Good news - in the Anhui province of the P.R.C. issued multimedia CD-ROM devoted to Chinese numismatics! As I know it is first issue of such encyclopedia in the world.

Information provided on 29-July-98 by S.Shevtcov.

CD-ROM Review by Eric Yin (13-nov-98)

I have recently received a few copies of the Chinese Coin CD ROM produced by Anhui Education Press. The disk has audio narration in Chinese and contains 6000 images of coins, paper money, and some other numismatically related items. There are six major categories:

  • Cowrie type coins
  • Pre-Qin coins
  • Coins from Qin to Qing dynasty
  • Pre-liberation money
  • Ming Guo money (to 1949)
  • Renmingbi
The last three categories cover primarily paper money and is fairly extensive. Each main category is divided into several sub-categories, which in turn are divided into even more categories.
Each listing in the sub-sub-category contains an image, description in Chinese, and valuation in yuan. Images are primarily in color, but there are some images of rubbings. Quality of the images ranges from very poor to excellent. I would say that overall the quality is acceptable. In any event, a picture of the real coin gives you a better feel of what the coin should look like than the line drawings (Schjoth), woodcuts (Lockhart), or rubbings (Ding Fu Bao), that we are used to. However, these traditional sources are much better for identifying new coins.
There are many rarities shown, including a gold Kai Yuan Tong Bao, Sogdian coins, and Khotanese coins. There are also some items that I have never seen in any catalog, including gold persimmon money, gold horseshoe money, gold kirin hoof money, gold bars, gold bricks, silver cowrie money, and other noble metal coins. Other miscellaneous items include moulds, printing plates, and seals used to stamp paper money. The CD does not really cover many varieties for certain groups, such as the Ming Knife series, which is represented by two coins - one curved back knife, and one angle back knife.
The valuations give a rough estimate of the rarity of each item, but does not mean anything in the real market. Many rarities are very much underpriced, and in one case ridiculously so! A Khotanese coin (I believe of Turfan) is listed at 30 yuan (under $4), but is probably worth several hundred dollars U.S. at least.
The disk also includes a glossary of terms related to Chinese numismatics, a section on selected rarities, identification of fakes, and an index.
Overall, I think that the CD is a very nice disk that shows some items that you will never see outside of the Shanhai Museum, and can drool over, but it's value for attribution is only limited. Similarly, it's valuations are not useful (in my opinion) except for in a general way.

If anyone is interested in getting a copy, I have a few extra copies still in the original shrinkwrap. Just drop me a line.
Also, I am going to work on a translation for the disk for anyone who is interested.

Disk requires PC 486/33MHz, 8MB HD, and Windows 3.1 or better.

1) Use Windows Explorer to access your CD ROM
2) Click the installation icon
3) Click the red seal on the left to install
The red seal on the right is to exit installation

How to use the disk:

On Main Menu:
a) Place the cursor on the category title to reveal sub-categories
b) Click sub-category for sub-sub-categories
c) Place cursor on icon of characters orbiting coins to reveal menu for glossary, rarities, fake detection, and index
d) Click x at upper right for exit window
Click left character to exit (shi = 'yes')
Click right character to return (fo = 'no')
On Sub-Category Menu:
a) Click the red seal (bi) for overview of subcategory
Click page to close
b) Click sub-sub-category to see coins
c) Click gold lions at bottom corners to advance/return through sub-categories
d) Click icon of characters orbiting coins to return to main menu
On Sub-Sub-Category Page:
a) Upper left corner tells how many types in each sub-sub-category
b) Click clouds to advance/return through types
c) Click yin-yang to advance/return through sub-sub-categories
d) Click x at upper right to close window

Chinese Coinage Web Site