Four Chinese characters Kai Yuan Tong Bao (right-shoulder "Yuan") / Chinese character Run (a region in Jiangsu) above hole. 23.5mm, 4.4 grams. Issued in 845-846 AD. Schjöth # 393var (normal "Yuan"); Hartill 14.81var (normal "Yuan"). SKU Q389-20224
Coins with a right-shoulder Yuan and "Run" on reverse are not listed in Hartill. Rare.
Emperor Wu Zong is chiefly known for his religious persecutions - he was a fervent follower of Taoism. In 845 AD he ordered the destruction of the Buddhist monasteries and used the copper from the Buddhist bells, gongs, statues and insense burners to cast coins. These coins are commonly known as "Huichang Coins" after the Huichang period which spanned 845 and 846 AD - this coin offered for sale is one of these coins. The Huichang Kai Yuans were usually poorly cast, using earlier Kai Yuan as mother-cash. The characters on the reverse are usually illegible, since they were shallow and usually weakly impressed in the cast. A nice little piece of history!
The Tang Dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an), the most populous city in the world at the time, is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization - a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han period, and it rivalled that of the later Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. In 907 the Tang Dynasty was ended when Zhu Wen, now a military governor, deposed the last emperor of Tang, Emperor Ai of Tang, and took the throne for himself (known posthumously as Emperor Taizu of Later Liang).
This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.
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