CHINA, amulets.
    Chinese culture is permeated, no, based on poetic allusion, hidden meanings, union of opposites, complex currents of energy and intention.  In certain contexts these bases can express in rank superstition (present in all human cultures), and in others can lead to scientific advancement.
    Mere possession of money being luck, if you're going to have a "good luck piece" what better form than money?  Accordingly, amulets having been made in all human cultures at least since the late paleolithic, it was only natural that many of them would be made in the shape of money.  This would be especially so in China, where monetary exchange probably happened first.  And in China, where bronze coins usually circulated by weight, coin shaped amulets passed into the regular circulation along with the official coins.  Thus, many of them are found heavily worn.
    "CA" numbers refer to the book Zhong Guo Hua Qian (Chinese Amulets).  CA-nl means not listed therein.  All are bronze unless otherwise noted.

There are 3 pages of amulets:

Coin-like amulets (this page) bronze amulets not shaped like coinsgold, silver, jade, and ivory amulets

All are bronze or brass unless mentioned.

275-206. CHINA, amulet, 25mm, Wu Zhu / 4 in-pointing crescents at corners of hole rev., possibly ancient, traces of gilding, aVF $33.00 sold 6/27/2011
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272-113. CHINA, amulet, 24mm, CA-nl, Wu Zhu / lines from corners of inner rim rev., crescent R, dot L, old but not ancient, VG $26.00 sold 6/27/2011
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272-114. CHINA, amulet, 24mm, CA-nl, Wu Zhu, crescent above, dot below / same, old but not ancient, crusty VG $26.00 sold 6/27/2011
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273-310. CHINA, amulet, 25mm, Wu Zhu / diagonal lines at upper L & lower R corners of hole rev., possibly ancient, crack, aG/VG $33.00 sold 7/5/2011
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273-311. CHINA, amulet, 25mm, Wu Zhu / moon & 7 stars (Pleides?), possibly ancient, bit of crust, F $100.00 sold
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271202. CHINA, amulet, 18mm, CA-1014v, Da Quan Wu Shi / turtle, snake, ursa major, sword, constellations, F/VG $39.00 sold 1/23/2009
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271203. CHINA, amulet, 32mm, CA-1044, Wu Xing Da Bu / snake, sword, turtle, ursa major, 5 plugged holes, F $33.00 sold 3/12/2009
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272-115. CHINA, amulet, 24mm, CA-1038, Wu Xing Da Bu / snake, sword, turtle, ursa major clockwise, old, VG $33.00 sold 1/23/2009
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271204. CHINA, amulet, 26.5mm, CA-1045v, Chang Ping Wu Zhu / constellation, moon, sun, ursa major, F $35.00 sold 12/4/2009
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275-207. CHINA, amulet, 26mm, CA-1006v, Jou Yi Hou Wang Wu Zhu / belthook bottom rev., VF $45.00 sold 7/2/2011
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275-208. CHINA, amulet, 24mm, CA-1084v, Zhou Yuan Tong Bao / snake & man with sword, aVF $27.00 sold 1/2/2011
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272-117. CHINA, amulet, 22mm, CA-1075, S-17, Zhou Yuan Tong Bao / dragon & phoenix, high relief rev., VG $63.00 sold 1/23/2009
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271-205. CHINA, amulet, 22mm, CA-1079, Zhou Yuan Tong Bao / dragon & phoenix, high relief rev., F $36.00 sold 1/23/2009
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274-231. CHINA, amulet, 23mm, CA-1073v, Zhou Yuan Tong Bao  / dragon & phoenix, F $33.00 sold 2/16/2009
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274-232. CHINA, amulet, 25mm, CA-1081, Zhou Yuan Tong Bao  / dragon & fire pot, edge cut, F $36.00 sold 1/23/2009
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CA-N3) CHINA, 76mm, 4x mother & child. Supplier claimed this is Tang dynasty, & I'm inclined to accept this.  Unlisted in CA. Very thin, high relief, highly unusual. Nice old patina, VG-F $120.00 sold
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CA-1553) CHINA, 71mm, musician, someone else, dragon, bird, turtle / zodiac animals.  Supplier claimed Song era, maybe so, much older than the usual run of amulets. Nice old patina, VF $95.00 sold
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A group of 2 cash size Northern Song year titles with amuletic rims.  Things like this are known to have been officially cast at official mints, but were also copied later in appreciation and honor of the good old days, as it were.  While these are obviously old, they don't really seem like 11-12th century to me.  On the other hand, they certainly aren't 19th century, or 18th.  15th maybe?  Reverses are blank.
CA-N4) CHINA, Yuan Feng Tong Bao, 1078-85, seal script, VG $18.00 each sold
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CA-N5) CHINA, Yuan Feng Tong Bao, 1078-85, grass script,
a) VG $18.00 sold
b) flower hole, G $15.00 sold
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CA-N6) CHINA, Zheng He Tong Bao, 1111-17,  2 cash VG $31.00 sold 7/4/2011
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274-233. CHINA, amulet, 31mm, CA-1236, Zheng De Tong Bao (1506-21), fancy border / Wen, VG $35.00 sold 1/23/2009
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274-234. CHINA, amulet, 29mm, CA-nl, Shun Zhi Tong Bao, fancy border / Yuan Yuwan, trigrams around, appears to be entirely cast, rims not engraved, F+ $25.00 sold
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CANL18) CHINA, 27mm, CA-nl, Chang Ming Fu Gui / bouquet, G $15.00 sold 9/12/2008
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CA251a) CHINA, 32mm, CA-251, 4x copulating couples / Feng Hua Xue Yue (Wind Flowers Snow Moon), F+ $38.50 sold
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From my (Communist) dictionary: "Feng Hua Xue Yue: referring originally to the subject matter typical of certain types of feudal literary works and later to the effete and sentimental writings of the exploiting classes."  In other words a poetic allusion to the subject matter depicted.  Do you suppose the filters will catch this reference?
 
 
 
 

CA-251b) CHINA, 43mm, CA-251, same, modern version, c. 1990s, polished "F" $5.00
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CA-N14) CHINA, amulet, 38mm, CA-nl, Chang Ming Fu Gui / Fu Shou Kang Ning (Happiness & longevity / Wealth, health, longevity), F $28.50 sold 7/16/07
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CA-N11) CHINA, 25mm, square hole, Zhan ___ Gui Xie (Cut ___ ghosts evil) / 8 trigrams, F $12.50 sold 7/16/07
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CA320) CHINA, amulet, 44mm, CA-320, Shun feng da fu manzai er gui (calm winds good fortune, return fully loaded) / boats on river, F $28.00 11/14/2007 sold
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CA326) CHINA, amulet, 46mm, CA-326, Jin yu man tang chang ming fu ze (gold jade full hall long life prosperous powerful) / deer & tree, F $31.00 sold
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CA329) CHINA, amulet, 44mm, CA-329, Hexi chao zhuang yuan jidi yi (Congratulations on obtaining certificate in top civil service test) / stork & tree, F $31.00 sold
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CA16291) CHINA, amulet, 44mm, CA-1629, Taoist protective invocation / sage, aVG $18.00 sold 11/13/2008
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CA16292) CHINA, amulet, 44mm, CA-1629, Taoist protective invocation / sage, VG $25.00 sold
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CA1639) CHINA, amulet, 45mm, CA-1639, S-92, Taoist protective invocation / trigrams, F $58.00 sold
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CA-N12) CHINA, 59mm, Zhong Hua Min Guo / Chang Yuan(?) Fu Gui (China Republic / New life & wealth), c. 1911-20 or so, crude, F $25.00 sold
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CA-N13) CHINA, 18mm clay, pair of birds / same, game chip?, 19th c.?, VF $10.00 sold
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CA-N14) CHINA, 26mm two part "box" coin, square hole, CA-nl, Wu Zi San Yuan / Chang Ming Bai Ning(?) (5 sons 3 new / long life 100 tranquil (years)), F $25.00 sold 1/2/2011
Click picture for enlargement.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

