Explore highlights
Haedong t'ongbo coin


Diameter: 24.000 mm
Weight: 3.150 g

CM 1884-5-11-1189

Room 68: Money

    Haedong t'ongbo coin

    Korea, AD 1097

    One of Korea's first coins

    Touch the animation button to see the traditional process of casting East Asian coins.

    The Haedong t'ongbo was one of the earliest coins issued in Korea. It was modelled on the design of contemporary Chinese coins of the Song dynasty in terms of its shape (round with a square hole in the centre), its inscription (with Chinese characters arranged around the hole) and in terminology (using the phrase tongbao).

    The calligraphy on this coin is in seal script. The inscription reads 'Haedong t'ongbo', starting from the character at the top and reading clockwise around the square hole. Haedong literally means 'east of the sea' and refers to the kingdom of Koryo (Korea). T'ongbo means 'circulating treasure' or 'coin'.

    E.J. Mandel, Cast coinage of Korea (Racine, Wisconsin, 1972)

    J. Cribb, B. Cook and I. Carradice, The coin atlas (London and Sydney, Macdonald Illustrated, 1990)

    J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)


    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 68: Money

    Shop Online

    Korean art and archaeology, £9.99

    Korean art and archaeology, £9.99