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Coins and Gambling Tokens

When the Taiping rebellion against the Manchu Dynasty broke out in China in 1851, Chinese workers streamed to Gum San ("Gold Mountain"), their name for California. In their packs and pockets the men brought Chinese coins that are now found commonly in the excavations of their California settlements and work areas.

The Yema-po excavations yielded 26 Asian coins. These coins provide insights into at least three aspects of life at Yema-po and in late nineteenth century China:

These coin Web pages are indebted to the research performed by Martha Barnes, Sabina Morganti, Marge Simkins, Lyssa Stapleton, Sue Ware and published in:

Miller, George R., Lyssa Stapleton, Martha Barnes and Sabina Morganti
1998 The Coins and Gambling Tokens. In Yema-po: The Overseas Chinese
and the Construction of the San Leandro Dam, edited by George R. Miller.
C.E. Smith Occasional Paper in Anthropology, No. 2. California State
University, East Bay.

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