Four Chinese characters (regular script, first line below "Xi" pointing left ) Xi Ning Zhong Bao / Nail mark below the hole. 30mm, 6.94 grams. Issued in 1071-1077 AD. Schjöth #542a var.; Hartill 16.200 var (without the nail mark on the reverse). SKU T299-Q55-47548
In 1071 the government issued large 10-cash coins to meet military expenses. Later, illicit coining forced the government to devalue these coins to 3 cash and than (in 1073) to 2 cash. The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as first discernment of true north using a compass. The Jurchen, a subject tribe within the Liao empire, invaded the Song territory in 1125 and another in 1127; in this latter invasion, the Jurchens captured not only the Song capital at Kaifeng, but the retired emperor Huizong, his successor Qinzong, and most of the Imperial court. The remaining Song forces regrouped under the self-proclaimed Emperor Gaozong (11271162), and withdrew south of the Yangtze River to establish the new capital at Linan (in modern Hangzhou). The Jurchen conquest of northern China and shift of capitals from Kaifeng to Linan was the dividing line between the Northern Song Dynasty and Southern Song Dynasty.
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