Glorious Mercy from Emperor Zhen Der of the Ming Dynasty (明正德恩榮銀錢)


Weight: 2 grams

Date: 1515 A.D.

Inscriptions: 正德十年.恩榮

The 10th Year of Zhen Der

Glorious Mercy 


恩榮(Glorious Mercy) was a term meaning a reward given by the emperor to a person with special contribution. Such as 

恩榮坊(Memorial Gateway of Glorious Mercy), was a special statute constructed under an imperial edict in memory of an outstanding official who died . (See the picture below)  

恩榮宴(Banquet of Glorious Mercy), was a party hosted by the emperor to entertain final qualifiers and examiners of national examinations.    

This silver piece is featured in a cash coin by shearing and inscribed with 正德十年.恩榮」(The 10th Year of Zhen Der (1515 A.D), Glorious Mercy) by engraving, and its silver fineness is respectively low. Regarding its origin, there are two speculations, one is being discovered in an old temple, another is being excavated in a tomb belonging to a Ming official. It characteristics are similar to those gold and silver buried coins unearthed in the Kuangtung and Kuangsi regions, therefore, the latter one may be sustained, this piece and its counterparts are assumed to be a reward from the emperor Zhen Der to an official who died.  

恩榮,是皇帝對於有特殊貢獻之人所給予賞賜的一種專有名詞 具體的應用例如有:




本件「正德十年.恩榮」銀錢,一說發現於古剎樑上,另說係出土自墳塚之冥錢,約有數十枚,係以薄銀片剪裁成方孔錢狀,銀色不佳,其文字與圖案均以雕鑿而成,與兩廣地區出土的明末時期金銀冥錢的特徵近似,故推測屬後者,應係明正德帝給予有功官吏或其家屬之死後哀榮。惟 這批銀錢現均已星散。

Return to Sycee Talks