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ANCIENT CHINESE CAST COINS

After Han
AD 221 to 581

Ancient Coins from some of the following Dynasties: Wei, Minor Han, Wu, Western Chin, Eastern Chin, Sung, Liang, Ch'en, Huo Chao, Northern Wei, Northern Ch'i and Northern Zhou. Some of these Dynasties did not produce coins. For more information please check our Reference Guide.

*Click on images to see larger images and full attribution.*

References : S - Schjoth (Chinese Currency), FD - Fisher's Ding, COOLE - assorted volumes

minor han s-183
Image of actual specimen

Minor Han Dynasty, AD 221 to 265

Bronze 100 Wu Shu (500 shu)

Order # chmhan01   VF   $85.00

s-239 cash
Image of type only

Northern Wei Dynasty, AD 386 to 550

Emperor HSIAO-CHUANG, AD 528 to 529
Bronze 5 shu

Order # chnwei01a   gVF   $34.50
Order # chnwei01b    VF  slightly
    crusty green patination.  
$22.00

References : S - Schjoth (Chinese Currency), FD - Fisher's Ding, COOLE - assorted volumes



ALL PRICES ARE IN US DOLLARS

CANADIAN ORDERS MUST ADD GST/HST TO ALL PRICES



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ancient moneyerCalgary Coin

WEI DYNASTY, AD 221 to 265

Ts'ao-ts'ao, adopted son of the chief eunuch of Western Han, gained control of Western Han in AD 192. He ruled through a puppet Han emperor whom, in AD 220, he forced to abdicate in favor of his son Ts'ao-pei, who immediately changed the name of the dynasty to WEI.

EMPERORS OF WEI

Wen Ti, AD 221 to 228
also know as Ts'ao-p'ei

Ming Ti, AD 228 to 241

Fei Ti, AD 241 to 253

King Ti, AD 253 to ?

Mo Ti AD, ? to 265

Both of the dynasties that co-existed with Wei appear to have issued only high denomination fiduciary coins (discussed below). Unfortunately no coinage has yet been proven to be associated with the Wei Dynasty.

For more information on the coinage of the Wei Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

MINOR HAN DYNASTY, AD 221 to 265

In AD 221, after Ts'ao-ts'ao established the Wei Dynasty by overthrowing the house of Han, one branch of the Han Royal family survived in Liu Pe, who established the Minor Han Dynasty with his capital at Ch'eng-tu in Szechuan province. Forty five years later, Ts'ao-ts'ao's great-grandson competed the overthrow, conquering Minor Han, but in the same year Ssu-ma Yen overthrew Wei in a military coup, establishing the Chin Dynasty.

EMPERORS OF MINOR HAN

Chao Lieh, AD 221 to 222
also know as Liu Pei

Hou Chou, AD 222 to 265

For more information on the coinage of the Minor Han Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

WU DYNASTY, AD 229 to 280

Mitchiner (page694) records that Sun Ch'uan, a general of the Western Han, established himself at Wuchang (Hupai Province) in AD 222 upon the fall of the Western Han. It must have taken him some time to establish a power base as it was not until AD 229 that he took the title of Emperor under the name Ta Huang, establishing the WU dynasty and moving the capital to Nanking. The Wu appear to have been the strongest of the Three Kingdoms, as they survived for 15 years after both Wei and Northern Han had been overrun by the Chin. (Note that Schjoth refers to this as the Eastern Wu Dynasty).

EMPERORS OF WU

Ta Huang, AD 229 to 252
also known as Sun Ch'uan, AD 222 to 228

Sun Liang, AD 252 to 257

Chao Ti, AD 257 to uncertain

Yuan Ti, uncertain to AD 265

As with the Minor Han, the Wu issued high denomination fiduciary coinage, causing inflation and making counterfeiting very profitable. To combat this, the people were required to hand in their copper possessions in return for the inflated cash coins, thus depriving them of the raw materials of counterfeiting.

