XRF-analysis of cash coins of the Xi Xia (Western Xia) dynasty

From different Chinese collectors and coin dealers Ive heard the opinion that XiXia dynasty coins were cast from red copper (i.e., from almost pure copper). From the below table we see that coin alloy of that dynasty in many cases is usual copper-lead-tin bronze. Speaking in general, the lead and tin content in XiXia cash coins is not very high in comparison with bronze of other dynasties. But only one coin ZENO #68 can be defined as cast from the red copper.

I realize that there is possibility that some of tested coins are fake. Please let me know if you feel any doubts about them. But most of listed coins are genuine without any doubts and so shows an interesting result in metal content analysis.

Vladimir Belyaev, May 2005

 

ZENO

Coin

Ag

Cu

Pb

Sn

Zn

Other elements

Notes

83

Fu Sheng Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

>10

10-15

 

As=1-3, Fe>1, Sb

Hardly patinated

63

Fu Sheng Bao Qian

Tangut script

large cash

 

BM

4-6

1-3

8-12

As<0.8, Sb<0.5

Later fantasy

61

Da An Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

>15

 

 

 

Patinated

62

Da An Bao Qian

Tangut script

Tr.

BM

10-15

 

 

Fe=1-4

 

1350

Da An Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

20-25

 

?

As-?

 

2180*

Da An Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

>15

 

 

Fe=1-2

Patinated

16033*

Da An Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

>15

8-10

 

Sb

Patinated

15475

Zhen Guan Bao Qian

Tangut script

Tr.

BM

15-25

1-2

Tr.

As=1-3, Sb

 

64

Yuan De Tong Bao

Tr.

BM

7-8

6-7

 

s=1-2

 

4065

Yuan De Tong Bao

Tr.

BM

8-10

4-5

 

s=1-3, Sb<0.4

 

65

Tian Sheng Yuan Bao

Tr.

BM

6-8

4-7

 

s=1-2, Sb

 

916

Tian Sheng Yuan Bao, mother coin for iron cash

Tr.

BM

8-10

8-10

 

Ni

 

68

Qian You Yuan Bao

 

BM

2-3

Tr.

 

Ni

 

69

Qian You Yuan Bao

 

BM

5-8

 

 

s=1-2, Fe>1

Patinated

15834*

Qian You Bao Qian

Tangut script

Tr.

BM

15-20

3-5

 

As=1-3, Fe=1-2, Sb

 

72

Tian Qing Yuan Bao

 

BM

>10

<0,5

 

s=1-4, Fe=1-3

Hardly patinated

1332

Tian Qing Bao Qian

Tangut script

Tr.

BM

8-12

4-6

Tr.

As=1-2, Sb

 

15766*

Tian Qing Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

15-20

 

 

Fe=3-5, As=1-2

 

71

Tian Qing Bao Qian

Tangut script

 

BM

15-20

2-4

 

Fe=1-2

 

74

Huang Jian Yuan Bao

<0.8

BM

5-7

7-9

?

As=1-2, Ni, Sb

 

75

Guang Ding Yuan Bao

 

BM

8-12

6-8

 

As=1-2

 

 

Notes:

  1. ZENO.RU numbers marked with * means that coin will be accessible in the database later.
  2. Tr. traces
  3. BM base metal
  4. Patinated surface of the coin gives a bit higher results of lead and tin content.