1906, Xiang 湘, 午 丙 Hunan Province, Y#10h
毛火珠 Hairy Pearl
Reign title: Guang Xu, 1875-1908 AD
This 10 cash Hunan Dragon copper Circular coin was issued in 1906 with the sexagenary year written in Chinese "Ping Wu" on the obverse. A Chinese character "Xiang" meaning Hunan Province inscribed in center, surrounded by Chinese (Great Ch'ing copper Coin) within beaded circle. 2 Chinese characters "HU POO" (Board of Revenue) on each side of the center in the outer circle, the Emperor's reign title in four Manchu characters with two Chinese characters denoting the sexagenary year of the issue above, and Chinese (Equivalent to 10 Cash) below. On the reverse is a new design dragon [known as Tai Ch'ing Ti Kuo Dragon] emblem in center with a seven-flames pearl, surrounded by stylized clouds within beaded circle; above in outer circle, Chinese means made in the Reign of Kuang Hsu, below English "TAI-CHING-TI-KUO COPPER COIN". TI-KUO means empires.
In 1905 China carried out a coinage reform which standardized the designs of copper coins. All mints were ordered to use the same obverse and reverse designs, but to place a mint mark in the center of the obverse. - page 318, S.C.O.W.C. 18th Edition.
Chinese Dragon Copper Coin
For the shortage of the old copper cash in the late Qing dynasty, the tradition casting method did not help economically to solve the problem. When Hong Kong one cent copper coins were occasionally in circulation with the value to ten cash coins in the local market of Kwangtung. The existence western style coinage in Hong Kong directly influenced the Chinese mint authority.
The Acting Viceroy of Kwangtung and Kwangsi Province, Te Shou consulted with Li Hung-chang , his predecessor, decided to mint a new model copper coin called "T'ung Yuan". "Tung Yuan" was first minted in Kwangtung in the 26th year of the Kuang Hsu reign (1900AD). The coin was minted by machine without hole in the center. It was equivalent to ten cash at the early beginning. The use of copper to make one "T'ung Yuan" is equal to six old cash coin only.
The "Tung Yuan" was quiet welcomed by the population for its convenience compared with the old cash coins. The Chinese government also encouraged other provinces to follow the good example of Kwangtung in order to solve the fiscal problem. Other provinces found it was profitable to mint "T'ung Yuan", they vied with each other to do the same business of minting the new coins. For the over-supply of the new copper coins, this caused the value of "T'ung Yuan" declined in the rate of exchange with silver dollars. In 1911, Its rate of exchange to the silver dollar was approximately dropped to 180 to 1 from 100 to 1 of the early beginning.