Coins and Banknotes of Vietnam and French Indochina

Chinese intervention in Tunquin, and the 阮 Nguyen Dynasty.

At the request of the wife and son of King CHIEU-TONG, who was hiding himself in the Cao-bang mountains, the Emperor K'IEN-LUNG ordered his armies to enter Annam and to re-establish the former state of affairs, that is to say, to restore to the LE Dynasty the entire territory of Tunquin of which they had been deprived by the Tay-son rebels.

The Viceroy of the Liang Kuang provinces, 孫士毅 SUN CHE-I, was appointed commander-in-chief of the Chinese armies, and assisted by General 許世亨 SHIU CHE-HENG, he entered Annam from Kuang-si in November 1788 at the head of ten thousand Cantonese soldiers. Another Chinese army commanded by General 烏大經 HU TA-KING invaded Annam from Yunnan. They were joined by the irregular Annamese troops who had remained faithful to the fallen dynasty, and after several easy victories following each other in rapid succession, the Chinese commander-in-chief entered Ha-noi in Drcember of the same year and re-instated King CHIEU-TONG on the throne.

A month afterwards, however, the rebel chief HUE entered Ha-noi by stratagem, and having come upon the Chinese unawares, completely routed them and forced the Viceroy and the Annamese king to re-cross the frontier into China.

The court of Peking degraded the Viceroy SUN and gave the supreme command of the army to 富綱安 FU KANG-NGAN, Viceroy of the 雲貴 Yun-Kuei (Yunnan and Kuei-chao). The new commandef-in-chief re-entered Annam without delay, concluded a truce with HUE, and wrote a long report to the Emperor in support of the rebellion. Thereupon K'IEN-LUNG issued the following edict, published in the 大清會典 Ta Tsing Vui-tien in 1789. "In consequence of a revolution King 黎昭統 LE CHIEU-TONG lost his royal seal and became a fugitive. The Annamese then recognized as head of the Government 阮光平 NGUYEN QUANG-BINH (光中 QUANG-TRUNG, Or HOE) who now submits to our authority and craves permission to come to Peking to gaze upon our august Majesty. The provincial judge of Kuang-si, 成林 TCH'ENG-LIN, is hereby commanded to invest him with royal power in our name, and to bestow upon him a gilt silver seal in the shape of a camel."

After the promulgation of this edict the Chinese armies were ordered to retire from Annam, and thus closed the war.

No. 212. (Barker: 98.1-98.2)
Obverse: 乾隆通寶 Can-long-thong-bao.
Reverse: 安南 An-nam. White Copper. Cast in Yunnan for the payment of the Chinese troops.

The 阮 Nguyen Dynasty. From 1776 to the present time.

King 嘉隆 GIA-LONG was the nephew of King DUE-TONG, THE last sovereign of Cochinchina, and being gifted with an active mind and with great powers of organization, he determined to reconquer the territory which had been taken possession of by the Tay-son rebels.

His lack was at first a very changeable one, for at one time he reigned in the South of Cochinchina with absolute power, and at another he found himself alone, persecuted, without an army, and forced to take refuge in Siam. At last success favoured him. With the help of the French, secured through the direct intervention of the Bishop of Adran, and assisted by the Siamese and Cambodian armies, he not only re-occupied the former territory of the Quang-nam Principality belonging to his family, but also took possession of the whole of Tunquin. Out of these conquests he formed the kingdom of Annam, and in 1801 proclaimed himself king, thus founding the NGUYEN Dynasty, which is still in power at the present day.

Since then four kings have ascended the throne. The history of their reign contains but little worthy of note; moreover, it is' still of too recent a date to be dealt with impartially. These four kings are principally remarkable for their hatred towards foreigners and for their persecution of the Christians. It is only through the pressure of European armies that they have consented to open several ports to foreign trade, and at this very moment the country seems to be passing through a crisis, menaced as it is by the intervention of the French in Tunquin, who may possibly annex it in the same way as they annexed Lower Cochinchina twenty-five years ago.

