Zhao Na Xin Bao (top-bottom-right-left) - Coinage as proof of loyalty?
Zhao - beckon, summon; recruit, levy
Na - admit, take, receive, accept
Xin - trust, believe; letter
Bao - treasure, jewel; precious, rare
Shi - cause, send on a mission, order; envoy, messenger, ambassador
Shang - top; superior, highest; go up, send up
W. O den Velde in his 'Cash coin index' writes:
These tokens, they can hardly be called coins, were issued by Liu Kuang-shih, the governor of Hubei, as a mark of his allegiance to the Song Dynasty in the face of the Tartar attacks. Perhaps the date of issue was 1129 AD when during a rebellion the emperor was deposed for some weeks. Sometimes this piece is said to be a coin issued by the leader of the rebel state of Ch'i, Tsao Wang, during this reign. The legends seems somehow more appropriate from a governor than from a rebel. However the artness of some of the regal legends during this dynasty is open to debate. The reverse bear the character Shih, which seems to allude to Liu Kuang Shih himself (Cresswell 1971). Ting Fu Pao (1938) says these coins were issued between 1131-1162 in gold, silver and copper, but that he has not seen the gold and silver issues.
David Jen writes (p.85):
Pass coins - The coin Zhao Na Xin Bao was intended for use by soldiers of the Jin army who wanted to desert and join the Song ranks. In 1231 A.D. <Seems
that this date is error. Coins are referred to the Shao Xing period, i.e. 1131-1162 AD - VB> Jin troops again advanced against the Southern Song Dynasty. The two armies were stationed facing each other across the river. The Song commander Liu Guang Shi got word that many of the Jin soldiers were of Han nationality and were longing for home, so after setting them free with the word to give them to those who wanted to come over and join his ranks; the coins would serve as passes and anyone bearing them would receive a warm welcome. It was not long before tens of thousands deserted the Jin army, forcing the Jin commander to withdraw his troops and return home. The top character on the reverse means envoy and the bottom one a signature.
Another anonimous opinion:
Southern Song dispatched lots of spies to Jin dynasty. These spies used this coins to identify each other in the Jin dynasty.
- Ding #1609
- Hua Guangpu #803-1
- ZQ #2363
- Jen #384
- ZGGQP p.297
- [Ding]: Ding Fubao "Lidai Guqian Tushuo"
("The Charts of the Past Dynasties Ancient Coins"), 1997, with Ma Dingxiang's comments. In Chinese.
- [Hua]: Hua Guangpu, Ed. "Zhongguo Guqian Mulu"
("The Catalogue of Ancient Chinese Coins"), 1998, volume 2 "Sung to Ming", 481 p. In Chinese.
- [Jen]: Jen, David "Chinese Cash: Identification and Price Guide", Krause publications, 2000, 352p.
- [ZQ]: "Zhonghua Zhenquan Zhui Zong Lu"
("Chinese rare coins pursuit concordance"), 2001, Shanghai, 293 p. In Chinese.
- [ZGGQP]: "Zhongguo Guqian Pu"
("Plates of Ancient Chinese Coins"), 1995, 534 p. In Chinese.