ancient Chinese coins), 1982.
  3. 中國歷代幣貨 A History of Chinese Currency (16th Century BC - 20th Century AD), 1983 Jointly Published by Xinhua (New China) Publishing House N.C.N. Limited M.A.O. Management Group Ltd. ISBN 962 7094 01 3
  4. 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

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