A SCARCE and Beautiful Anhwei (Anhui) Province Copper 10 Cash with Sharp Dragon Scales / Scarce Province! 1902-1906

Today's post will be part of a series on Imperial Milled Copper Cash from the Qing Dynasty! More specifically, from various provinces! 

Quick Overview:

Country: China
Date: 1902-1906 (Undated) 
Dynasty: Qing  
Region/Province: Anhwei (Anhui)
Composition: Copper
Catalog: Krause: Y36a.1
Other Notes: ex. DK Ching Collection 

Reverse: Five Clawed Imperial Dragon. Scales intact. 
Obverse 安徽省造     光緒元寶    當制銭十文

Obverse:      安徽省造     光緒元寶    當制銭十文
Reverse: ANHWEI 

Condition: EF  / BN 
Nice EF-BN Grade. Good surface color with dark browns. Original color. 

Chinese Milled Copper Cash Background: 

The Chinese Empire during the Qing Dynasty issued many machine struck or milled copper cash coins, as a replacement for the cast copper holed coins of the past several millennia. 

These copper milled cash was created in various provinces, en masse, for general circulation from roughly the late 1890's to the end of the Qing Dynasty. The first milled cash for general circulation was produced in Kwangtung Province during the late 1890's and subsequent provinces and the general mint produced them afterwards. 

In terms of design, there were many many many varieties, each commanding a different value. The first in series was imitating the Japanese Meiji Style flying and coiled dragon. This design was adopted by many different provinces. I will be posting many milled cash on my website soon. Furthermore, there are also water dragons, front facing coiled dragon, and more designs that varied from province to emperor reigns. In short, there are many different varieties---and that is a mission I am trying to complete throughout my career. 

Eventually, by the early 1900's (from 1905 onwards), the Chinese Qing government issued a standardization, per se, of the milled copper cash, adopting the "Tai Ching Ti Kuo" copper coin layout, or TCTK for short. All the provinces and the central mints utilized this design from 1905 to 1909--- which is throughout the reign of Guang Hsu and Hsuan Tung. These coins looked very similar, with the only noticeable difference being the central mintmark on the obverse. Finally, this TCTK layout was even used in silver coins as well! 

Remarks on my coin:

Generally, the milled 10 Cash coins from the Qing Dynasty was issued--with varying designs--different provinces. Certain provinces like Fengtien or Kirin, were scarcer, compared to others. 

My particular coin is in a high grade condition, that is atypical for the general issue milled 10 cash coins of this era. Some of the high focal points for grading of these milled 10 cash coins are: the dragon's scales, Chinese character legends, Manchurian scripts. In my coin, the dragon's scales are sharply struck and defined, and there are virtually no smudges and wear. Furthermore, the dragon's head is sharply struck--we are able to see the forehead, horns, and the spines that line the entire body. Please refer to the scanned images. 

On the obverse, we are able to see sharply struck Chinese and Manchurian characters that denote the Emperor, value, and province. 

Overall, the coin has a nice, chocolatey patina, which I can say is a "BN" remark. It has the original mint patina that usually are faded and worn on the circulated coins, in general. 

Coin Variety Information:

There are many varieties of the Anhwei Province coins. More specifically, there are different catalog numbers--from Y10a to Y36. The general Krause catalog for this coin, and its subsequent series, is Y36.

For this specific coin, the definite catalog number is Y36a.1.

According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins and Numista--a well known coin website, there are 3 varieties from the Y36 series. 

They are:

  • Y#36a (rosette at obverse centre, reverse without rosettes and with large legend without "TEN CASH")
  • **Y#36a.1 (rosette at obverse centre, reverse without rosettes and with small legend without "TEN CASH")
  • Y#36.2 (small rosettes)

** My Coin.

These three coins were made from 1902-1906. 

Valuation for the Y#36a.1: 

F - 4
VF - 7
XF - 20
MS60 - 250
MS63 - 450

Anhwei Province Scarcity:

The milled copper cash coins from the Anhwei province are generally more scarce than other provinces. Typically, on average, the market and catalog values are higher than that of Kwangtung and Hupeh, and are usually on par with lesser known provinces such as Kiangsoo, Kiangsi, Kirin, etc. For more information on mintage figures and denomination values, please refer to Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins. 

Mint Information:

According to Krause's Standard Catalog of World Coins, the Anhwei Mint was located in Eastern China. They created cast cash coinage for the Qing Dynasty starting from the 17th century. The province was rich in coal and iron ore resources. Before the definitive circulation of milled Chinese cash, the Spanish 8 Reales was used rather prevalently. 

The provincial mint at Anking began in 1897 and close in 1899. However, it was later opened in 1902. 

Finally, the Anking mint produced milled copper cash coins, and the significantly rare milled silver series.