Guangxu Yuanbao was one of the currency in circulation during the reign of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty. Zhang Zhidong, governor of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces in Hubei Province, was the first to introduce British coin making machines to cast silver and copper coins, and then all provinces followed suit. A total of 19 provinces and bureaus cast copper coins, except for the central Hubu and local provinces, inscribed with the names of the provinces on the front.
Guangxu Yuanbao is the first large denomination currency in circulation in Guangxu year of Qing Dynasty. It is one of the first batch of printing and distributing currency that introduces overseas technology. It also contains certain historical significance for today. Guangxu Yuanbao made in Guangdong province belongs to a large series in the history of modern machine coinage in China. Its coinage lasted for a long time (from the 22nd year of Guangxu to the 34th year of Guangxu [1896-1908]). After more than ten years, the mints were replaced several times. Even in the same year, the editions were very complicated due to many factors, such as mold modification, coin materials, technology and factory management.
In the Qing Dynasty, silver coins, paper notes and copper coins went hand in hand, and new silver coins were issued in Jiaqing period, while more gold and silver coins were produced in Guangxu period. The westernization movement also affected the coinage industry. In 1887, the governor of Guangdong and Guangdong provinces, Zhang Zhidong, entrusted the British ministers to order a complete set of coin making machines in Britain, and first minted silver and copper coins in Guangdong money Bureau. Later, the provinces followed suit and
purchased foreign mechanical casting silver and copper coins. Many mints, including Guangdong money Bureau, are ordered from the famous London Birmingham Mint Co., Ltd. With the intervention of British industry, silver coins were also stained with western color. On the obverse side of the coin, the integration of Manchu and Han culture can be seen, while the back of coin clearly indicates the intervention of western culture.
At that time, the “Guangxu Yuanbao” was cast by 19 provinces. In addition to the central Hubu, the name of the province was engraved on the upper edge of the bronze coins. There are: 1 Hubu; 2 Beiyang; 3 Jilin; 4 Fengtian; 5 Qingjiang; 6 Zhejiang; 7 Jiangnan; 8 Guangdong; 9 Shandong; 10 Fujian; 11 Hunan; 12 Hubei; 13 Sichuan; 14 Jiangxi; 15 Henan; 16 Anhui; 17 Guangxi; 18 Xinjiang; 19 Heilongjiang.