This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.
This article contains Manchu script. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of text in Manchu script.

Modern Chinses coins use the Gregorian calendar, but coins from the Qing dynasty use the Sexagenary cycle (SC). The dates are a combination of the emperor's reign and the year in the cycle.

Step 1

Identify the emperor's reign name in Manchu script. The first two words are the name of the emperor (see table below). The second two Manchu words are "aniya-i weilehe", meaning "made in the year of". Other ancient chinese coins may have "boo-yuwan" (Board of Works mint) in Manchu script instead.

Emperor Manchu Chinese Reign (AD)
Guangxu
(Badarangga Doro in Manchu)
ᠪᠠᡩᠠᠷᠠᠩᡤᠠ ᡩᠣᠷᠣ 光緒 1875-1908
Xuantong (Puyi)
(Gehungge yoso in Manchu)
ᡤᡝᡥᡠᠩᡤᡝ ᠶᠣᠰᠣ 宣統 1908-1911

Step 2

Identify two Chinese characters that represent the terms of the Sexagenary Cycle, one from the ten heavenly stems, and one from the twelve earthly branches.

Ten Heavenly Stems
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Twelve Earthly Branches
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Step 3

Keeping in mind the date range from Step 1, see Wikipedia's pages on the Sexagenary Cycle and use the tables to convert. The World Coin Database combines the emperor's reign (in Chinese) and the sexagenary cycle stem-branch to form the SC date. See the examples below.

Image Text Year (SC) Date (AD)
ᠪᠠᡩᠠᠷᠠᠩᡤᠠ ᡩᠣᠷᠣ ᠠᠨᡳᠶᠠᡳ ᠸᡝᡳᠯᡝᡥᡝ 光緒丙午 Jan 25 1906 – Feb 12 1907
ᡤᡝᡥᡠᠩᡤᡝ ᠶᠣᠰᠣ 宣統己酉 Jan 22 1909 – Feb 09 1910