These are old, cast, cash coins from the Ming Dynasty of China. The four characters on the front of the coin are chong (sometimes chung or ch'ung) zhen (sometimes chen) tong bao and correspond the Emperor Si Zong who ruled from 1628 to 1644. There are various reverse sides, including plain reverse, gong, guan, yu and zhi characters. Denominations include 1, 2, 5, and 10 cash, with weights ranging from 2.5 to 12 grams. The picture shows a 5 cash coin.
The nice example in our picture comes from Stephen Album Rare Coins in Santa Rosa, California USA, where it sold for $85 US dollars during a 2016 auction. As always, CoinQuest thanks Steve Album for use of his nice coin photo.
Values of these coins vary with condition (as always), with denomination, and also with the specific reverse. If you have a nice-looking specimen, it warrants further research and first-hand inspection by a numismatic professional. We give only general guidance here.
CHONG ZHEN TONG BAO
worn: $50 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $120
well preserved: $300