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Schjoth had such a specimen, which weighed 3.41 grams. The single wide rim example we saw was 27.75 grams, 47.6 mm. We have seen narrow rim examples from 16.29 to 24.3 grams with the average of 3 specimens was 19.91 grams, 44.5 mm. The Ta-chung coinage tends to be somewhat crudely cast when compared to the later coins cast under the Ming Dynasty. Shun Ti adopted the title CHIH-YUAN in AD 1335 and used it until 1340. Obverse: "CHIH-YUAN T'UNG-PAO" in Mongolian square script. This is an interesting series, in that many of the coins have date and/or denomination indicators on them. The date indicator on the reverse is normally somewhat weak on these. Average (2 specimen) 28.9 mm, 6.2 grams (range 5.04 to 7.15 grams)F .00 VF 0.00 S-1107. Obverse: "CHIH-CHENG T'UNG-PAO" in orthodox Chinese script. SSU is short for Kuei Ssu indicating this coin was struck in AD 1353. F 0.00 This type tends to be bold and well cast with high rims, but the edges tend to be poorly finished. Apparently only the 1 cash denomination was cast during this period. Average (5 specimens) 23.5 mm (range 23.2 to 24.0 mm), average 3.30 grams. The last two specimens we had access two were 24.5 mm at 3.1 grams and 23.5 mm at 2.85 grams. Obverse: "TA-YUAN T'UNG-PAO" in Mongol seal-writing. Shun Ti's coins of the first two years of his reign (AD 1333 to 1334) do not have a reign title on them, but rather come YUAN TONG YUAN BAO inscription in Chinese characters. Shun Ti adopted the title CHIH-CHENG in AD 1341 and used it until he died in 1367. Obverse: "CHIH-CHENG T'UNG-PAO" in orthodox Chinese script. MAO is short for HSIN MAO, indicating this coin was struck in AD 1351. Reverse: The number "2" written in Mongolian script above the hole, and in chinese numbers below the hole. Reverse: the denomination indicator as the Mongol seal script word for "10" above the hole. The specimen illustrated while grading only F for visual appearance is pretty much as cast with full original file marks on the high points. I have run into some confusion over the Ta-Chung coinage, because Schjoth states that the inscription was first cast by Chu Yuan-Chang in AD 1361 when the Pao-Yuan Minting Department was set up at Nanking, however as he did not declare himself as Prince Wu until 1364, this draw into question exactly who he was minting them for between 13. Reverse: "SHIH CHE" (for value 10 of Chekiang mint). As discussed above, T'ai Tsu began his rise to power as Chu Yuan-chang Prince of Wu, one of the Yuan Rebels. Schjoth (page 48) notes that in AD AD 1553 (32nd year of Chia Ching) there was another large issue of coins, but using the 9 earlier Ming reign titles following Hung-wu. Of the three specimens I have weights on, the range is from 2.88 to 4.20 grams. There are a number of variations on this type with dots in various positions on the reverse. This is a section I am just now beginning to again work on, so hopefully there will be a better presentation here soon. Wu San-kuei remained an advisor to the nine year old Shun Chih from the time he became Emperor of the Ching dynasty in 1644 until Shun Chih was able to rule for himself in1651. Hartill 21.124, S-1354 variety, Obverse: "YU-MIN T'UNG-PAO". In spite of this being one of the more recent dynasties, the exact attribution of some of the rarer Ming coins is still in question. Average (18 specimens) 23.8 mm, 3.50 grams (the weight vary considerable and we have records of specimens from 2.2 to 4.1 grams) This type is reported to have been cast in very large numbers in AD 1527 (6th year of Chia Ching). The order in which Schjoth lists these rules does not give a sense of this history, and I am working on sorting out presentation that hopefully will do so, but I am not there yet. When his father was killed, and favorite concubine taken by Li Tzu-ch'eng, he responded by giving his allegiance to the Ching, and taking Peking for them by defeating Li Tzu-ch'eng. Most of them cast coins, but some of them are very rare. These seem to come on two sizes, with the smaller average (3 specimens) 40.7 mm, 31.85 grams, and the larger with wider rims average (3 specimen) 47.2 mm, 34.53 grams.small - F .00 VF .00large - F .00 VF .00 There are many variations of this type, with different dot placements, or different characters on the reverse. For the variations, the weights and sizes are the same as the main type unless otherwise noted. These people are referred to as the Ming Rebels and it is a fairly complex period in Chinese history. Reverse: "FU" which is one character in a mandate given over a series of coins, that reads "THE GOVERNOR-GENERALS, THE TAOTAIS, AD THE PREFECTS ARE CHARGE BY THE EMPEROR TO GUARD YUEH AND ASSIST MING TO SETTLE THE STATE. Wu San-kuei was a commander in the Ming army, but was born a Manchurian. There were a total of 17 emperors during the Ming dynasty. Reverse: "SHIH" (10) at the top, and "YI-LIANG" (1 Liang) to the right. This was a period of turmoil during which a series of pretenders and rebels controlling small (some sometimes not so small) regions fought a series wars and rebellions at first against the Ming, later against the Ch'ing, and sometimes between each other. These lines are clearly visible on the specimen illustrated.
F .50 VF .50 XF .00 We recently handled a specimen of this type that was only 2.25 mm and 2.3 grams.
The two different Schjoth numbers are for narrow (1093) and wide (1094) rims, with the wide rim variation being the scarcer. In 1368 he controled enough of China to Declare himself as Emperor T'ai Tsu of the Ming Dynasty, at which time he adopted the reign title Hung-Wu.
The coin of this period are rare, and we do not have one yet available to image. In 1364, after defeating Ch'en Yu-liang of Han (another of the Yuan Rebels), and gaining control over a much larger part of China, Chu Yuan-chang declared himself the Prince Wu and adopted the reign title of Ta-ming but rather than putting the Ta-ming title on the coins he continued casting the Ta-Chung types, but now from a number of mints. These coins tend to be of inferior quality to the later coinage of Ming.
The earliest readily available coins of Liao begin with the Emperor Hsing Tsung during his second reign title of Ch'ung Hsi after he established the first Liao central mint in Manchuria in AD 1053. Th average of what we have seen (3 specimen) is 24.3 mm and 3.53 grams, but we have seen them from 2.75 to 3.9 grams. We assume that means that for this reign title, the T'ung-pao issues are the earlier of the two. Schjoth says that the copper of this type is rare and that iron is common, but we currently find the opposite to be true S-1080.
The mint was not particularly skilled and most Liao coins are fairly crude, poor quality castings. As with most Liao coins, this tends to be a a poorly cast issue. We wonder if this might present a clue as to why many Northern Sung reign titles also occur with more than one of these (and other) variations.