For more information on the coinage of the Wu Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

UNIFICATION OF WESTERN CHIN, AD 265-316

The Western Chin dynasty, with its capital at Loyang, was established by Ssu-ma Yen in AD 265 and achieved a new unification of China with the conquest of Wu in AD 280. When Min Ti was killed in an uprising in AD 316 the Western Chin lost control and China was again fragmented into several small dynasties. Emperor Yuan, a member of the Ssu-ma family, retained partial control of the South, establishing the Eastern Chin Dynasty with his capital at Nanking.

EMPERORS OF WESTERN CHIN

Wen Ti, AD 265 to 290
also known as Ts'ao-p'ei

Houei Ti, AD 290 to 307

Houai Ti, AD 307 to 313

Min Ti, AD 313 to 316

For more information on the coinage of the Western Chin Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

EASTERN CHIN DYNASTY, AD 316 to 420

The Eastern Chin was a weakened continuation of rule by the Ssu-ma family of Western Chin, with their capital now at Chien K'ang near Nanking. Some time after AD 343 a general named Huan Wen usurped power, ruling through K'ang Ti as puppet emperor, but died soon after. The Ssu-ma family regained control until about AD 419 when general Liu Yu killed Emperor Ngan Ti, replacing him with Kong Ti as a puppet emperor. Within one year Kong Ti was in turn killed and Liu Yu declared himself first Emperor of the Sung Dynasty.

EMPERORS OF EASTERN CHIN

Yuan Ti, AD 316 to 323

Ming Ti, AD 323 to 326

Ch'eng Ti, AD 326 to 343

General Huan Wen, AD 343-345
through K'ang Ti as puppet Emperor

Mu Ti, AD 345 to 362

Ngai Ti, AD 362 to 366

Ti Yi, AD 366 to 371

Kien Wu Ti, AD 371 to 373

Hiao Wu Ti, AD 373 to 397

Ngan Ti, AD 397 to 419

General Liu Yu, AD 419 to 420
through Kong Ti as puppet Emperor

For more information on the coinage of the Eastern Chin Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

SUNG DYNASTY, AD 420 to 479

After overthrowing Eastern Chin, Liu Yu took the name Wu Ti as first emperor of the Sung Dynasty. The family of Liu gradually lost power until, in AD 477, general Hsiao Tao Ch'eng killed Emperor Ming Ti, usurping power and placing Chouen Ti on the throne as a puppet emperor but in turn killing him in AD 479 and proclaimed himself first Emperor of the Southern Ch'i dynasty.

EMPERORS OF SUNG

Wu Ti, AD 420 to 423
also known as Liu Yu

Chao Ti, AD 423 to 424

Wen Ti, AD 424 to 454

Hsiao Wu Ti, AD 454 to 465

Ch'ien Fei Ti, AD 465 to 473

Ming Ti, AD 473 to 477

General Hsiao Tao Ch'eng,
AD 477 to 479
via puppet Emperor Chouen Ti

For more information on the coinage of the Sung Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

LIANG DYNASTY, AD 502 to 557

The Liang Dynasty was established by general Hsiao Yen of the Southern Ch'i Dynasty, but since he was, however distantly, related to the ruling house of the Southern Ch'i, one might think of this as simply a name change of the Southern Ch'i. Using the name Liang Wu Ti, general Hsiao Yen was an able ruler but at his death in AD 549 at the age of 86, there was no able successor and Liang was thrown into anarchy. After a series of ineffective emperors, Liang was overthrown from within by an official called Ch'uan Pa-Hsien.

EMPERORS OF LIANG

Liang Wu Ti, AD 502 to 549
also known as general Hsiao Yen

Kien Wen Ti, AD 549 to 550

Yu Chang Want, AD 550

Yan Ti, AD 550 to ?

Chen Yang Hou, AD ? to 556

Ching Ti, AD 556 to 557

For more information on the coinage of the Liang Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

CH'EN DYNASTY, AD 557 to 589

Ch'en Pa-hsien was a descendant from the House of Han and through him the Han had their last opportunity to rule, controlling much of Southern China. Ch'en remained powerful right up to the end and was the last conquest of the Sui dynasty in their Unification of China.

