Four Chinese characters - Thanh Thai Thong Bao (Vietnamese reading) / Blank. 24mm, 3.29 grams. Issued 1889-1907. Hartill #15.40.
The coins of the Vietnamese Kings imitated Chinese coins. The official issues were often heavier than the Chinese coins and with somewhat cruder calligraphy. Many local imitative issues circulated along with the official coins. This large copper coin is an official issue coin. The Nguyen Dynasty was the last ruling family of Vietnam. Their rule lasted a total of 143 years. It began in 1802 when Emperor Gia Long ascended the throne after defeating the Tây Son Dynasty and ended in 1945 when Ba2o Ðai abdicated the throne and transferred power to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. During the reign of Emperor Gia Long, the nation officially became known as Viet Nam, but from the reign of emperor Minh Mang on, the nation was renamed Ðai Nam. Their rule was marked by the increasing influence of French colonialism; the nation was eventually partitioned into three, Cochinchina became a French colony while Annam and Tonkin became protectorates which were independent in name only.