1918 Chinese Northern Warlord issued coins

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The first half of the last century was a traumatic one for China, with much in-fighting and civil wars. Local warlords sprung up and the new government of the Republic of China set up by Chiang Kai-Shek exerted little control over much of the country. In Gansu province, a local warlord ruled much of the territory, as others did elsewhere. In order to pay troops and purchase supplies, the warlords minted their own coins by making cast copies of the 1914 100 Cash (Y450) coin from neighboring Sichuan province. These Gansu coins were issued between 1914 and the mid 1920s when a formal mint was established and province began to issue its own coinage. These coins were from brass recovered from melting imperial Chinese 1 Cash coins, which were still in circulation. Since it took about six 1 Cash coins worth of brass to make a single 100 Cash coin, the enterprise was quite profitable for the warlord. The coins are crudely cast, with a considerable variation in styles and sizes.

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