Hartill 22.91 Lohan Kang Xi Tong Bao, Special Lohan Coin cash 1713 Board of Reve

Hartill 22.91 Lohan Kang Xi Tong Bao, Special Lohan Coin cash 1713 Board of Revenue mint!

CHINA, Kang Xi Tong Bao, Special Lohan Coin

S-1419, "BOO CIOWAN" (Board of Revenue mint).

A special issue of AD 1713, to celebrate K'ang Hsi's 60th birthday.

熙 instead of common 熈

 

Authenticity guaranteed for all items!
Reference: Hartill 22.91

1713 A.D.

25.7 mm; 4.5 grams; Brass

"BOO CIOWAN" (Board of Revenue mint).

The Manchu mint name translates to Pao-Ch'uan,

or "The Fountain head of the Currency".

Rev: Manchurian Bao Quan

ᠪᠣᠣ ᠴᡳᠣᠸᠠᠨ

 

Luohan coin - a Chinese Coin with the Powers of a Charm

This is an example of an official Qing (Ch'ing) Dynasty minted coin, meant for general circulation, but which was immediately considered to have the powers of a charm. In the year 1713 AD, to celebrate the 60th birthday of Emperor Sheng Zu (Kang Xi), this special issue kang xi tong bao (康熙通宝) coin was cast with a brass of a golden color. A 60th birthday is considered a major event in China. In honor of this milestone, the Chinese character xi (熙), which is located below the square hole, was written slightly differently. The character would normally have a vertical line at its left. Also, the part of the character normally written as (臣) has the center written as a (口) instead. Finally, the upper left part of the tong (通) character, located to the right of the square hole, has only one dot instead of the usual two.

There are several stories connected with this coin that have been passed down for the last 300 years which have given this coin the power of a charm. The stories have turned out to be historically false but continue to be believed. The different versions of the story basically state that the bronze used in the casting of this coin came from the melting down of gold statues of the eighteen disciples of the Buddha. These disciples were called lohan (luohan 罗汉) in Chinese. Because the metal used to cast the coins was believed to be directly associated with these disciples of Buddha, the coin is believed to have special powers and is usually referred to as the lohan coin or arhat money.

Because of its special charm qualities, these coins were given to children in olden times as lunar New Year money (yasuiqian 压岁钱).

These coins were also considered to represent good luck because they commemorated a reign lasting for sixty years which is a complete cycle of the traditional Chinese calendar and thus symbolic of a long life.

Traditionally, these coins also acted as a keepsake or pledge of love between a man and a woman. Some women would even wear one of these coins tied to their hand in lieu of a "gold" engagement ring.

Up until about the 1940's, there was a tradition in the rural villages of Shanxi Province where stylish young men liked to carry a
lohan
coin between their teeth. This was an attempt to mimic the tradition of stylish young men in the cities who liked to show off a gold tooth.

If you examine some particular coin carefully, you will notice what seem to be gold specks on the surface. My guess is that sometime in the (distant?) past someone put gold leaf on the coin. Then, again, maybe the stories are true and the coin does contain real gold!

This is the reverse side of the coin. Since the Qing (Ch'ing) Dynasty was ruled by the Manchu, the characters on the reverse are in the Manchu script and not Chinese. The script indicates that this coin was cast by the Board of Revenue in Peking.
 

 

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Hartill 22.91 Lohan Kang Xi Tong Bao, Special Lohan Coin cash 1713 Board of Reve

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