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Unknown Hsuan T'ung T'ung Pao

Machinery Coinage of 1909AD - 1911AD ?

In the late Qing dynasty, Kwangtung Coin Bureau began trial minting by machinery of cash coins in 1889, as the tranditional casting method did not work economically. I have placed two Hsuan T'ung coins here, the upper coin is, judging by appearance, a Hsuan T'ung T'ung Pao of Szechuen province striking by machinery, but its date of minting has no reference? The lower one is a common Hsuan T'ung T'ung Pao minted by old style casting method.

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. 042
Mint: Szuchuan ?
Diam. 25 mm
Wt. 3.6 g.
Rareness ?
No. 043
Mint: Peking
Diam. 24 mm
Wt. 4.2 g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
The upper brass circular coin was struck by machinery, and the lower copper cash was minted by the tranditional casting method. Inscriptions of both of these two coins are reading from top to bottom and right to left [direct reading]. Inscriptions bearing on the obverse of these two coins are Chinese characters "Hsuan T'ung T'ung Pao", with the meaning of "Hsuan T'ung Current Coin".

On the reverse of the upper coin are two characters "Ch'uan" [Szechuen Mint] in both Manchu [left] and Han [right] scripts on either side of the hole. The inscriptions on the reverse of the lower coin are Manchu characters "Pao" [left] and "Chuan" [right], meaning Hu-pu Pao Chuan Chu [Board of Revenue].
[Please be noted that counterfeit coins of Qing dynasty are commonly found in Hong Kong, most of the fake were struck by machinery. Inscriptions bearing on the obverse are the imperial title of the ten emperors in the Qing dynasty, and the inscriptions bearing on the reverse are "Pao Chuan"(Board of Revenue) in Manchu scripts.]

Additional comment from Mr. Tom Keener of Virginia, USA

As for the struck piece, it is certainly interesting and I have not seen one like it before. I would be a little concerned by the textured field on both sides of the coin because all of the struck cash coins from the Imperial period had smooth fields --- this would be a major change. Also, many of the struck cash counterfeits I have seen have that same textured field to make the coin look like one of the old, sand-cast cash coins.

* [This is a very important skill to judge the struck cash counterfeits. Thanks indeed to Mr. Tom Keener] Y.K.L.


  1. 彭信威:中國貨幣史,上海人民出版社 1988. ISBN 7-208-00196-0 / K.47
  2. 中國大百科全書(中國歷史),中國大百科全書出版社 1994, ISBN 7-5000-5469-6.
  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. 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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