Qian: coin of Late imperial China (Northern Song dynasty)


10 qian (or cash), 1102-1106: Chinese Empire (Northern Song)

10 qian (or cash), 1102-1106: Chinese Empire (Northern Song)

Ruler: Emperor Huizong of Song (1100-1126).

ND (no date, but the Chongning era of the Emperor's reign is clearly indicated — corresponds to the period from 1102 to 1106).

A coin with a square hole in the middle and a completely smooth coin reverse — the so-called uniface in numismatics.

The characters and are placed on the top and bottom of the obverse of the coin, which indicate the exact period of Emperor Huizong's reign when this coin was issued (casting method). We are talking about the so-called Chongning (Chong Ning) era.

寶 重 (Zhòng Bǎo): heavy currency.

  • Bronze: 35 mm - 11.49 g
  • Reference price: 15$

COIN QIAN — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. CHINA (Empire, Provinces...): qian as an ancient predecessor of the popular Chinese coin cash (the first mention of the qian coin in historical sources dates back to 947 BC, the last coins of this denomination, as mentioned by individual numismatic sources, are dated to the beginning of the 20th century — although late qian, it is probably more correct to consider these as examples of cash coins)

About the name of the coin qian (Chinese "錢"): the coin got its name from the ancient Chinese weight measure of the same name — qián (equivalent to 5 g; another name is mace). That was the weight of the first qian coins.
Over time, the hieroglyph used to denote a coin ("錢") acquired a broader meaning — "money".
Despite the massiveness (presented in most numismatic collections) and sufficient study of the coin, open questions remain. In particular, regarding its name.
Thus, in Western sources, the qian coin is called cash or wen. In fact, the term "cash" in relation to the Chinese qian coin actually began to be used only at the beginning of the 20th century: many coins with the denomination "cash" were minted — both of the Chinese Empire and of a number of provinces and the Republic of China.
Although the majority of Western numismatic sources place the Chinese cash in the same row as the ancient qian, it is, in my opinion, a separate coin (on cash, there is often a direct indication of the denomination in English next to the hieroglyphs — "cash", minting instead of casting, a more complex design, lack of square hole).