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This section relates to the Northern Song Dynasty coinage of medievel China.
 
Reading of Chinese Coins
The Northern Song Dynasty coins have inscriptions on the top, bottom left and right of the coins. These coins are read top, bottom, right to left unless otherwise stated.
 
Inscriptions.
The top and bottom of the coins is the Emperors title name. Right and left is Tong bao, Yuan bao or Zhong bao
Tong bao, means universal currency
Yuan bao, means original or large currency
Zhong bao means heavy currency
 
A brief bit about the Dynasty is included and also a small bit on each of the Emperors.
 
Further information can be obtained about these coins in David Hartills catalogue Cast Chinese Coins, or email me and i will do my best to answer your querie
 
All orders are sent out via Australia Post and postage is AU$3.00 regardless of quantity purchased, click here for alternative payment methods
 
 
 
 
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Northern Song Dynasty

960 ~ 1127 

 
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 In 960 General Kuangyin seized power from the Southern Tang and established the Song Dynasty. The capital was located at Kaifeng in Henan. The General then concentrated on conquering the southern states. Soon the country was re-united. This dynasty is often reffered to as the "Chinese Renaissance" with huge progress in all things technical and Philosophical.
The main monetary system was coins. Cloth had reverted to a comodity. Copper Mining operations had increased and coins were being minted in 17 different mints.
Northern Song coinage was used over much of Asia, including countries such as Japan, Korea Annam (Vietnam) and Indonesia. Large hoards of Song coins are still being found in these countries. Paper money was also used during the Song period but mainly in Sichuan because the low value iron coins were very heavy to carry around.
The caligraphy styles of the coins were often written by the ruling Emperor. Lots of script styles were used and with the use of tong bao, zhong boa and yuan bao, as well as coins reading clockwise and normally, lots of variations can be acheived.

Coin Tree

 

 

Emperor Tai Zu 960~976
In 960 Tai Zu united most of China after it was fragmented by rebellions after the end of the Tang Dynasty until the creation of the Song Dynasty.
He reigned from 960 until his death in 976 at the age of forty-nine. Although he had son he was succeded by his brother.
He created acadamies that allowed a lot of freedom of duscussion and thought. A lot of economic reforms, advances in sciences, arts and crafts were also a result of his reign. Probably best known for his weakening of the military.
 
Emperor Tai Zong 976~97
Tai Zong reinged from 976 to 997. He was born Zhao Kuangyi in 939 the younger brother of Tai Zu. His Temple Name Taizong means Grand Ancestor.
As an emperor he was hard working and diligent, he paid good attention to his people and made his empire more prosperous. He adopted the policies enacted by his brother and went further by increasing agricultural production and compiling encyclopedias.
 
Emperor Zhen Zong 998~1022
Born Zhao Heng in 968, he became emperor in the year 997 and died in 1022. His temple name means True Ancestor.
He is well known for the development of the ceramic kiln in 1004 that produced porcerlain for Imperial use until the end of the Qing Dynasty. He introduced into China a quick growing variety of rice that really improved agriculture.
 
Inscription;Jin De yuan bao
Year of Manufacture;1004 - 7
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise
Script Style;Regular Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-49
Schjoth;S471
Fisher's Ding;FD881
Size;24.4mm / 0.96in.
Weight;3.3gram / 0.12ounce
Ref & price;CCC0003   AU$2.00 
 Reverse of Jin De yuan bao
 
 
Inscription;Xiang Fu yuan bao
Year of Manufacture;1008-16 Charactoristics;Read Clockwise, Dot at top of yuan.
Script Style;Regular Script  
Hartill Ref.#H16-52
Schjoth;S437
Fisher's Ding;FD883
Size;24.6mm / 0.96in 
Weight;3.5grams / 0.13ounce
note;this coin still has some coral residue on it. Located off the coast of Indonesia
Ref & price;CCC0004   AU$2.00 SOLD 
 
