Scarce Sichu Wu Zhu cash, Huandi (146-168 CE), E. Han, China (H#10.3)

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Two large Chinese characters Wu Zhu ("5 zhu"), shallow outer rim / Inner and outer rim, long lines radiating from the corners of the inner rim. 25mm, 3.41 grams. Hartill 10.3; Gratzer/Fishman #4.100.

The coins cast by Emperor Huan Di are easily recognizable; they have four prominent long dashes radiating out of the inner rim on the reverse all the way to the outer rim. These coins are known among numismatists as Si Chu Wu Zhu, literally “four corners Wu Zhu.” Historian Fan Ye (398-445) described these Wu Zhus in his book Hou Hanshu Fan Ye Fu, written in the times of Liu Song (420-479). He attributed these coins to the reign of Emperor Huan Di (AD 146-168). Numismatists traditionally cast doubt on this attribution and considered the Eastern Han Emperor Ling Di (AD 168-189) to be the more likely issuer of these coins. However, in recent years, many such coins were found in graves dated to the reign of Emperor Huan Di. Thus, the attribution of these coins to his reign, first proposed by Fan Ye almost 1,600 years ago, is now considered confirmed. Interestingly, it is said that the coins were treated as an ill-omen for the Eastern Han dynasty, with the four “rays” representing wealth leaving the “ruined city.” 

The Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 CE) was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms (220-265 CE). It was founded by the peasant rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty (23 CE) of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han into two periods: the Western Han (206 BC-9 CE) and Eastern Han (25-220 CE). Spanning over four centuries, the period of the Han Dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to itself as the "Han people".

This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.



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