Vietnamese Coin
Tuong Phu Nguyen Bao

Vladimir Belyaev
May 14, 1998
Obverse: Vietnamese Tuong Phu Nguyen Bao
or Chinese Xiang Fu Yuan Pao

Reverse: plain

Diameter: 22.3 mm
Weight: 1.9 g

Comments from Gilbert Tan (15-May-98):
    This is a Vietnamese variety of the Xiang Fu Yuan Pao reign title. There are so many varieties that no book has all of them.

Comments from Thuan Luc (25-May-98):
    The Xiang Fu Yuan Pao (Tuong Phu Nguyen bao) of the Chinese Sung dynasty were commonly used and circulated well in Vietnam as the Kai Yuan Tung Pao of the Tang. Le quy Don (1726-1784), the writer of the book Miscellanous Records in the Border area (Phu Bien Tap Luc) recited that the Kai Yuan, Xiang Fu coins were excellent, they could not be damaged even if buried underground because they were made of pure copper. Le mentioned that these coins were numerous before 1744 in the North, but for an unknown reason they were rarely seen after that. Until 1774, when the army of the Outer region entered the province of Thuan Hoa in the Inner region, they saw more than 300,000 quan of these ancient coins in excellent condition stored in the storehouse of Nguyen Lord. They realized that the ships from the North sneakly carried those coins to Thuan Hoa. Almost 700 years , the Xiang Fu coins were still recited by Le quy Don. One should not be surprised when finding a copy of such well-known coin made in Vietnam. Particularly, from the 17th to 19th century, Nguyen Lord removed the ban against private individuals casting coin.

    Francoise Thierry also mentioned about the Shofu gempo (Japanese version of Tuong Phu) cast in Nagasaki in 17th century. These Shofu gempo were exported to Nguyen Lord's territory to serve as base money of the Inner region.

Obverse: Chinese Hsiang [Xiang] Fu Yuan Pao

Reverse: plain

Diameter: 24.7 mm
Weight: 3.9 g

Obverse: Chinese Hsiang Fu Yuan Pao

Reverse: plain

Diameter: 25.6 mm
Weight: 3.8 g

Nothern Sung Dynasty
The Emperor Chen Tsung 997 AD - 1023 AD
Period Hsiang Fu 1008 AD - 1017 AD (Promised Happiness)

Chinese Coinage Web Site