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Chinese Coin Mirror Discovered in Song Dynasty Tomb

An ancient bronze mirror with a Chinese coin design was recently unearthed from a Song Dynasty (960-1279) tomb according to a report from Qianjiang City (潜江), Hubei Province.

The Qianjiang Cultural Relics Bureau (潜江文物局) announced that the mirror, which has some damage, was among the precious items found in a tomb located in Longwan Zhen (龙湾镇).  Also discovered in the tomb were three silver bracelets and a bronze wash basin.

Song Dynasty bronze mirror with Chinese coin design

Song Dynasty bronze mirror with Chinese coin design

The mirror design incorporates multiple images of the classic Chinese cash coin, which is round with a square hole in the center, that was used for more than 2,000 years in China.

In addition to the mirror with the coin motif, 42 ancient Chinese cash coins were excavated from the tomb.

The coins included Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) wu zhu (五铢) coins and Tang Dynasty (618-907) kai yuan tong bao (开元通宝) coins.  There were also coins from the Song Dynasty such as tai ping tong bao (太平通宝 976 – 989), jing de yuan bao (景德元宝 998-1022), and xi ning tong bao (熙宁通宝 1068-1085).

This is the first time coins from more than ten Emperor reigns have been discovered in a single tomb in Qianjiang.

The report concluded by stating that the discovery of the tomb will contribute greatly to the understanding of local burial customs and the historical changes that occurred during the Song Dynasty.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Miss Lucienne La Luna February 10, 2018, 10:11 am

    I am a scholar of Oriental Numismatics with the coinage of ancient and medieval China being of greatest interest to me. My collection also includes 7 Chinese bronze mirrors; one of which is a small coin mirror of Tang Dynasty date and is the same size as the large “Kai Yuan” presentation coin cast in the eight century of Tang. The obverse has the inscription “Kai Yuan Tong Bao,” but instead of the usual square hole in the centre; there is a small boss with horizontal piercing. The patination is consistent with coins of this period; however the mirror side appears to have been re-polished at some point in time. This piece has been examined by Mr Gilbert Tan of Singapore, who is an authority on the coinage of China. Mr Gan deemed my mirror to be quite genuine and very rare.
    My coin mirror was originally acquired from Mr Gan Wee Tek of “Sea Eagle Coins” in Coleman Street, Singapore, some 20 years previously. Mr Gan Wee Tek passed away in about 1997.

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