Vietnamese cash

Vietnamese cash (Chinese: văn tiền; chữ Nôm: đồng tiền; French: sapèque)[a][b] is a cast round coin with a square hole that was an official currency of Vietnam from the Đinh dynasty in 970 until the Nguyễn dynasty in 1945, and remained in circulation in North Vietnam until 1948. The same type of currency circulated in China, Japan, Korea, and Ryūkyū for centuries. Though the majority of Vietnamese cash coins throughout history were copper coins, lead, iron (from 1528) and zinc (from 1740) coins also circulated alongside them often at fluctuating rates (with 1 copper cash being worth 10 zinc cash in 1882).[7] The reason why coins made from metals of lower intrinsic value were introduced was because of various superstitions involving Vietnamese people burying cash coins, as the problem of people burying cash coins became too much for the government as almost all coins issued by government mints tended to be buried mere months after they had entered circulation, the Vietnamese government began issuing coins made from an alloy of zinc, lead, and tin. As these cash coins tended to be very fragile they would decompose faster if buried which caused the Vietnamese people to stop burying their coins.[8][9]

Vietnamese cash
Hán-Việt: (Văn)
Chữ Nôm: (Đồng)
French: Sapèque
Thái Bình Hưng Bảo (太平興寶) 970–979 & Bảo Đại Thông Bảo (保大通寶) 1933–1945 01.jpg
First and last Vietnamese cash coins:
Thái Bình Hưng Bảo (太平興寶) issued during the Đinh dynasty.
Bảo Đại Thông Bảo (保大通寶) issued under Bảo Đại (1925–1945).
Denominations
Superunit
 10Phân (分)
 36–60Mạch (陌) / Tiền (錢)
 360–600Quán (貫) / Nguyên (元)[1][2][3]
 20Đồng (銅)
In the Democratic Republic of Vietnam between 1947 and 1948, making them equal to 5 xu (樞).
Demographics
Date of introduction970
User(s)Long Tinh Kỳ (Dragon Star Flag) nhà Nguyễn, 1802-1885.png Vietnam,  French Indochina (until 1945),  North Vietnam (until 1948)
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

Currency unitsEdit

Traditionally, the basic units of Vietnamese currency were quan (貫, quán), tiền, and đồng. One quan was 10 tiền, and one tiền was between 50 and 100 đồng, depending on the time period. From the reign of Emperor Trần Thái Tông onward, 1 tiền was 69 đồng in ordinary commercial transactions but 1 tiền was 70 đồng for official transactions. From the reign of Emperor Lê Lợi, 1 tiền was decreed to be 50 đồng. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties of Vietnam period, beginning in 1528, coins were reduced from 24 millimetres (0.94 in) to 23 millimetres (0.91 in) in diameter and diluted with zinc and iron. The smaller coinage was called tiền gián or sử tiền, in contrast to the larger tiền quý (literally, "valuable cash") or cổ tiền. One quan tiền quý was equivalent to 600 đồng, while 1 quan tiền gián was only 360 đồng.[10] During the Later Lê Dynasty, 1 tiền was 60 đồng; therefore, 600 đồng was 1 quan. During the Yuan Dynasty, Vietnamese traders at the border with China used the rate 1 tiền to 67 đồng. Zinc coins began to appear in Dai Viet during the 18th century. One copper (đồng) coin was worth 3 zinc (kẽm) coins. Beginning with the reign of Emperor Gia Long, both copper and zinc coins were in use. Originally the two coins had equal value, but eventually a copper coin rose to double the worth of a zinc coin, then triple, then sixfold, until the reign of Emperor Thành Thái, it was worth ten times a zinc coin.

HistoryEdit

 
Various Lý dynasty cash coins on display at the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi.

Đinh and Early Lê dynastiesEdit

The first Vietnamese coins were cast under the rule of the Đinh Dynasty (968–981) with the introduction of the Thái Bình Hưng Bảo () under Đinh Bộ Lĩnh.[11] Though for the next 2 centuries coins would remain a rarity in the daily lives of the common people as barter would remain the dominant means of exchange under both the Đinh and Early Lê dynasties.[12]

Lý dynastyEdit

Generally cast coins produced by the Vietnamese from the reign of Lý Thái Tông and onwards were of diminutive quality compared to the Chinese variants,[13] they were often produced with inferior metallic compositions and made to be thinner and lighter than the Chinese wén due to a severe lack of copper that existed during the Lý dynasty.[14] This inspired Chinese traders to recast Chinese coins for export to Vietnam which caused an abundance of coinage to circulate in the country prompting the Lý government to suspend the mintage of coins for 5 decades.[14]

Trần dynastyEdit

The production of inferior coinage continued under the Trần dynasty.[15] It was under the reign of Trần Dụ Tông that the most cash coins were cast of this period, this was because of several calamities such as failed crops that plagued the country during his reign that caused the Trần government to issue more coins to the populace as compensation.[15] The internal political struggles of the Trần ensured the cessation of the production of coinage and as such no coins were produced during the entire reigns of the last 7 monarchs of the Trần dynasty.[15]

Hồ dynastyEdit

 
A Đại Trần Thông Bảo Hội Sao (大陳通寶會鈔) banknote of 1 mân (緡).

During the Hồ dynasty the usage of coins was banned by Hồ Quý Ly in 1396 in favour of the Thông Bảo Hội Sao () banknote series and ordered people to exchange their coinage for these banknotes (with an exchange rate of 1 Quân of copper coins for 2 Thông Bảo Hội Sao banknotes),[16] those who denied to exchange or continued to pay with coins would be executed and have their possessions taken by the government. Despite these harsh laws very few people actually preferred paper money and coins remained widespread in circulation forcing the Hồ dynasty to retract their policies.[17][18][19] The Thông Bảo Hội Sao banknotes of the Hồ dynasty featured designs with seaweed, patterns of waves, clouds, and turtles on them.[20] Under the Hồ dynasty Thánh Nguyên Thông Bảo (聖元通寶), and Thiệu Nguyên Thông Bảo (紹元通寶) but they would only be manufactured in small numbers, though the Later Lê dynasty would produce coins with the same inscriptions less than half a century later in larger quantities.[21][22]

Later Lê, Mạc, and Revival Lê dynastiesEdit

After Lê Thái Tổ came to power in 1428 by ousting out the Ming dynasty ending the Fourth Chinese domination of Vietnam, Lê Thái Tổ enacted new policies to improve the quality of the manufacturing of coinage leading to the production of coins with both excellent craftsmanship and metal compositions that rivaled that of the best contemporary Chinese coinage.[23]

Between 1633 and 1637 the Dutch East India Company sold 105,835 strings of 960 cash coins (or 101,600,640 văn) to the Nguyễn lords in Vĩnh Lạc Thông Bảo (), and Khoan Vĩnh Thông Bảo () coins. This was because the Japanese had restricted trade forcing the Southern Vietnamese traders to purchase its copper coins from the Dutch Republic rather than from Japanese merchants as had happened earlier. This trade lead to a surplus of copper in the territory of the Nguyễn lords allowing them to use the metal (which at the time was scarce in the north) for more practical applications such as nails and door hinges.[24][25][26] After this Nagasaki trade coins which were specifically minted for the Vietnamese market, also started being traded and to circulate in the northern parts of Vietnam where the smaller coins would often be melted down for utensils and only circulated in Hanoi while larger Nagasaki trade coins circulated all over Vietnam.

From the Dương Hòa era (1635–1643) under Lê Thần Tông until 1675 no coins were cast due to the political turmoil, at the turn of the 18th century Lê Dụ Tông opened a lot of copper mines and renewed the production of high quality coinage. From 1719 the production of cast copper coins had ceased for 2 decades and taxes were more heavily lifted on the Chinese population as Mandarins could receive a promotion in rank for every 600 strings of cash (or 600,000 coins). Under Lê Hiển Tông a large variety of "Cảnh Hưng" () coins were cast with varying descriptions on the obverse,[27] in fact it is thought that more variations of the "Cảnh Hưng" coin exist than of any other Oriental cash coin in history.[28] And there were new large Cảnh Hưng coins with denominations of 50 and 100 văn introduced. And from 1740 various provincial mint marks were added on the reverses of coins. Currently there are around 80 known different kinds of "Cảnh Hưng" coins, the reason for this diversity is because the Lê government was in dire need for coins to pay for its expenditures, while it needed to collect more taxes in coins so it began to mint a lot of coins, later to fulfill this need the Lê legalised the previously detrimental workshops that were minting inferior coins in 1760 in order to meet the market's high demand for coinage, this backfired as the people found the huge variety in quality and quantity confusing.[29]

Tây Sơn dynastyEdit

Under Nguyễn Nhạc the description of Thất Phân () was first added to the reverses of some coins indicating their weight, this continued under the Nguyễn dynasty.[30] Under the reign of Nguyễn Huệ Quang Trung Thông Bảo (光中通寶) cash coins were produced made in two different types of metal, one series of copper and one series of tin, as well as alloys between the two or copper coins of red copper.[30]

Nguyễn dynastyEdit

Pre-colonial eraEdit

Under Gia Long three kinds of cash coins were produced in smaller denominations made of copper, lead, and zinc.[31] From 1837 under the reign of Minh Mạng 1 Mạch (陌) brass cash coins were issued, these cash coins feature Minh Mạng Thông Bảo (明命通寶) on their obverses but have 8 characters on their reverses. 1 Mạch coins would be continued under subsequent rulers of the Nguyễn dynasty.[31]

 
Copper-alloy and zinc cash coins issued under the reign of the Gia Long Emperor.
 
"Tự Đức Thông Bảo" () coins of varying denominations, on display at the Museum of Vietnamese History, Ho Chi Minh City.

Since the reign of Gia Long zinc coins had replaced the usage of copper and brass coins and formed the basis of the Vietnamese currency system.[31] Under Gia Long the standard 1 văn denomination coins weighed 7 phần, under Minh Mạng 6 phần (approximately 2,28 Grams) which would remain the standard for future rulers.[31] Zinc cash coins produced in Hanoi under Tự Đức had the mint mark "Hà Nội" () on them, with there being another mint in Sơn Tây (西).[32]

However, in 1871 the production of zinc cash coins stopped as many mines were being blocked by Chinese pirates, and the continued production of these coins would be too expensive.[31] Other reasons for the discontinuation of zinc cash coins despite them being indispensable to the general populace was because they were heavy compared to its nominal value and the metal is quite brittle.[31] To the French zinc coinage also presented a huge in inconvenience since their colonisation of Cochinchina in 1859 as the exchange between French francs and zinc văn meant that a large amount of zinc coins were exchanged for the French franc.[31] Zinc cash coins often broke during transportation as the strings that kept them together would often snap the coins would fall on the ground and a great number of them would break into pieces, and these coins were also less resistant to oxidation causing them to corrode faster than other coinages.[31]

"Another serious disadvantage consisted in the total absence of token coinages other than the inconvenient sapèque one of zinc: one needed an artillery van to go exchange 1,000 francs in ligatures for the one sapèques, since it had the weight of a barrel and half.... and at the market, the chicken weighed some times less than its price in currency."

- J. Silvestre, Monnaies et de Médailles de l'Annam et de la Cochinchine Française (1883).

Prior to 1849 brass coins had become an extreme rarity and only circulated in the provinces surrounding the capital cities of Vietnam, but under Tự Đức new regulations and (uniform) standards for copper cash coins were created to help promote their usage.[31] Between 1868 and 1872 brass coins were only around 50% copper, and 50% zinc.[31] Due to the natural scarcity of copper in Vietnam the country always lacked the resources to produce sufficient copper coinage for circulation.[31]

Under Tự Đức large coins with the denomination of 60 văn were introduced, these coins were ordered to circulate at a value of 1 tiền, but their intrinsic value was significantly lower so they were badly received and the production of these coins was quickly discontinued in favour of 20, 30, 40, and 50 văn coins known as Đồng Sao. In 1870 Tự Đức Bảo Sao cash coins of 2, 3, 8, and 9 Mạch were issued.[31] Large denomination coins were mostly used for tax collection as their relatively low intrinsic value lowered their spending power on the market.[33][34]

List of large denomination cash coins issued under Emperor Tự Đức:[35][36]

Denomination Hán tự
(reverse inscription)
Years of mintage Weight Toda image Image
10 văn 準十文 1861 5.66 g. None
10 văn 準文一十 1870 5.66 g. None
20 văn 準文二十 1861–1870 11.33 g. None
30 văn 準文三十 1861–1870 None
40 văn 準文四十 1870 12.20 g. None
50 văn 準文五十 1861 23.40 g.  
50 văn 準文五十 1870 12.75 g.    
60 văn 準文六十 1870 12.20 g.    
2 mạch
(120 văn)
準當二陌 1870 20.52 g. None
3 mạch
(180 văn)
準當三陌 1870 None
8 mạch
(480 văn)
準當八陌 1870 None
9 mạch
(540 văn)
準當九陌 1870 28.03 g. None
1 quán 準當一貫 1870 32.96 g. None

In 1882 at the time when Toda's Annam and its minor currency was published only 2 government mints remained in operation, one in Hanoi, and one in Huế.[7] Though private mints were allowed to cast cash coins with the permission of the government, and a large number of cash coins were also imported from abroad as at that time the Portuguese colony of Macau had 6 mints with 12 furnaces producing 600,000 cash coins for Vietnam on a daily basis.[7]

Cash coins circulated in the 19th century along with silver and gold bars, as well as silver and gold coins known as tiền.[31] Denominations up to 10 tiền were minted, with the 7 tiền coins in gold and silver being similar in size and weight to the Spanish 8 real and 8 escudo pieces.[31] These coins continued to be minted into the 20th century, albeit increasingly supplanted by French colonial coinage.[31]

Under French ruleEdit

After the introduction of modern coinage by the French in 1878, cash coins remained in general circulation in French Cochinchina.[37] Despite the later introduction of the French Indochinese piastre, zinc and copper-alloy cash coins would continue to circulate among the Vietnamese populace throughout the country as the primary form of coinage as the majority of the population lived in extreme poverty until 1945 (and 1948 in some areas) and were valued at the rates of about 500–600 cash coins for one piastre.[38] The need for coins was only a minor part in the lives of most Vietnamese people at the time as barter remained more common as all coins were bartered on the market according to their current intrinsic values.[38]

Initially the French attempted to supplement cash coins in circulation by punching round holes into French 1 centime coins and shipping a large amount of them to French Cochinchina, but these coins did not see much circulation and the Cochinchinese people largely rejected them.[39]

On 7 April & 22 April 1879 the governor of French Cochinchina had decreed that the new designs for coins with "Cochinchine Française" on them would be accepted with the denominations 2 sapèques (cash coins), 1 cent, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, and the piastre.[40] All coins except for the piastre was allowed to be issued, which allowed for Spanish dollars and Mexican reals to continue circulating.[40] The Paris Mint produced the new machine-struck 2 sapèques "Cochinchine Française" cash coins.[40] These French produced bronze cash coins weighed 2 grams were valued at ​1500 piastre, they saw considerably more circulation than the previous French attempt at creating cash coins, but were still largely disliked by the Cochinchinese people.[40] The local population still preferred their own Tự Đức Thông Bảo (嗣德通寶) cash coin despite it being only valued at ​11000 piastre.[40]

Following the establishment of French Indochina, a new version of the French 2 sapèques was produced from 1887 to 1902 which was also valued at ​1500 piastre and were likely forced on the Vietnamese people when they were paid for their goods and/or services by the French as the preference still was for indigenous cash coins.[40]

Under French administration the Nguyễn government issued the Kiến Phúc Thông Bảo (建福通寶), Hàm Nghi Thông Bảo (咸宜通寶), Đồng Khánh Thông Bảo (同慶通寶), Thành Thái Thông Bảo (成泰通寶), Duy Tân Thông Bảo (維新通寶) cash coins of different metal compositions and weights.[41] Each of these cash coins had their own value against the French Indochinese piastre.[41] Because the exchange values between the native cash coins and silver piasters were confusing, the local Vietnamese people were often cheated by the money changers during this period.[41]

On 1 August 1898 it was reported in the Bulletin Economique De L’Indo-Chine article; Le Monnaie De L’Annam that the Huế Mint was closed in the year 1887, and in the year 1894, the casting of cash coins had started at the Thanh Hóa Mint.[41] Between the years 1889 and 1890 the Huế Mint produced 1321 strings of 600 small brass Thành Thái Thông Bảo cash coins.[42] These small brass cash coins were valued at 6 zinc cash coins.[42] In the year 1893, large brass Thành Thái Thông Bảo cash coins with a denomination of 10 văn (十文, thập văn), or 10 zinc cash coins, started being produced by the Huế Mint.[42] The production of Thành Thái Thông Bảo cash coins were resumed at the Thanh Hóa Mint between the years 1894 and 1899.[42] Under Emperor Thành Thái gold and silver coinages were also produced.[42]

In the year 1902 the French ceased production of machine-struck cash coins at the Paris Mint and completely deferred the production of cash coins back to the government of the Nguyễn dynasty.[41] There were people in Hanoi and Saigon that still preferred the French machine-struck cash coins, so a committee was set up in Hanoi that created a machine-struck zinc cash coin valued at ​1600 piastre dated 1905 but issued in 1906.[41] However, this series of cash coins wasn't well received by the either the local or the French population as the coins were brittle, prone to corrosion, and easily broke so their production was quickly halted.[41]

The last monarch whose name was cast on cash coins, Emperor Bảo Đại, died in 1997.

Democratic Republic of VietnamEdit

After the Democratic Republic of Vietnam declared their independence in 1945 they began issuing their own money, but cash coins continued to circulate in the remote areas of Bắc Bộ and Trung Bộ where there was a lack of xu, hào, and đồng coins for the population. The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam Decree 51/SL of January 6, 1947 officially set the exchange rate at 20 Vietnamese cash coins for 1 North Vietnamese đồng making them equal to 5 xu each. Vietnamese cash coins continued to officially circulate in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam until April 13, 1948.[39]

AftermathEdit

During the Vietnam War a large number or Vietnamese numismatic charms with both authentic as well as fantasy coin inscriptions were produced in South Vietnam to be sold to foreigners interested in collecting Vietnamese antiques.[43] These fantasy inscriptions included legends like Quang Trung Trọng Bảo (光中重寶),[44] Hàm Nghi Trọng Bảo (咸宜重寶),[45] and Khải Định Trọng Bảo (啓定重寶),[46] the latter of which being based on the Khải Định Thông Bảo (啓定通寶).

List of Vietnamese cash coinsEdit

Official and semi-official cash coinsEdit

 
Most Vietnamese cash coins tend to be read top-botton-right-left, but variants exist where the characters are read clockwise.
 
The various cash coins of the Nguyễn dynasty (1802–1945).

During the almost 1000 years that Vietnamese copper cash coins were produced, they often significantly changed quality, alloy, size, and workmanship. In general, the coins bear the era name(s) of the monarch (Niên hiệu/年號) but may also be inscribed with mint marks, denominations, miscellaneous characters, and decorations.

Unlike Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Ryūkyūan cash coins that always have the inscription in only one typeface, Vietnamese cash coins tend to be more idiosyncratic bearing sometimes Regular script, Seal script, and even Running script on the same coins for different characters, and it's not uncommon for one coin to be cast almost entirely in one typeface but has an odd character in another. Though early Vietnamese coins often bore the calligraphic style of the Chinese Khai Nguyên Thông Bảo (開元通寶) coin, especially those from the Đinh until the Trần dynasties.[47]

The following coins were produced to circulate in Vietnam:

Orange text indicates that the cash coin has been mentioned by historical sources but that no modern authentic specimen has ever been recovered.

Green text indicates that this cash coin has been recovered in modern times but is not mentioned in any historical chronicles.

Blue text indicates that the cash coin has its own article on Wikipedia.[c]

(中) indicates that there exists a Chinese, Khitan, Tangut, Jurchen, Mongol, and/or Manchu cash coin (including rebel coinages) with the same legend as the Vietnamese cash coin.
Further reading: List of Chinese cash coins by inscription.

Fuchsia text = Indicates that this is a misattributed cash coin (these cash coins were noted by historical sources or standard catalogues but later turned out to be misattributed).

Gold text Indicates that this is a fake or fantasy referenced by Eduardo Toda y Güell in his Annam and its Minor Currency (pdf), the possible existence of these cash coins have not been verified by any later works.
Inscription
(chữ Quốc ngữ)
Inscription
(Hán tự)
Years of mintage Dynasty Monarch(s) Toda image Image
Thái Bình Hưng Bảo[d] 太平興寶 970–979 Đinh (丁) Đinh Tiên Hoàng (丁先皇)
Đinh Phế Đế (丁廢帝)
   
Thiên Phúc Trấn Bảo 天福鎮寶 986 Early Lê (前黎) Lê Hoàn (黎桓)    
986 Early Lê (前黎) Lê Hoàn (黎桓)   None
Thuận Thiên Đại Bảo 順天大寶 1010–1028 (李) Lý Thái Tổ (李太祖)  
Càn Phù Nguyên Bảo 乾符元寶 1039–1041 Lý (李) Lý Thái Tông (李太宗)    
Minh Đạo Nguyên Bảo (中) 明道元寶 1042–1043 Lý (李) Lý Thái Tông (李太宗) None  
Thiên Phù Thông Bảo[e] 天符通寶 1120–1127 Lý (李) Lý Nhân Tông (李仁宗) None  
Thiên Phù Nguyên Bảo[f] 天符元寶 1120–1127 Lý (李) Lý Nhân Tông (李仁宗)   None
Đại Định Thông Bảo (中) 大定通寶 1140–1162 Lý (李) Lý Anh Tông (李英宗)    
Thiên Cảm Thông Bảo 天感通寶 1044–1048 Lý (李) Lý Anh Tông (李英宗)   None
Thiên Cảm Nguyên Bảo 天感元寶 1174–1175 Lý (李) Lý Anh Tông (李英宗) None
Chính Long Nguyên Bảo 正隆元寶 1174–1175 Lý (李) Lý Anh Tông (李英宗) None  
Thiên Tư Thông Bảo 天資通寶 1202–1204 Lý (李) Lý Cao Tông (李高宗)   None
Thiên Tư Nguyên Bảo 天資元寶 1202–1204 Lý (李) Lý Cao Tông (李高宗) None
Trị Bình Thông Bảo (中)[g] 治平通寶 1205–1210 Lý (李) Lý Cao Tông (李高宗)   None
Trị Bình Nguyên Bảo 治平元寶 1205–1210 Lý (李) Lý Cao Tông (李高宗)    
Hàm Bình Nguyên Bảo[48] (中)[h] 咸平元寶 1205–1210 Lý (李) Lý Cao Tông (李高宗) None  
Kiến Trung Thông Bảo (中) 建中通寶 1225–1237 Trần (陳) Trần Thái Tông (陳太宗) None
Trần Nguyên Thông Bảo 陳元通寶 1225–1237 Trần (陳) Trần Thái Tông (陳太宗) None
Chính Bình Thông Bảo 政平通寶 1238–1350 Trần (陳) Trần Thái Tông (陳太宗) None
Nguyên Phong Thông Bảo (中) 元豐通寶 1251–1258 Trần (陳) Trần Thái Tông (陳太宗)    
Thiệu Long Thông Bảo 紹隆通寶 1258–1272 Trần (陳) Trần Thánh Tông (陳聖宗) None
Hoàng Trần Thông Bảo 皇陳通寶 1258–1278 Trần (陳) Trần Thánh Tông (陳聖宗) None
Hoàng Trần Nguyên Bảo 皇陳元寶 1258–1278 Trần (陳) Trần Thánh Tông (陳聖宗) None
Khai Thái Nguyên Bảo 開太元寶 1324–1329 Trần (陳) Trần Minh Tông (陳明宗) None
Thiệu Phong Thông Bảo 紹豐通寶 1341–1357 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗) None  
Thiệu Phong Bình Bảo 紹豐平寶 1341–1357 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗)  
Thiệu Phong Nguyên Bảo 紹豐元寶 1341–1357 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗)  
Đại Trị Thông Bảo 大治通寶 1358–1369 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗)    
Đại Trị Nguyên Bảo 大治元寶 1358–1369 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗)    
Đại Trị Nguyên Bảo 大治元寶 1358–1369 Trần (陳) Trần Dụ Tông (陳裕宗) None  
Cảm Thiệu Nguyên Bảo 感紹元寶 1368–1370 Trần (陳) Hôn Đức Công (昏德公)  
Cảm Thiệu Nguyên Bảo 感紹元宝 1368–1370 Trần (陳) Hôn Đức Công (昏德公)  
Đại Định Thông Bảo (中) 大定通寶 1368–1370 Trần (陳) Hôn Đức Công (昏德公) None
Thiệu Khánh Thông Bảo 紹慶通寶 1370–1372 Trần (陳) Trần Nghệ Tông (陳藝宗) None
Xương Phù Thông Bảo 昌符通寶 1377–1388 Trần (陳) Trần Phế Đế (陳廢帝) None
Hi Nguyên Thông Bảo[i] 熙元通寶 1381–1382 None Nguyễn Hi Nguyên (阮熙元)    
Thiên Thánh Nguyên Bảo 天聖元寶 1391–1392 None Sử Thiên Thánh (使天聖)    
Thánh Nguyên Thông Bảo 聖元通寶 1400 Hồ (胡) Hồ Quý Ly (胡季犛)    
Thiệu Nguyên Thông Bảo[j] 紹元通寶 1401–1402 Hồ (胡) Hồ Hán Thương (胡漢蒼)    
Hán Nguyên Thông Bảo (中)[k] 漢元通寶 1401–1407 Hồ (胡) Hồ Hán Thương (胡漢蒼)    
Hán Nguyên Thánh Bảo 漢元聖寶 1401–1407 Hồ (胡) Hồ Hán Thương (胡漢蒼)  
Thiên Bình Thông Bảo[l] 天平通寶 1405–1406 None Thiên Bình (天平)  
Vĩnh Ninh Thông Bảo 永寧通寶 1420 None Lộc Bình Vương (羅平王)  
Giao Chỉ Thông Bảo[m] 交趾通寶 1419 Minh (明) Vĩnh Lạc Emperor (永樂帝)   None
Vĩnh Thiên Thông Bảo 永天通寶 1420 None Lê Ngạ (黎餓)  
Thiên Khánh Thông Bảo (中) 天慶通寶 1426–1428 Later Trần (後陳) Thiên Khánh Đế (天慶帝) None
An Pháp Nguyên Bảo 安法元寶 Rebellion[n] Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)    
Chánh Pháp Nguyên Bảo[o] 正法元寶 Rebellion Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)  
Trị Thánh Nguyên Bảo[p] 治聖元寶 Rebellion Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)  
Trị Thánh Bình Bảo[q] 治聖平寶 Rebellion Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)    
Thái Pháp Bình Bảo 太法平寶 Rebellion Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)   None
Thánh Quan Thông Bảo[r] 聖宮通寶 Rebellion Later Lê (後黎) Lê Lợi (黎利)  
Thuận Thiên Thông Bảo 順天通寶 1428–1433 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thái Tổ (黎太祖) None
Thuận Thiên Nguyên Bảo (中) 順天元寶 1428–1433 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thái Tổ (黎太祖)    
Thiệu Bình Thông Bảo 紹平通寶 1434–1440 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thái Tông (黎太宗)    
Đại Bảo Thông Bảo 大寶通寶 1440–1442 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thái Tông (黎太宗)    
Thái Hòa Thông Bảo[s] 太和通寶 1443–1453 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Nhân Tông (黎仁宗)    
Diên Ninh Thông Bảo 延寧通寶 1454–1459 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Nhân Tông (黎仁宗)    
Thiên Hưng Thông Bảo 天興通寶 1459–1460 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Nghi Dân (黎宜民)    
Quang Thuận Thông Bảo 光順通寶 1460–1469 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thánh Tông (黎聖宗)    
Hồng Đức Thông Bảo 洪德通寶 1470–1497 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Thánh Tông (黎聖宗)    
Cảnh Thống Thông Bảo 景統通寶 1497–1504 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Hiến Tông (黎憲宗)    
Đoan Khánh Thông Bảo 端慶通寶 1505–1509 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Uy Mục (黎威穆)    
Giao Trị Thông Bảo 交治通寶 1509 None Cẩm Giang Vương (錦江王)  
Thái Bình Thông Bảo 太平通寶 1509 None Cẩm Giang Vương (錦江王)  
Thái Bình Thánh Bảo 太平聖寶 1509 None Cẩm Giang Vương (錦江王)  
Hồng Thuận Thông Bảo 洪順通寶 1510–1516 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Tương Dực (黎襄翼)    
Trần Tuân Công Bảo 陳新公寶 1511–1512 None Trần Tuân (陳珣)  
Quang Thiệu Thông Bảo 光紹通寶 1516–1522 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Chiêu Tông (黎昭宗)    
Trần Công Tân Bảo 陳公新寶 1516–1521 None Trần Cao (陳暠) None
Thiên Ứng Thông Bảo 天應通寶 1516–1521 None Trần Cao (陳暠)    
Phật Pháp Tăng Bảo 佛法僧寶 1516–1521 None Trần Cao (陳暠) None
Tuyên Hựu Hòa Bảo 宣祐和寶 1516–1521 None Trần Cao (陳暠) None
Thống Nguyên Thông Bảo 統元通寶 1522–1527 Later Lê (後黎) Lê Cung Hoàng (黎恭皇)  
Minh Đức Thông Bảo 明德通寶 1527–1530 Mạc (莫) Mạc Thái Tổ (莫太祖)  
Minh Đức Nguyên Bảo 明德元寶 1527–1530 Mạc (莫) Mạc Thái Tổ (莫太祖)  
Đại Chính Thông Bảo 大正通寶 1530–1540 Mạc (莫) Mạc Thái Tông (莫太宗)    
Quang Thiệu Thông Bảo 光紹通寶 1531–1532 None Quang Thiệu Emperor (光紹帝)  
Nguyên Hòa Thông Bảo 元和通寶 1533–1548 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Trang Tông (黎莊宗)    
Quảng Hòa Thông Bảo 廣和通寶 1541–1546 Mạc (莫) Mạc Hiến Tông (莫憲宗)    
Vĩnh Định Thông Bảo 永定通寶 1547 Mạc (莫) Mạc Tuyên Tông (莫宣宗)  
Vĩnh Định Chí Bảo 永定之寶 1547 Mạc (莫) Mạc Tuyên Tông (莫宣宗)  
Quang Bảo Thông Bảo 光寶通寶 1554–1561 Mạc (莫) Mạc Tuyên Tông (莫宣宗) None
Thái Bình Thông Bảo (中) 太平通寶 1558–1613 Nguyễn lords (阮主) Nguyễn Hoàng (阮潢) None  
Thái Bình Phong Bảo 太平豐寶 1558–1613 Nguyễn lords (阮主) Nguyễn Hoàng (阮潢) None
Bình An Thông Bảo 平安通寶 1572–1623 Trịnh lords (鄭主) Trịnh Tùng (鄭松) None
Gia Thái Thông Bảo (中)[49] 嘉泰通寶 1573–1599 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Thế Tông (黎世宗) None
Càn Thống Nguyên Bảo 乾統元寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫)[t] Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭) None
An Pháp Nguyên Bảo 安法元寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭) None  
Thái Bình Thông Bảo (中) 太平通寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭) None  
Thái Bình Thánh Bảo 太平聖寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭) None  
Thái Bình Pháp Bảo 太平法寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭)[50][51] None
Khai Kiến Thông Bảo 開建通寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭)  
Sùng Minh Thông Bảo 崇明通寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭)  
Chính Nguyên Thông Bảo 正元通寶 1593–1625 Mạc (莫) Mạc Kính Cung (莫敬恭) None  
Vĩnh Thọ Thông Bảo 永壽通寶 1658–1661 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Thần Tông (黎神宗)    
Tường Phù Nguyên Bảo[u] (中) 祥符元寶 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None  
Trị Bình Thông Bảo (中) 治平通寶 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None None
Trị Bình Nguyên Bảo (中)[54] 治平元寶 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None
Nguyên Phong Thông Bảo (中) 元豊通寳 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None  
Hi Ninh Nguyên Bảo (中) 熈寧元寳 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None  
Thiệu Thánh Nguyên Bảo (中) 紹聖元寳 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None  
Gia Hựu Thông Bảo (中) 嘉祐通寳 1659–1685 Đức Xuyên (徳川) Đức Xuyên Gia Cương (徳川 家綱) None  
Vĩnh Trị Thông Bảo 永治通寶 1678–1680 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hi Tông (黎熙宗)  
Vĩnh Trị Nguyên Bảo 永治元寶 1678–1680 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hi Tông (黎熙宗) None
Vĩnh Trị Chí Bảo 永治至寶 1678–1680 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hi Tông (黎熙宗) None
Chính Hòa Thông Bảo 正和通寶 1680–1705 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hi Tông (黎熙宗)    
Chính Hòa Nguyên Bảo 正和元寶 1680–1705 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hi Tông (黎熙宗) None
Vĩnh Thịnh Thông Bảo 永聖通寶 1706–1719 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Dụ Tông (黎裕宗)    
Bảo Thái Thông Bảo 保泰通寶 1720–1729 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Dụ Tông (黎裕宗)    
Thiên Minh Thông Bảo 天明通寶 1738–1765 Nguyễn lords (阮主) Nguyễn Phúc Khoát (阮福濶)    
Ninh Dân Thông Bảo[55][56][57][58] 寧民通宝[v] 1739–1741 None Nguyễn Tuyển (阮選),
Nguyễn Cừ (阮蘧), and
Nguyễn Diên (阮筵)[w]
 
Cảnh Hưng Thông Bảo 景興通寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Thông Bảo[59] 景興通宝 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Trung Bảo 景興中寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Trung Bảo[60] 景興中宝 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Chí Bảo[61] 景興至寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Vĩnh Bảo 景興永寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Đại Bảo 景興大寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Thái Bảo 景興太寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Cự Bảo[62] 景興巨寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Cự Bảo 景興巨宝 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Trọng Bảo 景興重寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Tuyền Bảo 景興泉寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Thuận Bảo 景興順寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Nội Bảo 景興內寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Nội Bảo 景興內宝 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Dụng Bảo 景興用寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Dụng Bảo[63] 景興踊寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Cảnh Hưng Lai Bảo 景興來寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Cảnh Hưng Thận Bảo 景興慎寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Cảnh Hưng Thọ Trường 景興壽長 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Cảnh Hưng Chính Bảo[64] 景興正寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)    
Cảnh Hưng Anh Bảo 景興英寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Cảnh Hưng Tống Bảo 景興宋寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Thông Dụng 景興通用 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗)  
Cảnh Hưng Lợi Bảo[65] 景興利寶 1740–1786 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Hiển Tông (黎顯宗) None
Thái Đức Thông Bảo 泰德通寶 1778–1788 Tây Sơn (西山) Thái Đức (泰德)    
Nam Vương Thông Bảo 南王通寶 1782–1786 Trịnh lords (鄭主) Trịnh Khải (鄭楷) None
Nam Vương Cự Bảo 南王巨寶 1782–1786 Trịnh lords (鄭主) Trịnh Khải (鄭楷) None  
Minh Đức Thông Bảo 明德通寶 1787 Tây Sơn (西山) Thái Đức (泰德) None
Chiêu Thống Thông Bảo 昭統通寶 1787–1789 Revival Lê (黎中興) Lê Mẫn Đế (黎愍帝)    
Quang Trung Thông Bảo 光中通寶 1788–1792 Tây Sơn (西山) Quang Trung (光中)    
Quang Trung Thông Bảo 光中通宝 1788–1792 Tây Sơn (西山) Quang Trung (光中)  
Quang Trung Đại Bảo 光中大宝 1788–1792 Tây Sơn (西山) Quang Trung (光中)    
Càn Long Thông Bảo
An Nam[x] (中)[66]
乾隆通寶
安南
1788–1789 Thanh (清) Càn Long Emperor (乾隆帝)    
Cảnh Thịnh Thông Bảo 景盛通寶 1793–1801 Tây Sơn (西山) Cảnh Thịnh (景盛)    
Cảnh Thịnh Đại Bảo 景盛大寶 1793–1801 Tây Sơn (西山) Cảnh Thịnh (景盛) None  
Bảo Hưng Thông Bảo 寶興通寶 1801–1802 Tây Sơn (西山) Cảnh Thịnh (景盛)    
Gia Hưng Thông Bảo 嘉興通寶 1802–1820 Nguyễn (阮) Gia Long (嘉隆) None
Gia Long Thông Bảo 嘉隆通寶 1802–1820 Nguyễn (阮) Gia Long (嘉隆)    
Gia Long Cự Bảo 嘉隆巨寶 1802–1820 Nguyễn (阮) Gia Long (嘉隆) None
Minh Mạng Thông Bảo 明命通寶 1820–1841 Nguyễn (阮) Minh Mạng (明命)    
Trị Nguyên Thông Bảo 治元通寶 1831–1834 None Lê Văn Khôi (黎文𠐤)    
Trị Bình Thông Bảo (中) 治平通寶 1831–1834 None Lê Văn Khôi (黎文𠐤)  
Nguyên Long Thông Bảo 元隆通寶 1833–1835 None Nông Văn Vân (農文雲)  
Thiệu Trị Thông Bảo 紹治通寶 1841–1847 Nguyễn (阮) Thiệu Trị (紹治)    
Tự Đức Thông Bảo 嗣德通寶 1847–1883 Nguyễn (阮) Tự Đức (嗣德)    
Tự Đức Bảo Sao 嗣德寶鈔 1861–1883 Nguyễn (阮) Tự Đức (嗣德)    
Kiến Phúc Thông Bảo 建福通寶 1883–1884 Nguyễn (阮) Kiến Phúc (建福) None
Hàm Nghi Thông Bảo 咸宜通寶 1884–1885 Nguyễn (阮) Hàm Nghi (咸宜) None  
Đồng Khánh Thông Bảo 同慶通寶 1885–1888 Nguyễn (阮) Đồng Khánh (同慶) None  
Thành Thái Thông Bảo 成泰通寶 1888–1907 Nguyễn (阮) Thành Thái (成泰) None  
Duy Tân Thông Bảo 維新通寶 1907–1916 Nguyễn (阮) Duy Tân (維新) None  
Khải Định Thông Bảo 啓定通寶 1916–1925 Nguyễn (阮) Khải Định (啓定) None  
Bảo Đại Thông Bảo 保大通寶 1926–1945[y] Nguyễn (阮) Bảo Đại (保大) None  

Unidentified Vietnamese coins from 1600 and laterEdit

At various times many rebel leaders proclaimed themselves as Lords (), Kings (), and Emperors (), and had produced their own coinage with their reign names and titles on them, but as their rebellions would prove unsuccessful or brief their reigns and titles would go unrecorded in Vietnamese history, therefore coins produced by their rebellions cannot easily be classified. Coins were also often privately cast and these coins were sometimes of high quality or well-made imitations of imperial coinage, though often they would bear the same inscriptions as already circulating coinage, sometimes they would have "newly invented" inscriptions.[68] The Nguyễn lords that ruled over Southern Vietnam had also produced their own coinage at various times as they were the de facto kings of the South, but as their rule wasn't official, it is currently unknown what coins can be attributed to which Nguyễn lord. Though since Edouard Toda has made his list in 1882 several of the coins that he had described as "originating from the Quảng Nam province" have been ascribed to the Nguyễn lords that the numismatists of his time couldn't identify. During the rule of the Nguyễn lords many foundries for private mintage were also opened and many of these coins bear the same inscriptions as government cast coinage or even bear newly invented inscriptions making it hard to attribute these coins.[69]

The following list contains Vietnamese cash coins whose origins cannot be (currently) established:

Inscription
(chữ Quốc ngữ)
Inscription
(Hán tự)
Notes Toda image Image
Thiệu Thánh Nguyên Bảo 紹聖元寶  
Minh Định Tống Bảo 明定宋寶 "Tống Bảo" () is written in Seal script.    
Cảnh Nguyên Thông Bảo 景元通寶 Appears in both Regular script, and Seal script.    
Thánh Tống Nguyên Bảo 聖宋元寶    
Càn Nguyên Thông Bảo 乾元通寶 Produced in the upper parts of Northern Vietnam.  
Phúc Bình Nguyên Bảo 福平元寶 Written in Seal script.  
Thiệt Quý Thông Bảo 邵癸通寶 Written in both Running hand and Seal script.  
Dương Nguyên Thông Bảo 洋元通寶 Appear in multiple sizes.    
Thiệu Phù Nguyên Bảo 紹符元寶 Written in Seal script.  
Nguyên Phù Thông Bảo 元符通寶 Written in Seal script.    
Đại Cung Thánh Bảo 大工聖寶  
Đại Hòa Thông Bảo 大和通寶 The reverse is rimless.    
Cảnh Thì Thông Bảo 景底通寶 The "" closely resembles a ""  
Thiên Nguyên Thông Bảo 天元通寶 A variant exists where the "" is written in Seal script.  
Nguyên Trị Thông Bảo 元治通寶 The characters "" and "" are written in Seal script.  
Hoàng Hi Tống Bảo 皇熙宋寶  
Khai Thánh Nguyên Bảo 開聖元寶  
Thiệu Thánh Thông Bảo 紹聖通寶  
Thiệu Thánh Bình Bảo 紹聖平寶 the reverse is rimless.  
Thiệu Tống Nguyên Bảo 紹宋元寶  
Tường Tống Thông Bảo 祥宋通寶  
Tường Thánh Thông Bảo 祥聖通寶  
Hi Tống Nguyên Bảo 熙宋元寶  
Ứng Cảm Nguyên Bảo 應感元寶  
Thống Phù Nguyên Bảo 統符元寶  
Hi Thiệu Nguyên Bảo 熙紹元寶  
Chính Nguyên Thông Bảo 正元通寶 Variants exist with rimmed and rimless reverses, as well as one where there's a dot or a crescent on the reverse.  
Thiên Đức Nguyên Bảo 天德元寶  
Hoàng Ân Thông Bảo 皇恩通寶  
Thái Thánh Thông Bảo 太聖通寶  
Đại Thánh Thông Bảo 大聖通寶  
Chánh Hòa Thông Bảo 政和通寶 A variant exists where there's a crescent a dot on the reverse, and another one with only the crescent.  
Thánh Cung Tứ Bảo[z] 聖宮慈寶 None
Thánh Trần Thông Bảo 聖陳通寶 None
Đại Định Thông Bảo 大定通寶 None  
Chính Long Nguyên Bảo 正隆元寶 None
Hi Nguyên Thông Bảo 熙元通寶 None
Cảnh Nguyên Thông Bảo 景元通寶 None  
Tống Nguyên Thông Bảo 宋元通寶 None  
Thiên Thánh Nguyên Bảo 天聖元寶 None  
Thánh Nguyên Thông Bảo 聖元通寶 None  
Chính Pháp Thông Bảo 正法通寶 None
Tây Dương Phù Bảo 西洋符寶 None
Tây Dương Bình Bảo 西洋平寶 None
An Pháp Nguyên Bảo 安法元寶 Most often attributed to Lê Lợi (黎利).[70][71]    
Bình Nam Thông Bảo 平南通寶 Often attributed to the Nguyễn lords (阮主). None

Machine-struck cash coins made by the French governmentEdit

 
Various cash coins produced by the French government for circulation in Vietnam.

During the time that Vietnam was under French administration, the French started minting cash coins for circulation first for within the colony of Cochinchina and then for the other regions of Vietnam. These coins were minted in Paris and were all struck as opposed to the contemporary cast coinage that already circulated within Vietnam.[72][73][74][75]

After the French had annexed Cochinchina from the Vietnamese, cash coins would remain to circulate in the region and depending on their weight and metal (as Vietnamese cash coins made from copper, tin, and zinc circulated simultaneously at the time at fluctuating rates) were accepted at 600 to 1000 cash coins for a single Mexican or Spanish 8 real coin or 1 piastre.[39][76] In 1870 the North German company Dietrich Uhlhorn started privately minting machine-struck Tự Đức Thông Bảo (嗣德通寶) coins as the demand for cash coins in French Cochinchina was high.[39][76] The coin weighed 4 grams which was close to the official weight of 10 phần (3.7783 grams) which was the standard used by the imperial government at the time. Around 1875 the French introduced holed 1 cent coins styled after the Vietnamese cash.[39][76] In 1879 the French introduced the Cochinchinese Sapèque with a nominal value of ​1500 piastre, but the Vietnamese population at the time still preferred the old Tự Đức Thông Bảo coins despite their lower nominal value.[39][40] The weight and size of the French Indochinese 1 cent coin was reduced and the coin was holed in 1896 in order to appear more similar to cash coins, this was done to reflect the practice of stringing coins together and be carried on a belt or pole because Oriental garments at the time did not have pockets.[39] The French production of machine-struck cash coins was halted in 1902.[39][77] As there were people in Hanoi and Saigon that did not want to give up on the production of machine-struck cash coins, a committee decided to strike zinc Sapèque coins with a nominal value of ​1600 piastre, these coins were produced at the Paris Mint and were dated 1905 despite being put into circulation only in 1906.[39] These coins corroded and broke quite easily which made them unpopular and their production quickly ceased.[39]

"Annamites are not content with the current state of affairs. They complain about the mode of the farms and monopolies, which obliges them to pay fees, paralyses the small trade and is an obstacle to much of trades of which a great part of the population live. The embarrassment is still increased by the progressive disappearance of the zinc currency, adapted so well to the condition of the needy Annamites. It still remains the base of all the small transactions. With two or three sapèques, the poor one can buy a fruit, a cake and thus calm the pains of the hunger. But, as the Government does not manufacture them any more, those which were in circulation become increasingly rare, and the market feels it, with the great detriment of all."

- The 1907 Annual Report by missionary Mgr. Gendreau of the Groupe des Mission du Tonkin.

After Khải Định became Emperor in 1916, Hanoi reduced the funds to cast Vietnamese cash coins which had a dissatisfying effect on the Vietnamese market as the demand for cash coins remained high, so another committee was formed in Hanoi that ordered the creation of machine-struck copper-alloy Khải Định Thông Bảo (啓定通寶) cash coins to be minted in Haiphong, these coins weighed more than the old French Sapèques and were around 2.50 grams and were accepted at ​1500 piastre.[39] There were 27 million Khải Định Thông Bảo of the first variant produced, while the second variant of the machine-struck Khải Định Thông Bảo had a mintage of 200 million, which was likely continued after the ascension of Emperor Bảo Đại in 1926 which was normal as previous Vietnamese emperors also kept producing cash coins with the inscription of their predecessors for a period of time.[39] Emperor Bảo Đại had ordered the creation of cast Bảo Đại Thông Bảo (保大通寶) cash coins again which weighed 3.2 gram in 1933, while the French simultaneously began minting machine-struck coins with the same inscription that weighed 1.36 grams and were probably valued at ​11000 piastre. There were two variants of this cash coins where one had a large "大" (Đại) while the other had a smaller "大".[78][39]

Denomination Obverse inscription
Hán tự
(chữ Quốc ngữ)
Reverse inscription Metal Years of mintage Image
2 Sapèque
(​1500 piastre)
當二 – 大法國之安南
(Đáng Nhị – Đại Pháp Quốc chi An Nam)
Cochinchine Française copper 1879–1885  
2 Sapèque
(​1500 piastre)
當二 – 大法國之安南
(Đáng Nhị – Đại Pháp Quốc chi An Nam)
Indo-Chine Française copper 1887–1902  
1 Sapèque
(​1600 piastre)
六百分之一 – 通寶
(Lục Bách Phân chi Nhất – Thông Bảo)
Protectorat du Tonkin zinc 1905  
1 Sapèque
(​1500 piastre)
啓定通寶 (Khải Định Thông Bảo)[79] Copper-alloy 1921–1925  
1 Sapèque
(​11000 piastre)
保大通寶 (Bảo Đại Thông Bảo) Copper-alloy 1933–1945  

Recovery of cash coins in modern VietnamEdit

 
A lump of ancient Vietnamese cash coins in the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Hanoi.

In modern Vietnam the supply of undiscovered cash coins is rapidly declining as large amounts of Vietnamese cash coins were excavated during the 1980s and 1990s, in Vietnam the excavation of antiques such as cash coins is an industry in itself and the cash coins are mostly being dug up by farmers. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975 a large number of metal detectors numbering in the many thousands were left behind in the former area of South Vietnam which helped fuel the rise of this industry. The antique bronze industry is mostly concentrated in small rural villages where farmers rent metal detectors to search their own lands for bronze antiques to then either sell as scrap or to dealers, these buyers purchase lumps of cash coins by either kilogramme or ton to then hire skilled people to search through these lumps of cash coins for sellable specimens, these coins are then sold to other dealers in Vietnam, China, and Japan. During the zenith of the coin recovery business in Vietnam the number of bulk coins found on a monthly basis was fifteen tons but only roughly fifteen kilogrammes of those coins were sellable and the rest of the coins would melted down as scrap metal. As better metal detectors that could search deeper more Vietnamese cash coins were discovered but in modern times the supply of previously undiscovered Vietnamese cash coins is quickly diminishing.[80][81]

In modern times many Vietnamese cash coins are found in sunken shipwrecks which are mandated by Vietnamese law to be the property of the Vietnamese government as salvaged ships of which the owner was unknown belong to the state.[82][83]

Notable recent large finds of cash coins in Vietnam include 100 kilogrammes of Chinese cash coins and 35 kilogrammes of Vietnamese cash coins being unearthed in the province of Quảng Trị in 2007,[84][85] 52.9 kilogrammes of Chinese and Vietnamese cash coins being unearthed in a cemetery in Haiphong in 2008,[86] 50 kilogrammes of cash coins in the province of Hà Nam in 2015,[87] and some Nagasaki trade coins in the province of Hà Tĩnh in 2018.[88][89]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The term văn (文) was first used in Vietnam in 1861 and the coins were referred to as đồng tiền (銅錢, copper coins) or simply as coins. Denominations of the Vietnamese cash coins were based on their weight and metal alloys and their value was determined by these aspects and their individual quality.[4][5] In English these types of coins are referred to as "cash coins".
  2. ^ These coins may alternatively be referred to as sous in French, which is also the French nickname name for the French 1 centime coin making it an equivalent to the English term "Penny".[6]
  3. ^ The colour turns purple if you have visited the page in the past.
  4. ^ The reign title was "Thái Bình" (太平) but the actual inscription of the coinage reads "Đại Bình Hưng Bảo" (大平興寶).
  5. ^ "Uncertain attribution".
  6. ^ This cash coin is listed in Barker's Cash coins of Viet Nam but his example is a private issue of about 1580. No dynastic cash coin with this inscription is known to exist.
  7. ^ This is a privately produced cash coin which was falsely attributed to the Lý dynasty by Eduardo Toda y Güell, many of them are actually from the 1500s -1800s
  8. ^ This is a privately produced cash coin from the 1500s which has nothing to do with the Lý dynasty.
  9. ^ This cash coin was privately produced and is considered to be falsely attributed to Nguyễn Hi Nguyên (阮熙元) by some scholars.
  10. ^ These cash coins turned out to be a series of private coins similar to the official Hồ style. However no such reign title existed under the reign of the Hồ dynasty.
  11. ^ These cash coins turned out to be privately produced issue from the early 1600s, they are reign title copies of Chinese cash coins but are listed in numismatic literature.
  12. ^ This cash coin turned out to be a Ming trade cash coin which was cast around the year 1590 at Quanzhou, Fujian.
  13. ^ during the Chinese (Minh dynasty) occupation these coins were issued as payments to Chinese soldiers, Giao Chỉ Thông Bảo coins are poorly made from lead and sand.
  14. ^ Coins issued during the Lam Sơn uprising were cast as payment for the anti-Chinese rebels.
  15. ^ This cash coin was attributed to Lê Lợi (黎利) by Eduardo Toda y Güell, but later turned out to be private issue from about 1600.
  16. ^ This cash coin was attributed to Lê Lợi (黎利) by Eduardo Toda y Güell, but later turned out to be private issue produced between the years 1750 and 1850.
  17. ^ This cash coin was attributed to Lê Lợi (黎利) by Eduardo Toda y Güell, but later turned out to be private issue produced after the year 1600.
  18. ^ This cash coin turned out to be a rare private cash coin made during a brief Trần restoration in the early 1500s. Unlike what Toda claimed it is not made from tin and lead, but a hard white bronze composition.
  19. ^ Despite bearing the reign title "Thái Hòa Thông Bảo" all coins actually bear the inscription "Đại Hòa Thông Bảo" (大和通寶).
  20. ^ From this point onwards the monarchs of the Mạc dynasty were only in control of the Cao Bằng Province, which they had declared as an independent country for 75 years.
  21. ^ The "Tường Phù Nguyên Bảo" (祥符元寶), "Trị Bình Thông Bảo" (治平通寶), and "Trị Bình Nguyên Bảo" (治平元寶) were Japanese trade coins minted in Nagasaki for trade with Vietnam and the Netherlands.[52] In Vietnam they were imported by the Nguyễn lords.[53]
  22. ^ The character "" is an abbreviated version of "" commonly found in Semi-cursive script. Note from Eduardo Toda y Güell's Annam and its minor currency where the coin was described of being "of doubtful origin" but has been identified since.
  23. ^ The leaders of the Ninh Xá rebellion Nguyễn Tuyển and Nguyễn Cừ were brothers while Nguyễn Diên was their nephew.
  24. ^ Cast as payments for Chinese soldiers stationed in Vietnam during the Battle of Ngọc Hồi-Đống Đa.
  25. ^ The production of these coins probably lasted into 1941 or 1942 because the occupying Japanese forces wanted the copper and were acquiring all of the cash coins they could find and stockpiling them in Haiphong for shipment to Japan for the production of war materials.[67]
  26. ^ The coins from this part of the list and below are from Dr. R. Allan Barker (2004) while the coins above are from Edouard Toda (1882).

ReferencesEdit

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  • Hội khoa học lịch sử Thừa Thiên Huế, sách đã dẫn. (in Vietnamese)
  • Trương Hữu Quýnh, Đinh Xuân Lâm, Lê Mậu Hãn, sách đã dẫn. (in Vietnamese)
  • Lục Đức Thuận, Võ Quốc Ky (2009), Tiền cổ Việt Nam, Nhà xuất bản Giáo dục. (in Vietnamese)
  • Đỗ Văn Ninh (1992), Tiền cổ Việt Nam, Nhà xuất bản Khoa học xã hội. (in Vietnamese)
  • Trương Hữu Quýnh, Đinh Xuân Lâm, Lê Mậu Hãn chủ biên (2008), Đại cương lịch sử Việt Nam, Nhà xuất bản Giáo dục. (in Vietnamese)
  • Viện Sử học (2007), Lịch sử Việt Nam, tập 4, Nhà xuất bản Khoa học xã hội. (in Vietnamese)
  • Trần Trọng Kim (2010), Việt Nam sử lược, Nhà xuất bản Thời đại. (in Vietnamese)
  • Catalogue des monnaies vietnamiennes (in French), François Thierry
  • Yves Coativy, "Les monnaies vietnamiennes d'or et d'argent anépigraphes et à légendes (1820–1883)", Bulletin de la Société Française de Numismatique, février 2016, p. 57-62, (in French)
  • Tien Kim Loai Viet Nam (Vietnamese Coins), Pham Quoc Quan, Hanoi, 2005. (in Vietnamese)
  • W. Op den Velde, "Cash coin index. The Cash Coins of Vietnam", Amsterdam, 1996.

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Chinese cash
Reason: independence
Currency of Vietnam
970 – 1948
Succeeded by:
French Indochinese piastre,
North Vietnamese đồng

Reason: abolition of the monarchy