A Short Primer on Chinese Weights and their Equivalent Denominations
The 5 Denominations found in General Issued Chinese Coins
From the smallest denomination (5 Cent) to the largest (1 Dollar)
- All coins were struck in silver
- All coins were machine struck (milled)
- The first machine struck coinage for general issue were at the Kwangtung Mint, with their first dies imported from the Heaton Mint, in Birmingham in 1888.
- Numerous provinces in China, along with the Central Mint, issued coins of the same size and denomination.
- Chinese denominations were based on the Ku Ping Treasury weight system.
- The 5 Cent
- Weight: 3.6 Candareens
- The 10 Cent
- Weight: 7.2 Candareens
- The 20 Cent
- Weight: 1 Mace and 4.4 Candareens
- The 50 Cent
- Weight: 3 Mace and 6 Candareens
- The One Dollar
- Weight: 7 Mace and 2 Candareens
- During China's Republican era, there was a general shift from the weighting system of the Qing, such as denoting coins with the Mace and Candareen system.
- During this era, there were terms such as "1 Yuan" - a Chinese Dollar, that was the same size and weight as a Dragon Dollar of the Qing era, aka bearing a weight of 7 Mace and 2 Candareens
- For smaller fractional issues, terms such as "Jiao" were used, denoting 10 cents. This is evident in Fukien and Kwangtung issues during the Republican era.
- During this era's Qing and Republican years, there was a general adherence to a system called the Xianping Treasury Weight system, that was different than the standard Kuping System of the Chinese Treasury.
- For instance, the Xianping tael of Sinkiang, a "Sar", was heavier than their Kuping counterparts.