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Bảo Đại Thông Bảo

Nguyễn dynasty
( French Indochina)

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Value6 văn, 10 văn[a] (French Indochinese piastre)
Massmachine-struck 1.40 g,
cast, 6 văn 3.31 g,
cast, 10 văn 4.01 g
CompositionCopper (Brass)
Years of minting1933–1940
Design保大通寶 (Bảo Đại Thông Bảo)
6 văn (an-sau)
Design十文 (thập văn)[1]
10 văn (an-muoi)

The Bảo Đại Thông Bảo (chữ Hán: 保大通寶; French: Sapèque Bao-Daï) was a round Copper-alloy coin with a square hole produced by the Nguyễn dynasty under French protection and was the last cash coin produced both in Vietnam and the world, this ended a long series of cast Vietnamese coinage that started with the Tỉnh Thái Bình Hưng chỉ bảo in 970.[2] The cast chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo were produced at the Thanh Hóa Mint, while the machine-struck variants were produced in Hanoi by the colonial French government.[3] These coins bear the name of Emperor chỉ bảo Đại who ascended the throne in 1926 but continued the production of the earlier Khải Định Thông chỉ bảo (啓定通寶) that bore his father's era name until 1933 when he ordered the production of new coins with his reign name, which was normal as previous Vietnamese emperors also kept producing cash coins with the inscription of their predecessors for a period of time. The cast smaller chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins with blank reverses were only valued at 1600 piastre.[4]

In 1932 it was reported by L'Éveil économique de l'Indochine ("The Economic Awakening of Indochina") that cash coins were increasingly becoming scarce in Annam and Tonkin, the L'Éveil économique de l'Indochine advised the government of the Nguyễn dynasty đồ sộ start producing zinc chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins đồ sộ counter the scarcity of low denomination currencies, at this time zinc cash coins were still circulating in Annam while very few of them were left in Tonkin.[5] During this period people were often unwilling đồ sộ spend money because of the monetary scarcity of the time, economic policy advisors predicted that producing more cash coins would lower the cost of living for the population of the Nguyễn dynasty.[5]

The chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo were probably cast into 1941 or 1942 and the production was stopped because the occupying Japanese forces wanted the copper and were acquiring all of the cash coins they could find and stockpiling them in Haiphong for shipment đồ sộ nhật bản for the production of war materials.[6]

Cash coins would continue đồ sộ circulate officially in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam until 1948 with an official exchange rate mix of trăng tròn cash coins for 1 đồng.[6]

An muoi policy[edit]

On 29 September 1939 the Hanoian newspaper l'Effort Indochinois reported that the governments of French Indochina and the Nguyễn dynasty pursued a policy called an muoi (the introduction of large denomination debased cash coins which only had a slightly higher intrinsic value đồ sộ drive out lower value cash coins), which sought đồ sộ stabilise the exchange rate between cash coins and the piastre at 360:1.[7] During this period there was a market liquidity crisis worsened by the hoarding of low denomination cash coins by the general populace causing massive deflation of cash coins.[7] Despite starting the an muoi policy in 1937, by 1939 the exchange rate between the piastre and cash coins was at 5 strings per piastre while in some rural areas the price of the piastre went down as much as 3 strings per piastre.[7] The deflation of cash coins proved đồ sộ be very detrimental đồ sộ the economy and local trade.[7]

The reason why these exchange rates were unstable was because cash coins remained independent of the piastre, despite their fixed exchange rates.[7] Machine-struck cash coins tended đồ sộ circulate more in Tonkin, while cast cash coins circulated more in rural Annam.[7]

On Decree Number 55 dated 02-07-Bảo Đại 16 (24 August 1941) the chỉ bảo Đại Emperor issued an ordonnance which states that within the entire territory of Trung Kỳ (Annam) the exchange rate between copper-alloy cash coins and the piastre was fixed at a rate of 4 strings of cash coins for 1 French Indochinese piastre, replacing the earlier Decree Number 1 of 21 February 1934 which fixed it at 6 strings of 50 cash coins.[8] This decree applied đồ sộ any cash coin bearing a reign era of the Nguyễn dynasty, with the definition of 4 strings of cash coins consisting of either 400 an-sau (6 văn) cash coins or 240 an-muoi (10 văn) cash coins.[9][8] Meaning that 1 string of an-sau cash coins consisted of 100 coins, while 1 string of an-muoi cash coins consisted of 60 coins.[8]

Machine-struck chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins[edit]

A machine-struck chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coin.

