CHINA; Later Zhou (后周) Dynasty (Five Dynasties Period) CE 951-960

Shizong CE 954-959
AE Cash after CE 955

O: Zhou Yuan tong bao
R: plain

Sch. 414
H. 15.12

According to Hartill, these coins were cast from melted-down bronze statues from Buddhist temples. "When reproached for this, the Emperor uttered a gnomic saying to the effect that the Buddha would not mind this sacrifice. It is said that the Emperor himself supervised the casting at the many large furnaces at the back of the palace. The coins have amuletic properties because they were made from Buddhist statues, and are particularly effective in midwifery--hence the many later-made imitations." (Hartill, Cast Chinese Coins, p. 114)