Coin charm(別錢)

Coin charm

Headword

별전 ( 別錢 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer KimChangho(金昌鎬)

Coins issued to commemorate some particular event or issue rather than for wide circulation as currency.

This type of commemorative coin was first made on a trial basis to measure the purity level of the material with which coins were made. As the special coins gained popularity, decorative motifs began to appear on the coins according to the demands of the royal court and ruling class. The motifs used to decorate the coins were animals, plants, Chinese characters, and human figures associated with longevity, happiness, wealth, and honor.

The animal motifs were those believed to bring good fortune and repel disaster and evil spirits such as deer, bats, fish, birds, turtles, cranes, dragons, and phoenixes. Fish and bats were particularly popular.

Among the plant motifs, grapes and peaches were most favored as they were symbols of fertility. The pine tree and mushroom of immortality were also frequently used, as they symbolized longevity. Plum blossoms and bamboo were also favored, as they were symbols of the noble spirit of Confucian scholars.

Chinese characters were also used widely for their decorative and symbolic value. Most favored characters included su (壽), da-nam-ja (多男子), gang-nyeong (康寧) and bu-gwi (富貴), which mean longevity, abundance of male children, health and comfort, and wealth and honor, repspectively.

Human figures were comparatively few. Some coins carried the design of a boy with two topknots, while others a man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse. Considering that the boy with two topknots traditionally appeared as a page of the Daoist immortals, the coins decorated with such a motif were likely made under Daoist influence. Meanwhile, the motif of a couple in sexual intercourse seems to represent wishes for fertility and abundance.

These designs were used either separately or jointly.

Byeoljeon was hence a coin originally made as a commemorative object. Later, however, several of these coins were joined together to be used as decorative objects or practical items such as key holders. The coins were decorative items reflecting people’s aspirations and charms to ward off evil.

Coin charm

Coin charm
Headword

별전 ( 別錢 )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Rites of Passage > Korean Rites of Passage > Chulsaenguirye

Writer KimChangho(金昌鎬)

Coins issued to commemorate some particular event or issue rather than for wide circulation as currency.

This type of commemorative coin was first made on a trial basis to measure the purity level of the material with which coins were made. As the special coins gained popularity, decorative motifs began to appear on the coins according to the demands of the royal court and ruling class. The motifs used to decorate the coins were animals, plants, Chinese characters, and human figures associated with longevity, happiness, wealth, and honor.

The animal motifs were those believed to bring good fortune and repel disaster and evil spirits such as deer, bats, fish, birds, turtles, cranes, dragons, and phoenixes. Fish and bats were particularly popular.

Among the plant motifs, grapes and peaches were most favored as they were symbols of fertility. The pine tree and mushroom of immortality were also frequently used, as they symbolized longevity. Plum blossoms and bamboo were also favored, as they were symbols of the noble spirit of Confucian scholars.

Chinese characters were also used widely for their decorative and symbolic value. Most favored characters included su (壽), da-nam-ja (多男子), gang-nyeong (康寧) and bu-gwi (富貴), which mean longevity, abundance of male children, health and comfort, and wealth and honor, repspectively.

Human figures were comparatively few. Some coins carried the design of a boy with two topknots, while others a man and woman engaged in sexual intercourse. Considering that the boy with two topknots traditionally appeared as a page of the Daoist immortals, the coins decorated with such a motif were likely made under Daoist influence. Meanwhile, the motif of a couple in sexual intercourse seems to represent wishes for fertility and abundance.

These designs were used either separately or jointly.

Byeoljeon was hence a coin originally made as a commemorative object. Later, however, several of these coins were joined together to be used as decorative objects or practical items such as key holders. The coins were decorative items reflecting people’s aspirations and charms to ward off evil.