   The following items are rather unusual, at least in the sense that I haven't seen things like this before.  The first batch was called by supplier "Yuan dynasty temple money."  Well, as discussed in Jen in his "Chinese Cash" book, temples did issue coinlike items during the Yuan dynasty, when most of the official money was paper.  Jen's pictures are mostly of little coins with the normal 4 characters around square central hole.  None of these were listed, though that would not necessarily disqualify them.
    I find the attribution to the Yuan period hard to accept though.  The metal looks like what they started using during the Wan Li reign in the 16th century.  I think I'll call them unusual amulets and leave it at that.
    The third and fourth of this group were described as "temple money" rather than "Yuan temple money."  When I asked him for clarification he replied that such things are sometimes found inside Buddha statues.  Not an unreasonable story.  Sure, why not?
    And at the bottom are some miscellaneous amulet things.
"Temple money":
CA-N15) CHINA, 51mm, round hole, 9mm outer rim, no legends, "F" $30.00 sold 1/2/2011
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"Temple money":
CA-N20) CHINA, "temple money," 42x33mm oval, Tian Ping / blank, VG $27.00 sold 9/6/2008
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CA-N21) CHINA, 32mm, 4mm thick, deeply concave fields with black paint, crescent / blank, F $27.00 sold
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CA-N22) CHINA, "MING dynasty bronze temple money,” no legend, round center hole, 3mm thick,
a) 35mm, "F" $18.00 sold
b) 60mm, "VG" $28.00 sold
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CAT4) CHINA, YUAN Dynasty, 1280-1368, ?, "temple money," 22mm, square center hole, nice rims both sides, no characters at all, I think Jen mentions these, "VF" $15.00 sold
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CA-N23) CHINA, 27mm bronze, center hole, CA-nl, silkworms? either side of hole / flat, similar things sold to me in past as “Yuan Dyn. temple money,” F $30.00 sold
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OTHER AMULETS
CA-N24) CHINA, MING Dynasty, 27mm, Wan Li T.B. / Tai Chang T.B., aVF $72.00 sold 10/21/2007
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CA-N25) CHINA, 33mm, Hong Wu T.B. / goat, ox, sheep, clouds, tiny hole, F $75.00 sold 1/23/2009
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CA-1363) CHINA, 54mm, Kang Xi Zhong Bao / dragon & phoenix, Bao Quan (Board of Revenue), scarce original official amulet, bold F, choice, $95.00 sold
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CA-N26) CHINA, 1cash, S-1426, Kang Xi T.B. / Shantung, floral engraving on edge both sides, F $15.00 sold
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CA-1369v) CHINA, 51mm, Qian Long Zhong Bao, double outer rim / dragons, G $55.00 sold
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CA-N26) CHINA, 27mm, Qian Long T.B., fancy engraved rim / Board of Revenue, amuletic modification of C1-1.1 (K388), (palace coin), traces of enamel, various minor crudities, aF $27.00 sold 7/4/2011
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CA-1335) CHINA, 37mm, Tong Zhi T.B. / 8 trigrams, aVF $55.00 sold
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CA-36059) CHINA, 20mm, CA-360/CA-359, Zhuang Yuan Jidi / Liang Zhong San Yuan ( imperial exam winner / perfect score all 3), F/fair $11.00 sold 11/13/2008
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CA-1201) CHINA, 20mm, CA-1201, Guang Xu Tong Bao / Ding Gui Cai Shou (sons, wealth, longevity), VG $15.00 sold 11/13/2008
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CA-N8E) CHINA, 26mm, no center hole, c. 1900- 1930?,  Ba Ji Huang Da Shen (8 great emperors provide aid) / blank, F $18.00
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CA-lot1) CHINA, lot of copies, imitations, fantasies, etc., all early 20th c. is my estimate, 17 pcs, apparently I took a pic of only 16, decent batch, "F-VF" $44.00 sold
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