Message from Francois Thierry, Chief-curator of Oriental Coins, Cabinet des Medailles-Paris
The "Zhou yuan tongbao" in the front of your Web site is a well known
Chinese charm. This inscription was that of the coins of Later Zhou Dynasty
issued in 955 by Shizong. But because the emperor of this small dynasty had
not many copper for casting coins, he taked all the Buddhist statues,
broked them and melting the metal for casting "Zhou yuan tongbao" coins.
For this reason, Chinese people considered this coin as a efficient
protective charm against evil and demons. Later, along the Chinese history,
many charms are casted with the inscription "Zhou yuan tongbao" on charm. I
have publish your coin in my book "Amulettes de Chine et du Vietnam", Paris
1987, under N°179.