Taoist coins?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nathan B., Jun 29, 2020.

  1. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Ancient coin collectors can see the iconography of ancient Roman, Greek, and Jewish religions on coins, as well as the symbolism of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and even Buddhism. There are also ancient coins with Islamic calligraphy. Is there any such thing as a ancient Taoist coin, or a coin with Taoist symbolism, whether in image or word?
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  3. CoinDoctorYT

    CoinDoctorYT Well-Known Member

  4. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

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  5. CoinDoctorYT

    CoinDoctorYT Well-Known Member

    more like ceremonial. I don't really collect asian coins as much as I do others so I wouldn't know.
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  6. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Thank you, CoinDoctorYT. That piece is quite late, but still interesting. Does anybody have any others to share?
  7. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I would think that it wasn’t circulating. As far as I know all Qing Dynasty cash coins have manchu inscriptions; this has only Chinese.

    it could have served the same purpose as a Roman medallion, where it wasn’t a circulating issue but still had monetary value
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  8. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    There's plenty of tokens and charms, but the Chinese were pretty minimalist when it comes to coins - they had the denomination (Ban Liang, Wu Zhu), ruler name, and sometimes the year or mint, or a decorative line or two, but nothing that would cross over into "religious". The coins of some emperors were retrospectively given some religious significance; I recall that the Buo Quan was worn in hopes of becoming pregnant with a son
    Wang Mang Buo Quan One Spade.jpg

    The only explicitly Taoist coins I'm aware of are 19th/20th century charms.

    On the subject of far Eastern religious symbolism, the Japanese did mint mameita-gin featuring Daikoku, the God of Wealth
    ZomboDroid 01012020113816.jpg
    He is shown seated on two barrels of rice (one Koku is the standard measurement for a year's rice rations, and was the fixed value of a gold koban) and holding a sack of riches and a magic hammer. The character that forms his belly is "po" for Tenpo Era (1830-1844)
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  9. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Thank you, Finn235! I am always impressed how someone knowledgeable answers my questions here on CoinTalk. Truly, it is an excellent forum!

    I have a follow-up question for you: can you give some examples of emperors whose coins were posthumously given religious significance? And would you be able to point out any decent online resources for learning about this field?
  10. Finn235

    Finn235 Well-Known Member

    The only example other than the Buo Quan I can think of offhand are the Kangxi Tongbao coins - Kangxi ruled for 61 years from 1661-1722, the longest reign of any non-legendary emperor in Chinese history. His grandson Qianlong would have broken this record, but respectfully abdicated before he would have set the record himself. I'm not sure if I would call it "religious" but people believed (and some still do) that finding a Kangxi coin was auspicious and lucky, especially since Kangxi translates as roughly "Health and Prosperity".
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  11. svessien

    svessien Senior Member Supporter

    Not Tao, but Shinto. And quite far from ancient, but not looking too modern either.
    The obverse has Kiri crests above and below. These crests represent the flower of the Paulownia tree, which is significant in Japanese religion and culture. There is a link between Japanese trees and deities (isn’t that lovely?). Deities Miwa and Ise are identified with the Paulownia cedar. These ever green trees also symbolize the eternal return of time, and represent the Shinto festivals.
    It’s often planted when a girl is born, and will mature at the same time as her. It also summons a Phoenix that brings good luck to the house where it is planted, and the flowers can be used for medicine. It’s called «the tree of life».
    Now that’s one heck of a tree.

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  12. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    That was very interesting, Finn235! On another note, I tried searching on Google for "Buo Quan coins," and Google asked me if I meant "Bao Quan coins." I didn't find anything about what "Buo Quan" might refer to. Then I saw a Vcoins search result page for "Huo Quan" coins, for some reason. Can you tell me where I can find more information on the Buo Quan coins?

    As for Qianlong, that's a very pleasing story. I really like these kinds of stories of humility and respect for the older generation. It reminds me of a very Confucian Korean anecdote about "the bridge of filial piety and impiety" (though from a modern perspective there was no "impiety").

    Finally, thanks for the additional tip regarding the Kangxi tongbao coins!
  13. Nathan B.

    Nathan B. Active Member

    Thank you, Svessien! I really enjoyed reading your explanation, and also looking at the image you so kindly provided. I'm also glad that Shinto is now included in this "collection of religious coinage" theme for pre-modern coins.
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