|Uniface coin with seal script|
|Measurements and composition|
c. 6.45–7.44 g (average)
28–30 mm (average)
round with square hole
Era name, "tong bao"
|v · d · e|
The 2 cash coin of Emperor Shenzong (1048–1085) of the Northern Song is a former circulation coin minted during the Yuánfēng era, which lasted from 1078 to Shenzong's death in 1085. It had a value equivalent to 2 cash, or 0.002 taels prior to its eventual demonetization.
The coin is composed of a cast bronze alloy and generally has a mass between 6.45 and 7.44 grams and a diameter between 28 and 30 millimeters. Like virtually all Chinese coins of the time period, the 2 cash of Shenzong is round in shape, but bears a square hole in the center so mass amounts of the coin could be strung together. The edge is plain. Inscribed above the hole on the obverse in either seal or grass script is the Chinese character "元" (Yuán), and to the right of the center hole is "豐" (Fēng). Together, these characters form the word "元豐" (Yuánfēng), the name of the era in which the coin was issued. Printed below the hole is "通" (Tōng) and engraved to the left is "寶" (Bǎo), constructing "通寶" (Tōng bǎo), which translates to English as "currency". The reverse of the 2 cash coin of Shenzong is generally blank, but some examples carry stars or assortments of crescents or dots. Generally, the pieces with items on the reverse are worth more than uniface examples, but are not substantially greater in value.
Some coins initially denominated at 10 cash were devalued to having values of 2 cash. These often bear the era name "熙寧" (Xīníng) instead of "元豐" (Yuánfēng) and "重寶" (Zhòng bǎo), meaning "heavy currency" instead of "通寶" (Tōng bǎo).
- Calgary Coin & Antique Gallery – Medieval Chinese Coins - The Northern Sung Dynasty
- Yuan Feng Coins
- Numista (English) (French)