Four crude chinese characters - Qian Heng Zhong Bao / Chinese character Yong above the hole. 25mm, 3.88 grams. Issued in 917-924 AD. Minted in Youngzhou (modern Nanning) in Guanxi. Schjoth #-; Hartill 15.112.
This particular character "Yong" stands for the mint "Yongzhou" located in the Southern Han realm. Yongzhou is the old name for what is now Nanning, Guangxi. The character is sometimes read as "Yi" (for "city"), with a part of the top radical missing.
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960) along Chinas southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu, namely present-day Guangzhou. The Five Dynasties ended in 960 when the Song Dynasty was founded to replace the Later Zhou Dynasty. Through the 960s and 970s, the Song increased its influence in the south until finally it was able to force the Southern Han dynasty to submit to its rule in 971. The coinage produced by the Southern Hans is quite unique - the main coinage was lead, with 1 lead cash fixed in value as 1/100th of a copper cash. The circulation of the lead coins was restricted to towns (even nowadays, these lead coins are found mainly in large towns, most commonly in Guangzhou) while the copper coins are found in the coutryside. Many types of these lead coins are known. The coins are all scarce to very rare, with most of them surviving in low quality because of the hot wet climate of the regions. Pieces in high quality such as this one are always rare. We are happy to offer a nice little collection of high quality and hard-to-find pieces. This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic