Three Kingdoms History: Ancient Chinese Coins

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Ancient Chinese Coins: Wei Dynasty Coins

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While enjoying the rich stories, personalities, and lessons of the Three Kingdoms era, it is all too easy to forget that this is all taking place within a unique culture. A culture full traditions, unique weapons, armor, and clothing, unique pottery—and coins. That’s right, coins! If you are a coin collector, you are already very curious. If not, read on and enjoy this section. You might find it much more interesting than you anticipated. Presenting a detailed coin-by-coin analysis, presented, photographed, and written by Adrian Loder (web site and more coins; discussion; full credits) of Chinese coins ranging from the Early Han dynasty on into the Jin. And let’s not forget the Three Kingdoms!

Wei Dynasty (Three Kingdoms) Coins

Wei Dynasty Wu Zhu—Thanks to the vast amounts of information available in the Great Dictionary of Chinese Numismatics regarding Wei Dynasty coins a big, dark area has been lifted open to me. Both of these coins were cast first in the first year of the Taihe reign years (AD 227) under Emperor Ming, Cao Rui, on through Emperor Shao, Cao Fang (AD 239–253); Cao Mao, the Duke of Gaogui (AD 254–259); and ending in the second year of Xianxi (AD 265—the year Jin performed their coup d’etat) under Emperor Yuan, Cao Huan. Coin moulds that have been dated to this period have been found and are illustrated in the Dictionary.
Wei Dynasty (Three Kingdoms) CoinWei Dynasty (Three Kingdoms) Coin
Wei Dynasty (Three Kingdoms) CoinWei Dynasty (Three Kingdoms) Coin

Copyright © 2001–2010 James Peirce
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All coin photographs and instructive text © Copyright 2006 Adrian Loder (Website)
Primary sources: David Hartill’s Cast Chinese Coins (ISBN: 1-4120-5466-4), Robert Kokotailo’s Calgary Coins Website
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January 19, 2015