Revers of Xiang Fu yuan bao
Inscription; Xiang Fu yuan bao
Year of Manufacture; 1008-16 Charactoristics; Read Clockwise, Dot at top of yuan.
Script Style; Regular Script  
Hartill Ref.# H16-52
Schjoth; S437
Fisher's Ding; FD883
Size; 25.7mm / 1.01in 
Weight; 4.13grams / 0.147ounce
note; Located off the coast of Java, Indonesia
Ref & price; CCC0156   AU$3.00 
Reverse of Xiang yuan bao at left
Emperor Ren Zong 1022~63 
Emperor Ren Zong, personal name Zhao Zhen, was the fourth Emperor of the Song Dynasty. Born May 30th, 1010 and died April 30th, 1063 aged 52. The son of Emperor Zhen Zong of Song. His temple name means Benevolent Ancestor.
He had a policy of peace and often paid brides to the Liao Government, an adversary of Western Xia in the hope that it would provide peace.
This took a toll on the people with increased taxes and most lived in prolonged poverty. This ended up in rebellions against the Government.
Emperor Ren Zong died without an heir
Inscription;Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture;1039-54
Charactoristics;Top of Huang curved, Bao rounded square.
Script Style;Seal Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-93
Schjoth;S497 
Fisher's Ding;FD904 
Size;25.0mm / 0.98inch 
Weight;3.88grams / 0.137ounce
Notes; This coin still has coral particles attached. Located on a wreck off the coast of Java, Indonesia
Ref & price;CCC0157    AU$2.00
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao 
Inscription;Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture;1039-54
Charactoristics;Top of Huang curved, Bao rounded square.
Script Style;Seal Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-93
Schjoth;S497 
Fisher's Ding;FD904 
Size;24.9mm / 0.94inch 
Weight;3grams 0.105ounce
Ref & price;CCC0005    AU$2.00 SOLD
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao
Inscription; Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture; 1039-54
Charactoristics; Top of Huang Square   
Script Style; Li Script
Hartill Ref.# H16-103
Schjoth; S499~
Size; 24.5mm / 0.96inch
Weight; 3.54grams / 0.123ounce
Ref & price; CCC0158    AU$3.00
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao at left 
Inscription; Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture; 1039-54
Characteristics; Top of Huang regular   
Script Style; Li Script
Hartill Ref.# H16-105
Size; 24.2mm / 0.95inch
Weight; 3.54grams / 0.125ounce
Notes; Still has coral attached. Located off the Java Coast, Indonesia
Ref & price; CCC0159    AU$3.00 SOLD
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao at left 
Inscription; Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture; 1039-54
Characteristics; Top of Huang Curved   
Script Style; Li Script
Hartill Ref.# H16-104
Size; 25.2mm / 0.99inch
Weight; 5.02grams / 0.177ounce
Notes; Still has coral residue attached. Located off the Java Coast, Indonesia
Ref & price; CCC0160    AU$5.00 
 Reverse of Huang Song tong bao at left
Inscription;Huang Song tong bao 
Year of Manufacture;1039-54
Charactoristics;Top of Huang Curved   
Script Style;Li Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-104
Fisher's Ding;
Size;25.0mm / 0.98inch
Weight;4.3grams / 0.155ounce
Ref & price;CCC0006    AU$5.00 SOLD
 
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao
 
 
Inscription;Huang Song tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1039-54
Charactoristics;Top of Huang Square
Script Style;Li Script 
Hartill Ref.#H16-104     
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;
Size; 24.6mm / 0.97inch
Weight;3.9grams / 0.140inch
Note;
Ref & price;CCC0007    AU$5.00
 
 
Reverse of Huang Song tong bao 
 
Inscription;Jia You yuan bao
Year of Manufacture;1056-63
Charactoristics;Clockwise Script, Large yuan
Script Style;Li Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-148
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;FD934
Size;24.9mm / 0.98inch
Weight;3.9grams 0.140inch
Ref & price;CCC0008    AU$5.00
 
 
Reverse of Jia You yuan bao 
 
Inscription;Zhi Ping yuan bao
Year of Manufacture;1064-67
Charactoristics; Seal Script Clockwise, Ning has curved stroke at bottom.
Script Style; Seal Script
Hartill Ref.# H16-160
Schjoth;S523
Fisher's Ding; FD939
Size; 25.3mm / 0.99inch
Weight; 5.03grams / 0.177ounce
Ref & price; CCC0161    AU$2.00
 
Reverse of Zhi Ping yuan bao at left
Inscription;Xi Ning yuan bao
Year of Manufacture;1068-77
Charactoristics;Script Clockwise, Ning has curved stroke at bottom.
Script Style;Seal Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-170
Schjoth;S527
Fisher's Ding;
Size;23.3mm / 0.92inch
Weight;3.4grams / 0.125ounce
Ref & price;CCC009    AU$2.00
  
Reverse of Xi Ning yuan bao 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emperor Zhe Zong 1086~1100
Zhe Zong reigned from 1085 to 1100, after taking the throne at the age of nine, under supervision of the Empress Dowager Gao. Under Empress Goa's regencey socio- economic improvements were halted. The young Emperor was powerless to halt the situation. After the death of Empress Gao in 1093, Zhe Zong was able to lower taxes. He is thought to have brought a breathe of fresh air to the Dynasty.
He died at the young age of 24 and was succeeded by his younger brother. Emperor Zhe Zongs temple name means Wise Ancestor. 
Inscription;Yuan You tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1086-93
Charactoristics;Semicircular boa, Read Clockwise
Script Style;Seal Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-269
Schjoth;S575
Fisher's Ding;FD983
Size;29.9mm / 1.17inch
Weight;7.9grams / 0.280 ounce
Ref & price;CCC0013   AU$10.00 SOLD
 
Reverse of Yuan You tong bao
Inscription;Yuan You tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1086-93
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise, Small bie
Script Style;Runnging Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-275
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;
Size;24.7mm / 0.97inch
Weight;4.4grams / 0.16ounce
Ref & price;CCC0014  AU$4.00
 
