Author Topic: Imperial China, Tang Dynasty: Kai Yuan (618-907) Cash (Hartill-14ah)  (Read 1661 times)

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Offline Quant.Geek

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Imperial China, Tang Dynasty: Kai Yuan (618-907) Cash (Hartill-14ah)

Obv: 開元通寳 Kai Yuan tong bao
Rev: Crescent with Dot above



This one I am not so sure about the authenticity, but it did come from a reliable dealer.  Either way, it is an extremely cheap coin  :)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 10:24:13 PM by Quant.Geek »
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Offline weepio

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Re: Imperial China, Tang Dynasty: Kai Yuan (618-907) Cash (Hartill-14ah)
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 07:17:05 PM »
It should read Kai Yuan Tong Bao

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Imperial China, Tang Dynasty: Kai Yuan (618-907) Cash (Hartill-14ah)
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2013, 06:23:42 PM »
It is a common coin, but not in such a great condition. Emperor Kao Tsu died in 626. If Hartill says these were cast until 907, I suppose he means they were made posthumously? Possibly, they were all made posthumously, since the reign name of the emperor was Wu De.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Quant.Geek

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Re: Imperial China, Tang Dynasty: Kai Yuan (618-907) Cash (Hartill-14ah)
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 10:44:10 PM »
@weepio: Stupid typo when I was attributing from Hartill.  Thanks for the correction.  I modified the attribution accordingly.

@figleaf: Correct.  Quoted from Hartill:

The Kai Yuan was the main coin issued by the Tang.  It was cast for most of the dynasty, a period of nearly 300 years.  It was first issued by the Emperor Gao Zhu in the autumn of the 4th year of the Wu De period (August 621).  Its diameter was to be 8 fen.  The weight was set at 2.4 zhi, ten to the liang.  1,000 coins weighed 6 jin 4 liang, so one weighted 1 qian, the weight now being named after the coins.  The records state that in 713, 1,000 of the recently minted coins mostly weighted 7 jin, so that one coin would have weighted 1.1 qian.  The legend was written by the famous caligrapher Ouyang Xun in a much admired mixture of the bafen and 李 Li (official or clerkly) styles of writing.  The inscription, 開元通寳 Kai Yuan tong bao (The inaugural Currency), is the first to include the phrase tong bao, used on many subsequent coins.  (However, there are those who read the inscription clockwise as Kai Tong yuan bao - without justification, as the coins are referred to as Kai Yuan coins in contemporary documents.)  Due to its high quality, the Kai Yuan coin was the paradigm for all subsequent coinage.  The inscription was used by other regimes in later periods; such coins can be distinguished from Tang coins by their workmanship.

A crescent-shaped mark is often found on the reverse of Kai Yuans.  The legend is that the Empress Wende inadvertently stuck one of her fingernails in a wax model of the coin when it was first presented to her, and the resulting mark was reverentially retained.  Other imperial ladies have also been proposed as the source of these nail marks, especially the Imperial Consort Yang.  Peng explores the possibility of a foreign source for them.  More prosaically, they appear to be a control system operated by the mint workers.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 10:55:32 PM by Quant.Geek »
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins