Ancient Korean Sang Pyong Tong Bo 2 Cash Kaesong Township Military Office, 1678
Ancient Korean Coin
Sang Pyong Tong Bo - Two Mun Cash
Kaesong Township Military Office, 1678
Reference: Hartill 25.75
Weight: 10.2 grams; Size: 31 mm; Material: Bronze
Obv: 常平通寶 Sang Pyong Tong Bo
Rev: 開 二
開 開城管理營 Kaesong Kwalliyong
"Sang Pyong Tong Bo" (常平通寶) Coins
Beginning in the year 1633 AD during the reign of King Injo (仁 祖) of the Yi Dynasty (Choson, Chosun, Joseon Dynasty 李紀), the "Stabilization Office" (Sangpyongchong 常平廳), which was a famine relief office, began to cast coins utilizing the first two characters of the office name 常 平 (sang pyong, sang p'yŏng) in the coin inscription 常 平通寶 (sang pyong tong bo, sang p'yŏng t'ong bo, sangpyungtongbo 상 평통보; Chinese pinyin: chang ping tong bao).
The inscription can be translated as "always even currency". The reverse side of these first coins was blank. The coin at the left is an example of a sang pyong tong bo (常 平通寶) coin. In 1651, King Hyojong (孝宗) issued a decree ordering the people to use the coin and prohibiting them from using cloth as money.
Sang pyong tong bo coins were cast in four denominations: One Mun (Value One), Two Mun (Value Two), Five Mun (Value Five) and One Hundred Mun (Value One Hundred). The mun was the Korean equivalent of the wen (文) or "cash" coin ("leaf money", "leaf coin" yŏpchŏn, yupjun 葉錢) of China and the mon (文) of Japan. This is a Two Mun ("Value Two" dangijun 當二錢) sang pyong tong bo coin. Two mun coins began being cast in 1679. The two mun coins have a diameter of 27-29 mm.
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