Reverse of Yuan You tong bao
Inscription;Yuan You tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1086-93
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise, Claw feet bao
Script Style;Running Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-276
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;
Size;24.5mm / 0.96inch
Weight;4.2grams / 0.15ounce
Ref & price;this coin still has some coral residue on it. Located off the coast of Indonesia
note;CCC0015  AU$4.00 SOLD
 
Reverse of Yuan You tong bao 
Inscription;Yuan You tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1086-93
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise
Script Style;Running Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-286
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;
Size;29.0mm / 1.14inch
Weight;9.0grams / 0.315ounce
Notes;
Ref & price;CCC0016   AU$10.00 SOLD
 
Revese of Yuan You tong bao 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emperor Ying Zong 1064~67

Emperor Ying Zong was born Zhao Zongshi in 1032, he later changed his name to Zhao Shu before becoming Emperor in 1063. Empeor Ying Zong's reign was a contraversial one as he didnt follow the correct rituals relating to his father. Emperor Ren Zong adopted Ying Zong therefore should have been treated in the correct way.
Ying Zong reigned until 1067. His temple name means Outstandingly Talented Ancestor.
 
 
 
 
 
Emperor Shen Zong 1068~85
Born Zhao Xu in 1048. He became Emperor in 1067 until his death in 1085. His temple name means Divine Ancestor.
During his reign he is recognised for his part in implementing reforms towards peasantry and unemployment. Several famous books were written during this time such as A Comprohensive Mirror for Aid in Government and  Seven Military Classics.
  
 
Inscription;Yuan Feng tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1078-85
Charactoristics;Script Clockwise, small tong
Script Style;Li Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-234
Schjoth;
Fisher's Ding;
Size;24mm / 0.94inch
Weight;3.5grams / 0.125ounce
Ref & price:CCC0010    AU$10.00
 
Reverse of Yuan Feng tong bao
 
Inscription;Yuan Feng tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1078-85
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise, Large characters
Script Style;Running Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-236
Schjoth;S547
Fisher's Ding;FD963
Size;25.8mm / 1.01inch
Weight;4.1gram / 0.145ounce
Note;
Ref. & Price;CCC0011   AU$2.00
Reverse of Yuan Feng tong bao
Inscription;Yuan Feng tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1078-85
Charactoristics;Read Clockwise, Large Characters
Script Style;Running Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-236
Schjoth;S547
Fisher's Ding;FD963
Size;24.6mm / 0.96inch
Weight;4.0grams / 0.14ounce
Ref & price;CCC0012  AU$3.00
 
 
Reverse of Yuan Feng tong bao
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emperor Hui Zong 1100~1126
The most famous of the Song Emperors. He lived amongst luxury, sophistication and art and ended in tragedy. Hui Zong was born Zhao Ji in February, 1100.
Hui Zong had a huge collection of art and antiques from the previous Chinese eras. He also devoted a lot of time to painting and writing poetry.
Hui Zong abdocated his throne in favour of his son in 1126. He died a broken man in 1135 at the age of 52.
His temple name means Honory Ancestor. 
Inscription;Xuan He tong bao
Year of Manufacture;1119-25
Charactoristics;
Script Style;Seal Script
Hartill Ref.#H16-476
Schjoth;S659
Fisher's Ding;FD1111
Size;30.2mm / 1.19inch
Weight;7.4grams / 0.26ounce
Ref & Price;CCC0017  AU$10.00
Reverse of Xuan He tong bao 
Inscription; Zeng He tong bao
Year of Manufacture; 1111-17
Charactoristics; Narrow Rims
Script Style; Seal Script
Hartill Ref.# H16-436
Size; 29.5mm / 1.16inch
Weight; 8.03grams / 0.284oz
Ref & Price; CCC0087  AU$10.00 SOLD
 
Reverse of H16.436 at left
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Emperor Qin Zong 1126~27
The last Emperor of the Song Dynasty. Born Zhao Huan in 1100. He assended the throne in dramatic circumstances when his father abdocated with an invasion immanent. In 1927 he, along with his father, Imperial family and Government Officials were captured. This ended the Song Dynasty.
Qin Zong was sent north with his father, demoted and ridiculed, were to spend a lot of time alone. He was given the humiliating name of Marquess of Chonghun (meaning Doubly Muddled).
He died a sick and broken man at the age of 61 in the year 1161. His temple name means Esteeemed Ancestor 
Song Rebel. 993-95
The Northern Song Dynasty at the beginning of the peasant uprising. In 993, Li Shun with Wang Xiangbo, rebelled against the Song regime. In 994 he proclaimed himself king of Da Shu at Chengdu and took the period title Ying Yun and later Ying Gan. He was killed in 995.
 
 I have used the catalogue Cast Chinese Coins by David Hatill to aid in the identification of these coins, as well as Mick, linwood14 on ebay and i have other references but they are all in Chinese. Any coins identified using the Chinese books will have a page and coin number attributed to them rather than H (Hartill ref.#)
Information on the Northern Song Dynasty and Individual Emperors has been gathered from David Hartills book Cast Chinese Coins and Wikipedia.
Thanks for looking and please contant me for more information on these coins or their authenticity
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