EMPERORS OF CH'EN

Ch'en Wu Ti, AD 557 to 560
also known as Ch'en Pa Hsien

Wen Ti, AD 560 to 566

Fei Ti, AD 566 to 569

Hsuan Ti, AD 569 to 582

Hou Chou, AD 582 to 589

Ching Ti, AD 556 to 557

For more information on the coinage of the Ch'en Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

HUO CHAO DYNASTY, AD 307 to 352

As of yet, we have not been able to find a full account of the events that led Shih-Lo to break away from the Western Chin. Schjoth lists him as a rebel which is probably correct, but since he established a dynasty with at least one successor, he deserves a heading under his own dynasty. Unfortunately, while we know he died in AD 332, and that the dynasty continued to exist until overrun by the Mongols in AD 352, we have not been able to find the names of his successors.

For more information on the coinage of the Huo Chao Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, AD 386 to 550

The Northern Wei Dynasty was established in AD 386 by a northern Turko-Mongol people known as the Toba (or T'u Pa). They proved very powerful and gradually expanded, conquering several of the surrounding dynasties. In about AD 490, after moving the capital P'ing Ch'eng in Shansi to Loyang in Hunan the Toba began adopting Chinese culture and only after this do we see any coins being issued.

This period also saw Northern Wei power eroded until, in AD 535, two generals succeeded in a coup. In an unusual move they did not declare themselves emperors, but rather established new dynasties as Eastern and Western Wei which they ruled through puppet emperors.

EMPERORS OF NORTHERN WEI

T'o Pa Kuei, AD 386 to c. 420

T'o Pa Suei, AD c. 420 to c. 422

T'o Pa Tao, AD c. 422 to 452

T'o Pa Sium, AD 452 to c. 466

T'o Pa Hong I, AD c. 466 to 471

T'o Pa Hong II, AD 471 to 500
also known as Wen Ti

T'o Pa Koh, AD 500 to 515
also known as Hsuan Wu Ti

T'o Pa Tze Yu, AD 515 to 530
also known as Hsiao Chuang Ti

Uncertain ruler, AD 530 to 535

With the adoption of Chinese culture in about AD 490, the emperors began adopting Chinese names, thus the use of both Chinese and Toba names for the last three emperors. We have not been able to find out who was ruling this dynasty during its last five years.

For more information on the coinage of the Northern Wei Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

NORTHERN CH'I DYNASTY, AD 550-577

The Northern Ch'i Dynasty was founded by Wen Hsuan Ti, the Son of a general who helped overthrow the Northern Wei in AD 535 and the Eastern Wei in AD 550. They existed alongside the Northern Zhou Dynasty, which was established under similar circumstances by a different general, until conquered by them in AD 577.

EMPERORS OF NORTHERN CH'I

Kao Yang, AD 550 to 559
also known as Wen Hsuan Ti

Uncertain rulers, AD 560 to 577

For more information on the coinage of the Northern Ch'i Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.

NORTHERN ZHOU DYNASTY, AD 557 to 581

The Northern Zhou dynasty was established in AD 557 by the son (whose name we do not yet know) of a general who helped overthrow the Wei dynasty, and then overthrew the Western Wei which he had ruled through puppet emperors. In AD 581 Northern Zhou was renamed as the Sui Dynasty following an internal coup which shifted power between two members of the ruling family. It is interesting that in AD 618 the Sui were in turn overthrown by Li Yuan, a surviving aristocrat of the Western Wei.

EMPERORS OF NORTHERN ZHOU

Uncertain ruler or rulers, AD 557 to 561

Yu Wen Yung, AD 561 to 578
also known as Wu Ti

Yu Wen Yun, AD 578 to 580
also known as Hsuan Ti

Yang Chien, AD 581
also first ruler of Sui

For more information on the coinage of the Northern Zhou Dynasty, please check our Reference Guide.


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