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T'ang Chi Yao 50 Cash Brass Coin

I post below are the coin images received from Mr. R S of Hawaii, USA on Sat, 18 Aug 2007.
Mr. R S's father picked this coin up during WW2.

During the later Qing dynasty, the coinage of the ancient copper coins had been suspended in most of the provinces in China. The Mint masters found that they could not cast the tranditional cash coins economically, they stopped casting and engaged in another kind of circular coin struck by machinery without a square hole in the centre. It was known as "T'ung Yuan" [copper coin], or "T'ung Hsien" [copper cent] and or "Tung Pan" [copper plate] Each one is equivalent to ten cash. Later, there were also denominations of 1, 2, 5, 20, 30 and 50 cash.
Copper Coin was first minted in Kwangtung province in the 26th years of the "Kwang Hsu" reign (1900AD).

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


By courtesy of Mr.R S

By courtesy of Mr.R S
No. 367
3.95 mm
Wt. 20g
Mint Evolution & PeculiarityRareness D

This 50 cash brass coin was inssued in 1916 or the 5th year of the Republic of China with the head portrait of Tang Jiyao 唐繼堯 in the center of the obverse side, circumscribed the the characters meaning "Brass coin in Commemoration" on the upper part and the design of good harvest on the lower part. The center of the reverse side features the crossed design of iron-and-blood 18-star flag and a five-colour flag with two stars on the flanks. Four characters meaning "Made in Yunnan Province" features on the upper part and the the words "Equivalent to 50 cash" on the lower part.

Tang Jiyao 唐繼堯 :

Tang Jiyao 唐繼堯 (1882-1927) A warloard of the Yunnan clique, also known as Xuangeng. A native of Huize, Yunnan Province, Tang Jiyao graduated from a Japanese Military Cadet School and joined Sun Yat-sen's 孫逸仙 Tong Meng Hui 同盟會 in Japan. Back in China, he became an officer and drill supervisor in the modern army in Yunnan. In the 1911 Revolution, he joined the uprising in Kunming led by Cai E 蔡鍔. He led an army that captured Guiyang in 1912 and he became Military Governor of Guizhou Province. The following year he was appointed military governor of Yunnan. When Cai E, leader of the Yunnan army, called upon the whole country to rise to overthrow Yuan Shih Kai 袁世凱 and protect the Republic in December 1915, Tang Jiyao assumed the position as commander of the 3rd army to garrison Yunnan. The Hu Guo Jun 護國戰爭, or the army to protect the republic, formed a military council in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Provice in May 1916 to act as the cabinet for all the internal and external affairs of the independent provinces. Tang Jiyao was selected as marshal. He took part in the "movement to uphold the Constitution" in opposition to Duan Qirui 段祺瑞 while at the same time tried to oust Dr. Sun Yat-sen by secretly colluding with the Beiyang warlords. In the succeeding years, he more that once let his troops to invade Guizhou and Sichuan in an attempt to lord it over Southwest China as he styled himself "commander-in-chief of the joint army." He was driven out by Gu Pinzhen 顧品珍 in 1921, but he managed to return to Yunnan the following year and resumed his post. He advocated "joint autonomy of neighbouring provinces 聯省自治" in his attempt to maintain his sphere of power. He lost his position under pressure fromlocal warlords Hu Royu 胡若愚 and Yun Long 龍雲威 in 1927 and some time later died.

Ref. An Overview of China's Gold & Silver Coins of Past Ages - The gold and silver coins and medals of modern China. p.845

More about Copper Coin in Chinese History


  1. The Historical Currencies of Yunnan, 云南人民出版社, 1989.
  2. Dong Wenchao : 中國歷代金銀幣貨通覽 (An Overview of China's Gold & Silver Coins of Past Ages - The gold and silver coins and medals of modern China. p.845 ISBN 962-531-001-0)
  3. 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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Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.

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