Tu Duc Bao Sao 9 Mach
November 30, 2001
Click image to enlarge
Vietnamese Tu Duc Bao Sao - Tu Duc's paper money
Reverse: Vietnamese Chuan Dang Cuu Mach - equal
to standard 9 Mach (1 Mach = 60 Van)
Diameter: 53.2 mm
Weight: 28.03 g
Duc is the reign title of Emperor Nguyen Duc Tong
(1848 - 1883) of the Vietnamese Nguyen dynasty. Some
notes about Tu Duc coinage can be found at the page
Tu Duc 8
Van fantasy coin.
Shown here coin is unpublished anywhere.
There are known ("Yuenan lishi huobi") two main
series of the Tu Duc's coinage - thongbao and baosao.
Denominations of the baosao are next:
... large TU DUC BAO SAO coins appear to have been
first issued at Hanoi, and
Toda mentions the
date 1877. Coins of the same value differ in size and style
of characters, which indicates several issues. It appears
that imitations were made. This series seems to have been
unpopular because of the interior intrinsic value. See
H.A.Ramsden. The high value issues of the Tu Duc series of
Annamese coins. East Asia Journal, vol.2, 55-62, 1995.
W. Op den Velde, "Cash coin index. The Cash Coins of
Vietnam", Amsterdam 1996:
... In LIEH SU DONG TIEN VIETNAM under No 478 and
Thierry (1986) No V209 a different issue is illustrated,
with on the reverse CHUAN DANG NHI MACH "Equal to 2 mach",
probably a trial minting, dated 1871 or later.
These coins were first issued in 1877 from Ha-noi, and
the value of one tien was given to them; but on account of
their inferior intrinsic value the people disliked them, and
their circulation was in consequence very limited.
In order to bring these coins into general circulation
the Annamese Government reduced the value of the tien to
fifty cash, in 1878, and allowed them to be used for the
payment of taxes.
Seems that it quite possible such
decline of economy which lead to decreasing of Van equivalent to
value 0.0520 g. So 540 Van (9 Mach) coin probably is a trial
issue near end of the Tu Duc period.
- Francois Thierry
writes: "In 1861 a value 10 coin was issued in the first
bao sao serie, and in 1872 a light thong bao value 6 coin
was issued after the collapse of the second baosao serie
What are baosao series which Thierry mentioned?
- Thuan Luc
writes: "The Bao Sao with 10 Van weighted 15 phan =
5.6625 g ...".
Which baosao 10 Van was mentioned by Luc? We see from the
above table that there are two types issued in different
- What is a weight of 30 Van coin?
Message from Francois Thierry (11-Jan-02):
Some answers to the questions in
your site about the 9 mach baosao coin:
The two series of the baosao in van are
precisely presented and dated (1861 and 1870) in my book
Catalogue des Monnaies Vietnamiennes 1987 (pp. 29 and
30), all the weights of the two series are given. It is very
strange that the author of the question do not read the
whole of the text and cite only a part of my text. I have
published recently a study about "Monnaies et circulation
monetaire au Vietnam dans l'ere Tu Duc (1848-1883)",
Revue Numismatique 1999, pp. 267-315, pl. XL-XLI., with many
unpublished coins and details about the baosao in
mach. It should be necessary that numismatists reads the
new books and publications and not that they continue to
read and cite the old and wrong Toda's, Ramsden's, Novak's,
Lockhart's books, or Lacroix's album <text,
planches; look for 'Desire Lacroix' in Recherche
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ - V.B.>. I
understand that it is more easy to read in English, but,
sorry, the publications are in French or in Japanese....
I thinks that you should given some of my
publications in your Vietnamese Numismatic bibliography,
because in the last ten years I have published many unknown
coins and many Vietnamese text (for example, a Khai Thai
nguyen bao value 10, some baosao value 1 quan,
8 mach, 2 mach, a one silver lang coin of
Thanh Thai, a gold Nhi Nghi of Thanh Thai,
a large one gold lang coin of Dong Khanh, etc).
On the other hand, 2 mach are not 200 van but 120,
because a mach is 60 zinc van and not 100 copper coins; the
9 mach value is 540 zinc van <I fixed this mistake in
the above table - VB>.
Answer to Mr. W. Op den Velde : it exists only one
baosao of 2 mach, that of the Paris Mint Museum that I
publish in Monnaies d'Extreme Orient, vol. II
Vietnam-Japon, under the number V209. The coin N478 in the
Chinese books Yuenan lishi huobi 1993 (Mind the wrong
translation in Vietnamese in the cover: Lieh su dong tien
Vietnam is wrong, the correct one is (without the accents)
Lich suu dong tien Vietnam) is the same photograph
stolen from my own publication withouth authorization in
contravention of the copyright. The most of this book
photographs for the Nguyen period are stolen from the Paris
Mint Museum Catalogue.
Tang Guo Yen, Chang Shi Chuan Yuenan lishi
huobi (in Vietnamese Lich suu dong tien Vietnam -
The Vietnamese historical currency), 1993, published
by Yunnan and Guangxi Numismatic Society, in Chinese.
Duc 8 Van fantasy coin
H.A.Ramsden, The high value issues of the
Tu Duc series of Annamese coins, East Asia Journal,
vol.2, 55-62, 1995.
W. Op den Velde, Cash coin index. The Cash
Coins of Vietnam, Amsterdam 1996.
Annam and its minor currency, Journal of the
North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Shanghai),
vol.17, 1882. Reprinted East Asia Journal No 6.
Thierry F., Catalogue des monnaies
Vietnamiennes, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, 1987.
Coins and banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina
Toda's catalog, Tuduc series.
Thien Quang Nguyen Bao
23.1 mm, 2.1 g
|Obverse: Vietnamese Thien
Quang Nguyen Bao
| Alan Barker:
The character on the right would appear to be Quang, or
Ching in Chinese. Tien Ching Yuan Pao was a reign
title used in the Liao dynasty (1111-1120) and again in
the Western Hsia dynasty (1194-1204).
The Vietnamese copied many of the Chinese reign titles for