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Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note
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After the ming dynasty seized control of China from the Mongols in 1368, they tried to reinstate bronze coins. There was not sufficient metal for this, however, so paper money, made of mulberry bark, was produced from 1375. Paper money continued to be issued throughout the Ming period, but inflation quickly eroded its value. The effect of inflation was so devastating that paper money was regarded with suspicion for many years. It was not until the 1850s that a Chinese emperor dared to issue paper money again.

The writing along the top of this note translates as: ‘Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note’. Below this, the denomination is written in two characters: ‘one string’. Beneath the denomination is a picture of a string of 1000 coins, arranged in ten groups of 100 coins. Beneath this are the instructions for use and a threat to punish forgers.

Great Ming Circulating Treasure Note


From China, Ming dynasty, first issued AD 1375
Ht 34.1 cm



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