The French simultaneously began minting brass machine-struck cash coins in Hanoi, with the same inscription as the cast chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins, with production officially starting in June 1933.[10][11] These machine-struck cash coins weighed 1.36 grams and had an official exchange rate of 1600 piastre, but were probably only valued at 11000 piastre.[6]

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These coins were minted at the Hanoi Mint (operated by the Banque de l'Indochine) because the French had cut the funding for producing cast cash coins at the Thanh Hòa Mint which meant that the Protectorate of Annam wasn't producing enough cast cash coins đồ sộ satisfy the demands of the Vietnamese markets for these low value coins for every day exchange.[6][12] The machine-struck chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins were designed by René Mercier.[13]

According đồ sộ J. de Monty in Volonté (4 August 1933) Mercier had the enormous advantage of allowing an excellent execution of the production process with the minimum expenditure on material and handling.[10] It was all the more important đồ sộ seek đồ sộ bring together all of these conditions, since in any case the new piece reaches its face value almost by the sole price of the material from which it is made, the brass.[10] 12 years after the fact René Mercier commented on the matter: "It is, in fact, common đồ sộ strike coins with a circular central hole. But đồ sộ the Annamese the square hole in the cash coin represents the (concept of) earth, surmounted by a round tabernacle representing the firmament (heaven), there could be no question of modifying, for technical reasons, the ancestral khuông of the pieces. However, a square hole must be oriented, which ordinary machines are reluctant đồ sộ bởi."[10] Because of the unusual process of minting cash coins compared đồ sộ more conventional coins Mercier sought đồ sộ reduce the production process đồ sộ a simpler and cheaper operation.[10] The special tool used đồ sộ mint these cash coins was developed by the firm Aviat.[10] This tool operates automatically on a strip of brass 85 milimet wide, in a single stroke of the pendulum: five strikes, five square openings, one spacing and five cutouts giving five finished pieces.[10] The strip is pushed by hand by the coin mechanism and driven mechanically by two guide knives.[10] The yield quickly reached 100,000 pieces per day, per press.[10] A total of 6 coin presses were produced for the machine-struck chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo.[10]

The French authorities purely produced these coins for market liquidity and the French colonial authorities did not accept these coins for any payment đồ sộ the government such as taxes or levies.[10] By 30 September 1933 approximately 30 million of these cash coins were introduced đồ sộ the public for general circulation.[10] While the machine-struck cash coins were successful in Tonkin, they were less welcomed by the rural Annamite population who preferred the cast variant and even millennium old cast cash coins from "the good old days" over the modernised cash coins.[7] The reluctance đồ sộ accept the machine-struck cash coins in rural Annam contributed đồ sộ the deflation that cash coins were experiencing there.[7]

The machine-struck variants had a diameter 18 millimeters and a thickness of 7/10 of a millimeter.[10] To have reached the ceiling of 100 million emissions, the production process had đồ sộ last around 15 months at a rate of 7 đồ sộ 10 million pieces per month.[10] There were two variants of this cash coins, one had a large version of the Chinese character "大" (Đại) on its obverse, while the other variant had a smaller "大".[6]

According đồ sộ J. de Monty the total volume of issue was around 100 million coins, i.e. 160,000 piastres of nominal value in round figures with an expenditure of 120,000 piastres for the purchase of brass, 36,000 piastres for costs manufacturing and handling, and 4,000 piastres for transport from Haiphong (the place of mintage).[10] Meaning that under the supervision of Mercier the production cost of these cash coins broke even with their nominal value (1600 piastre).[10]

After the Japanese had taken over the country, they forced the production of chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins đồ sộ stop because they were commandeering all copper in Vietnam.[6] The Japanese created new sapèque-like coins that were made from zinc in Hanoi and by the nhật bản Mint in Osaka đồ sộ replace these coins as the copper was being used for the production of Japanese weaponry and other military equipment, though the coins from Osaka didn't make it đồ sộ the Vietnamese market as the shipping of war supplies was deemed more important by the Japanese government.[6]

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Mintage figures[edit]

The government of the Nguyễn dynasty started manufacturing in 1933 and produced a total of 98,000 strings of chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo cash coins, these figures include 49,000 strings of 100 « an sau » cash coins and 49,000 strings of 60 « an muoi » cash coins.[14] This meant that a total of 4,900,000 « an sau » cash coins and 2,940,000 « an muoi » cash coins were produced as of 1936.[14]