No. 213. (Barker: 99.1-99.4)
Obverse: 嘉隆通寶 Gia-long-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Three kinds of cash, made of copper, lead, or zinc.

No. 214. (Barker: 99.1-99.4)
Same as before, but of larger size. Copper mixed with tin.

No. 215. (Barker: see 99.1-99.4)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: without rim. Some are made of white copper, others of dark red copper.

No. 216. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: A dot above the hole.

No. 217. (Barker: 99.4)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: A dot on the right of the hole.

No. 218. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: A dot on the left of the hole.

No. 219. (Barker: 99.9)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: Two crescents above and below the hole.

No. 220. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: Two crescents on the right and left of the hole.

No. 221. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: A dot and a crescent on the right of the hole.

No. 222. (Barker: 99.8)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: with a double rim.

All the above coins, from No. 216 to 222, are made of copper mixed with tin.

No. 223. (Barker: 99.7)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: The characters 六分 Luc-phan, or six phan, indicating the weight of the cash.

No. 223. (Barker: 99.11)
Obverse: Same as No. 213.
Reverse: The characters 七分 That-phan, meaning the weight of the cash. There exist three different cash of this description, made of copper, lead and zinc respectively.

No. 225. (Barker: none)
On the obverse and reverse the inscription 嘉隆通寶 Gia-long-thong-bao.

No. 226. (Barker: none)
Same as before, but having the inscription on the reverse upside down.

All the above cash, from No. 213 to 226, were issued by King GIA-LONG (1801-1820). They were only made in Hue and Ha-noi.

No. 227. (Barker: 101.1-101.8)
Obverse: 明命通寶 Minh-mang-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. White copper.

No. 228. (Barker: 101.10-101.28)
Same as before, but of smaller size Copper and lead.

The two above coins were issued by King MINH-MANG (1820-1838). The custom of casting medals with inscriptions on the reverse, such as 金玉其相追琢其章 or 風調雨順國泰民安 was followed by this king; but they never went into circulation.

No. 229. (Barker: 102.1-102.6)
Obverse: 紹治通寶 Thieu-tri-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. White copper.

No. 230. (Barker: 102.7-102.11)
Same as before, but of smaller size. Copper, zinc, and lead.

The above coins were issued by King THIEU-TRI (1838-1845).

The coins of the reigning king are as follow:

No. 231. (Barker: 103.1-103.2)
Obverse: 嗣德通寶 Tu-duc-thong-bao.
Reverse: plain. Copper mixed with tin.

No. 232. (Barker: 103.6-103.8)
Same as before but of smaller size. Two kinds, made of copper or lead.

No. 233. (Barker: none)
Obverse: Same as No. 231.
Reverse: Four crescents round the hole. Zinc.

No. 234. (Barker: 103.3-103.5)
Obverse: Same as No. 231.
Reverse: The characters 六分 Luc-phan, indicating the weight of the coin. Copper mixed with tin.

No. 235. (Barker: 103.9-103.10)
Obverse: Same as No. 231.
Reverse: The characters 河內 Ha-noi, where the cash was cast. Lead.

No. 236. (Barker: 208.1-208.2)
Obverse: 嗣德寶鈔 Tu-duc-bao-sau.
Reverse: The characters 準文六十 Chun-van-luc-tap, or equal to sixty cash. These coins were first issued in 1877 from Ha-noi, and the value of one tien was given to them; but on account of their inferior intrinsic value the people disliked them, and their circulation was in consequence very limited.

No. 237. (Barker: 208.1-208.2)
Same as before, but of smaller size.

No. 238. (Barker: 208.3)
Same as before, but still smaller and thinner.

No. 239. (Barker: 207.1-207.2)
Obverse: Same as No. 236.
Reverse: The characters 準文五十 Chun-van-nghu-tap, or equal to fifty cash.

In order to bring these coins into general circulation the Annamese Government reduced the value of the tien to fifty cash, in 1878, and allowed them to be used for the payment of taxes.

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