Northern Song Dynasty
Gold Plated sacrificial coin. In the Chunhua period the emperor Taizong of the Song cast coins to commemorate his visit to Wutaishan to worship Buddha. On the obverse are the characters ‘Chunhuan Yuanbao’, on the reverse the Buddha is shown sitting cross-legged on a lotus on the right side of the hole and, on the left side, Sudhana stands on a lotus base with hands together in prayer. Above is the character for the number four. The two Buddhas are very lifelike. From the discovery of these coins at Wutaishan, we can see the value placed on Buddhism by the Song government.
Material: Pure solid Gold
Weight: 12.08 grams; Size: 23.9 mm
Chunhua reign period (990–94), Northern Song
Obv: chun hua yuan bao
Hua Guangpu, p.421 (Gold coin)
The place of the coins discovery, decorated on the reverse with Buddhas, allows to conclude that these items are sacrificial coins."
Emperor Tai Zong (976-97 AD)
Chun Hua yuan bao (Chinese: 淳化元寶 ) (990-94). Written in regular, running, and grass script. There are also small and large iron coins. They have a nominal value of 10. In 991, 20,000 iron coins were needed in the market for one roll of silk. Permission was requested to alter the casting to Value Ten coins in the Imperial Script pattern. In one year only 3,000 strings were cast. They were not considered convenient, so casting was stopped. Gold and Silver coins were also found.
Taizong was a hardworking and diligent emperor, notable for reunifying China by conquering the Northern Han and for caring for the well being of his people. He personally led the campaign against the North, increased agricultural production, organized encyclopedias, expanded the courts and the examination system, and further limited the military power of the jiedushi. He personally wrote the inscriptions on his coins.