China is the largest country in Asia. It has the world's biggest population.
The Chinese Empire was flourishing when the Qing took power in 1644. This Manchu dynasty declined after the mid-19th century while getting strong pressure from United Kingdom, United States, Japan and France. When Empress Cixi died in 1908, the republicans took over and proclaimed the Republic of China in 1912. The Communist Party of China led by Mao Zedong fought the Republic and, ultimately, the Republican leader Chiang Kai-shek moved to Taiwan. The People's Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949.
CurrencyExcept for a few trials with paper money, China kept the same monetary system from the Empire creation in 3rd century BC until 1889. This system was based on two metals: copper or bronze coins on one hand, called "cash", and on the other hand, silver coins or bullions, called "sycee", the weight of which made the value.
Cash were most often coins cast with copper, bronze or brass. They were round and holed. The holes allowed to string them by 100 or 1000. Holes were square in order to fix and trim them after casting.
Sycee usually weighted 1 liang (or tael), that is 36 grams. One tael is split in several units:
1 tael = 10 mace = 100 candareens = 1000 li.
The yuan is brought in 1889, at par with the Mexican peso which was largely used in the region. It was worth a silver weight of 7 mace and 2 candareens. The yuan sub-units are as follow: 1 yuan (元) = 10 jiao (角) = 100 fen (分) = 1000 cash (文). During the Japanese occupation, several coins appeared, called yen. The yuan renminbi ("people's money" in Chinese) was created in 1949. It is split in 10 jiao or 100 fen.
Chinese and Manchu Languages
|中华人民共和国||Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo||People's Republic of China|
|中国人民银行||Zhongguo Renmin Yinhang||People's Bank of China|
|國民華中||Zhonghuá Mínguó||Republic of China|
|元 ou 圓||Yuan||Yuan, dollar|
12 : 二十
45 : 五十四
Decipher a cashCash usually show only 2 pieces of information: On one side the emperor's name (two Chinese signs, vertically printed) and the "money" mark in Chinese (寶通, tongbao). On the other side, the mint mark in Manchu writing.
Manchu writes top to bottom and columns read left to right. Below chart lists the mint marks. Manchu names are printed horizontally here. You need to flip your head to the left for correct reading.
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠴᡳᠣᠸᠠᠨ||Boo Ciowan||Beijing||Beijing|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠶᡠᠸᠠᠨ||Boo Yuwan||Beijing||Beijing|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠠᠨ||Boo An||?||Anhui|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠵᡝ||Boo Je||Hangzhou||Zhejiang|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡷᡳ||Boo Jy||Baoding||Hebei|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡬᡳ||Boo Gi||?|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠵᡳᠶᡝᠨ||Boo Jiyen||Tianjin||Tianjin|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡩᡝ||Boo De||Chengde||Hebei|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡶᡠᠩ||Boo Fung||Shenyang (Fengtian)||Liaoning|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡶᡠ||Boo Fu||Fuzhou||Fujian|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡥᠣ||Boo Ho||Kaifeng||Henan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠨᠠᠨ||Boo Nan||Changsha||Hunan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡠ||Boo U||Wuchang||Hubei|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡤᡠᠩ||Boo Gung||Kunshan||Jiangsu|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠴᠠᠩ||Boo Chang||Nanchang||Jiangxi|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠰᡠ||Boo Su||Suzhou||Jiangsu|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡤᡠᡳ||Boo Gui||Kuelin||Jiangxi|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡤᡠᠸᠠᠩ||Boo Guwang||Canton||Canton|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ||Boo Giyan||Guiyang||Guizhou|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠵᡳᠨ||Boo Jin||Taiyuan||Shanxi|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠵᡳ||Boo Ji||Jinan||Shandong|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠴᡠᠸᠠᠨ||Boo Cuwan||Chengdu||Sichuan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠰᠠᠨ||Boo San||Xi'an||Shaanxi|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠶᡳ||Boo Yi||Ili||Xinjiang|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡩᡳ||Boo Di||Ürümqi||Xinjiang|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡨᠠᡳ||Boo Tai||Taiwan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠶᠣᠨᠨ||Boo Yonn||Kunming||Yunnan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᡩᠣᠩ||Boo Dong||?||Yunnan|
|ᠪᠣᠣ ᠵᡳᠩ||Boo Jing||?||Hubei|
This coin was minted during emperor Guangxù reign (光緒), that is years 1875-1908. The mint name is Boo Guwang (ᠪᠣᠣ ᡤᡠᠸᠠᠩ) in Guangzhou.
CalendarIn the Republic days (1912-1949), date was measured from the Republic's start as follow: 年XXX國民華中. That is year (年) XXX of the Republic of China (國民華中). Add 1911 in order to convert to the Gregorian calendar.
Example: 年四十二國民華中 means "year 24 of the Republic of China", or 1935 by the Gregorian calendar.
Coat of arms of the People's Republic of ChinaThis coat of arms was approved on September 20, 1950. It shows on many coins since 1955. It displays Tiananmen Gate (literally Gate of heavenly peace), the entrance gate of the Forbidden City from the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Above this gate are the five stars found on the national flag. The largest star represents the Communist Party of China, while the four smaller stars represent the four social classes as defined in Maoism. The outer circle contains sheaves of wheat and the inner sheaves of rice symbolizing agriculture. At the center of the bottom portion of the border is a cog-wheel that represents the industrial workers.
(Map and pictures provided by Wikipedia)