Four Chinese characters Wu Zhu ("5 zhus"), shallow outside rim, no inside rim / Blank, inside and outside rim. Issued 562-566 AD. 25mm, 2.28 grams. Hartill 10.22; Schjoth -; Gratzer/Fishman "One Thousand Years of Wu Zhu Coinage" #8.34. SKU T711-38277
In 562, Emperor Wen Di (559-566) ordered the casting of Wu Zhus. The Chen Wu Zhus were of full size and carefully cast. The casting probably lasted for a number of years, at least until the death of Wen Di, as the coins, while relatively scarce, are found in fair numbers and the initial issue must have been large.
The Chen Dynasty (557-589), also known as Southern Chen Dynasty, was the fourth and the last of the Southern dynasties in China, eventually destroyed by the Sui Dynasty. When the dynasty was founded by Emperor Wu, it was exceedingly weak, possessing only a small portion of the territory once held by its predecessor Liang Dynasty -- and that portion was devastated by wars that had doomed Liang. However, Emperor Wu's successors Emperor Wen and Emperor Xuan were capable rulers, and the state gradually solidified and strengthened, becoming roughly equal in power to rivals Northern Zhou and Northern Qi. After Northern Zhou destroyed Northern Qi in 577, Chen was cornered. To make matters worse, its final emperor Chen Shubao was an incompetent and indulgent ruler, and Chen was eventually destroyed by Northern Zhou's successor state Sui. This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic