Chinese Empire, Ming Dynasty, Tianqi, Temple Name Xizong, 10 Chien

Tianqi (1621-1627) ascended to the Chinese throne at the age of fourteen. He inherited a financially ruined realm with a crippled bureaucracy. China was in desperate need of reforms. Unfortunately, Tianqi was not the man to introduce them. He was not only badly educated but also had not the slightest interest in politics and economy. At that time many people became convinced that the Ming were no longer able to run the empire. When the Manchus invaded China, they were not met with much resistance. Under Tianqi's successor the Ming dynasty came to an end. This coin from the reign of Tianqi has a value of 10 chien. It shows on the obverse the sign for tien (above, heaven), qi (below, emperor's name), tung (right, valid) and pao (left, coin). The reverse shows shih (above, ten) and liang (right, tael, an unity of weight).