The simplified character Bao
in a legend of cash coins

Vladimir Belyaev

      According to the on-line database traditional Chinese character Bao contents jade (yu ), earthenware (fou ) and shell (bei ) under the roof (mian ). Hence we can say that the simplified (contracted, abbreviated) Bao is a jade under the roof. More about simplified characters you can read there -

      It is worth to note that in some calligraphy varieties of Chinese coins can be found the variety with the key character zhen (precious, valuable, rare) instead of the combination yufou under roof (see, for example, yongli tongbao coin).

      The first usage of the Bao was on the Kaiyuan tongbao coin issued in 621 AD during the Tang dynasty. It is unknown for me when the simplified Bao was introduced in China but seems that the first usage in a coin legend was during the Yuan dynasty.

      Once more interesting and unique in the cash coin legends simplified synonym of the Bao (Ho in Japanese) - - can be found on the first Japanese coin - Wa do kai ho (or Wa do kai ji in another reading).

      In the table below is the attempt to collect data about simplified Bao in a legend of cash coins. Any additional information highly appreciated.


  1. Ding Fubao. Lidai guqian tushuo (Catalog of ancient coins), Taiwan, 1940, in Chinese, reprinted in 1995 with Ma Ding-xiang comments.
  2. Fisher, Geo. Fisher's Ding ('Ding Fubao' with English comments).
  3. Krause C.L., Mishler C. 1995 Standard Catalog of World Coins.
  4. Lockhart, J.H.S. The currency of the Farther East from earliest times up to the present day, 1895.
  5. Munro, N.G. Coins of Japan, Yokohama, 1902, repr.1962.
  6. Saran Singh. The Encyclopaedia of the Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. 1400-1967., Kuala Lumpur, 1996.
  7. Tang Guoyan, Zhang Shiquan, Sun Zhongwen & Liu Weilin, Yuenan lishi huobi, Peking 1993.
  8. Thierry, François. Catalogue des monnaies vietnamiennes, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris 1987.
  9. Toda, E. Annam and its minor currency, Shanghai, 1882.
  10. Zhongguo guqian pu (Illustrative plates of chinese ancient coins), Peking, 1989
  11. Gerner, F.J. T'UNG PAO: An Analysis, The East Asia Journal, 7, 1983, pp.27-33.

Country Legend Dynasty, period Ref.
China Zhong tong yuan bao Yuan, 1260-1263 AD FD1698
Zhi da yuan bao Yuan, 1308-1311 AD FD1728, 1729
Da yuan yuan bao Yuan, 1308-1311 AD, temple's coinage FD1735
Yan you yuan bao Yuan, 1314-1320 AD, temple's coinage FD1742-1745
Zhi zhi yuan bao Yuan, 1321-1323 AD, temple's coinage FD1750
Tai ding yuan bao Yuan, 1324-1327 AD, temple's coinage FD1758
Zhi he yuan bao Yuan, 1324-1327 AD, temple's coinage FD1760, 1761
Zhi shun yuan bao Yuan, 1330-1332 AD, temple's coinage FD1763
Yuan tong yuan bao Yuan, 1333-1335 AD, temple's coinage FD1771, 1772
Zhi yuan yuan bao Yuan, 1335-1341 AD, temple's coinage FD1780
Tai ping sheng bao Qing, 1851-1864 AD, Taiping Rebellion's coinage FD2668
Nan wang tong bao Qing, 1851-1864 AD, Taiping Rebellion's coinage Lockhart 1209
Vietnam Canh hung thong bao Later Le, 1740-1786 AD Thierry 648
Canh hung cu bao Later Le, 1740-1786 AD Toda 112
Canh hung dai bao Later Le, 1740-1786 AD Ding 2976
Canh hung trung bao Later Le, 1740-1786 AD Toda 126
Canh hung noi bao Later Le, 1740-1786 AD Toda 128
Quang trung thong bao Tay Son, 1788-1792 AD, rebellion Toda 187
Quang trung dai bao Tay Son, 1788-1792 AD, rebel coin Lockhart 1363
Canh thinh dai bao Tay Son, 1793-1802 AD Ding 3002
Ham thieu nguyen bao
Tran, rebel coin of XIII-XIVth C. Toda 25
Ninh dan thong bao
Uncertain coin of the XVIIth C. Toda 246, Thierry 1136
Kim dai thong bao
Uncertain origin IPCAC, p.512
Japan Wa do kai ho
708 AD Munro
Bun kyu ei ho 1863-1867 AD Krause-Mishler C#6.b

Provincial coinage, Akita mint, 1862 AD Krause-Mishler KM#2
Malacca Xian ping yuan bao XVth C., Chinese settlements, tin cash Saran 17