Inscriptions: Ping Yuan County (Middle), Month, Year of Kuang
Hsu Reign Dimensions: 116 (L) x 65 (W) x 77 (H) mm Weight: 1881 g (50 taels)
Yuan Bao was a typical pattern for silver ingots circulated in the
northern China (however, it does not mean that Yuan Bao was not employed in
the south, just fewer, that's all). Shandong province was one of its major
Yuan Bao in Shandong was normally made in 10 taels and 50 taels, and used
for tax payments and mercantile transaction in great volume.
Shandong Yuan Bao was not only circulated in the territory of the
province, but also very popular in Manchurian provinces where many people of
Shandong immigrated there.
The shown Yuan Bao, simply inscribed with the name of its origin, and the
name of the reign Kuang Hsu for when it was cast, without further indicating
the year or month. A silver ingot with such limited information being
disclosed, usually was taken as tax silver reserved in the local government
for its overheads and daily operation, and it also could be a mercantile
silver for rich businessmen.