In December 2011, a Canadian found a rather rare Chinese coin while trekking through the Yukon wilderness. This is a historic discovery as it gives an insight into Canada’s trade relationships with China, which happened long before the Gold Rush of the 1890s. While this is not part of a traditional Canadian mint coins series, this coin will definitely attract the attention of collectors.
What is the coin?
This rare and very old Chinese coin was minted in the period between 1667 and 1671. During that time, China was under the rule of the Great Emperor Kangxi, which makes the coin a representative of the Chinese imperial culture and lifestyle. Emperor Kangxi was the Chinese ruler with the longest reign in history, which allowed him to find and develop numerous mints, all creating different coins linked to his dynasty and rule.
It is not surprising that such a coin was found so far away from mainland China. While it is not a very popular fact, Canadian territories were one of the larger stops on Chinese trade routes of that time period. According to experts, the ancient brass coin was a regular trading tool and was most likely minted in a lower-quality mint in China or India.
This is an extremely exciting discovery both for numismatic enthusiasts and for historians. According to some specialists, this coin will tell the story of Chinese market routes that have not been explored before. In terms of numismatic value, there is no certain way to tell how much this coin will be worth, as every coin has a very subjective price, depending on the attention it gets from the public and the amount of money potential buyers are willing to give.
While this is a unique piece of craftsmanship, there were several other old Chinese coins found in different places around Yukon. This confirms historians’ theories that this was an area where the Chinese market and trading routes passed through.
This remarkable Chinese coin is currently on display at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse, where it was found, and all other ancient Chinese coins are also on display.
Ancient Chinese Coinage
The Chinese Cash coin differs greatly from traditional Canadian mint coins. This is mainly due to the serious age difference between these types of coins. Chinese Cash coins first started appearing around the 4 century BC, when they were first introduced as a means for transactions at markets.
The production of Chinese Cash coins is also very different from that of Canadian mint coins. Usually, Cash coins were cast, as it was easier to achieve the round hole in the middle of the coins. When the Qing dynasty came to rule the Chinese empire, machines were invented so the coins could be struck, which further improved the efficiency of coin production. Initially, the metals used for the production of these coins were usually copper, brass or iron. As technology further progressed, manufacturers started using a combination of copper and lead to make the coins more durable.
In present days, the Chinese Cash coins have become a traditional symbol of luck in the Chinese culture. Therefore, their popularity is on the rise, and the discovery of this new coin will create a wave of interest among coin collectors.
While this antique Chinese coin is not part of a specific numismatic collection, like most Canadian mint coins, it holds tremendous value because of its long past. The connection to ancient Chinese trade and tradition gives it an appeal, which no coin collector or history buff can resist.