There were a total of 98,000,000 machine-struck chỉ bảo Đại Thông chỉ bảo sapèques produced by the government of the French protectorate of Tonkin.[13] The production of these machine-struck cash coins started in 1933 and ended in 1934 and they all entered general circulation on 30 April 1935.[14]

In total, using the rate of 7 strings for one piastre, the rate of exchange valid at the kết thúc of 1933, the number of cash coins manufactured between 1921 and 1936 had a value of approximately 1,315,000 piastres.[14]

See also[edit]

  • Cash (Chinese coin)
  • Kaiyuan Tongbao
  • Tự Đức Thông Bảo
  • Tự Đức chỉ bảo Sao



  1. ^ 保大 chỉ bảo Đại 1926-1945 cash coins Archived 2017-12-02 at the Wayback Machine By Sema (Art-Hanoi) Cash coins of Bao Dai were the last cash-style coins produced in the world. Retrieved: 04 March 2018
  2. ^ Dr. R. Allan Barker. (2004) The historical Cash Coins of Viet Nam. ISBN 981-05-2300-9
  3. ^ François Thierry de Crussol (蒂埃里) (14 September 2015). "Sapèques frappées de chỉ bảo Đại 保大 - Struck cash coins of chỉ bảo Đại - chỉ bảo Đại thông bảo 保大通寳, «monnaie courante de [l'ère] chỉ bảo Đại». Cuivre, Ø 18,3, 1,39 g. - La frappe des chỉ bảo Đại thông bảo 保大通寳" (in French). TransAsiart. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  4. ^ François Thierry de Crussol (蒂埃里) (14 September 2015). "Sapèques de chỉ bảo Đại 保大 - Cash coins of chỉ bảo Đại" (in French). TransAsiart. Archived from the original on 25 June 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b Cucherousset, Henri (1879-1936). Directeur de publication (6 November 1932). "L'Éveil économique de l'Indochine : bulletin hebdomadaire / directeur : H. Cucherousset, rédacteur en chef" (in French). Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 19 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Sapeque and Sapeque-Like Coins in Cochinchina and Indochina (交趾支那和印度支那穿孔錢幣)". Howard A. Daniel III (The Journal of East Asian Numismatics – Second issue). trăng tròn April năm nhâm thìn. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Xuân TIÊU (29 September 1939). "Contre la thésaurisation des pièces divisionnaires" (in French). l'Effort Indochinois (Journal Autonomiste Paraissant la Vendredi) - Hanoï, Tonkin, Nguyễn dynasty, French Indochina. Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Protectorate government of Annam - Bulletin administratif de l'Annam, Publication date : 1941-10-01. Pages: 2757-2758. (in French).
  9. ^ Nguyễn Thu Hoài (30 March 2023). "Tiền và hoạt động và sinh hoạt chi phí tệ bên trên VN trước năm 1945 (Kỳ 2: Quản lý chi phí tệ và hoạt động và sinh hoạt ngân hàng trước năm 1945)" (in Vietnamese). Trung tâm Lưu trữ vương quốc I (National Archives Nr. 1, Hanoi) - Cục Văn thư và Lưu trữ núi sông (State Records And Archives Management Department Of Việt Nam). Archived from the original on 19 May 2023. Retrieved 19 May 2023. Ví dụ: Năm 1934 một đồng tiền Đông Dương được ấn ấn định tương tự 650 đồng kẽm; cho tới năm 1941 một đồng Đông Dương tương tự 400 đồng kẽm.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p BELAUBRE Jean, "Un technicien méconnu du monnayage : René Mercier et la sapèque chỉ bảo Đại, 1933". Bulletin de la Société Française de Numismatique, avril 1980, n°4, pp. 685-687. (in French).
  11. ^ ĐẶNG Ngọc Oanh, "Les distinctions honorifiques annamites", Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Huê, 1915-IV, pp. 391-406. (in French).
  12. ^ Lục Đức Thuận, Võ Quốc Ky (2009), Tiền cổ VN, Nhà xuất phiên bản Giáo dục. Pages 93–94. (in Vietnamese).
  13. ^ a b Howard A. Daniel, III (3rd edition, 2018) The Catalog and Guidebook of Southeast Asian Coins and Currency. Volume I: France. p. 97 ISBN 0-931960-01-0
  14. ^ a b c d Indochine française. Direction des affaires économiques. Auteur du texte (1 March 1936). "Bulletin économique de l'Indochine" (in French). Gallica (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Archived from the original on 25 April 2023. Retrieved 25 April 2023.