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1 văn
Drawing from Annam and its Minor Currency
General information

Vietnam under the Đinh Dynasty


1.00 văn


c. 968979 (ND)

Measurements and composition

2.3–4.32 g


23.5 mm


cast bronze


round with square hole


medallic or uniface




Era name, "hung bao"


Character or blank

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The 1 văn coin of the Đinh Dynasty of Vietnam is a circulation coin that was issued during the reign of Emperor Đinh Bộ Lĩnh (924–979), which lasted from 968 to Đinh's death in 979. It is often accredited as being the first Vietnamese coin, and like some of the initial Japanese and Korean currency, it was based largely on the cast coinage of imperial China. The piece had a value equivalent to 1 văn prior to its eventual demonetization.

The coin is composed of cast bronze and has a mass of between 2.3 and 4.32 grams and a diameter of roughly 23.5 millimeters. It is round in shape, but a square hole is cut out of the center, which allowed several of the coins to be strung together for larger transactions. Like all cast coins of Eastern Asia, the edge of the văn of Đinh Bộ Lĩnh is plain. Printed above the hole, on the obverse, is the Chinese character "大" (Đai), and written below the square is "平" (Bình). Together, they form the Vietnamese era name "大平" (Đai Bình). While this era name is usually read as "太平" (Thái Bình), the use of "大" (Đai) instead of "太" (Thái) can be attributed to the meanings of the two characters in the Vietnamese language. Both have essentially identical definitions, so there was no real distinction between the two characters at the time in Vietnam. Printed to the right of the hole is "興" (Hung) and written to the left of the square is "寶" (Bǎo). Combined, these two characters form "興寶" (Hung bǎo), which translates roughly to English as "abundant treasure". The character "丁" (Đinh), representing the name of the ruling Đinh Dynasty, is usually engraved above or below the square hole on the reverse. A few rare examples are uniface, lacking the Đinh character on the reverse. Such single-sided examples are believed by some sources to be attributable to Lê Hoàn (941–1005) of the Early Lê Dynasty, although most ascribe the pieces to Đinh Bộ Lĩnh.


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Vietnamese 1 văn coins
Dynastic Ðinh (968–981) • Early Lê (980–1009) • (1009–1225) • Trần (1225–1400) • Hồ (1400–1407) • Later Lê (period 1) (1428–1527) • [[
Rebel Lê Ngã (1420) • Trần Cảo (1426–1428)

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