Chinese coin found in Yukon evidence of early east-west link

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A 340-year-old coin from China has been unearthed by archeologists near a planned Yukon gold mine, shedding fresh light on historic trade links between 17th-century Chinese merchants, Russian fur traders and first nations in the northwest corner of North America.

The coin is etched with traditional Chinese characters indicating it was minted during the Qing Dynasty reign of Emperor Kangxi, who ruled China from 1662 to 1722. But other information stamped on the money piece - which has a large central hole and four smaller ones - shows it was minted in China's Zhili province between 1667 and 1671.

The coin was discovered during a dig near Western Copper and Gold Corp.'s proposed Casino mine site about 300 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse. A heritage impact assessment for the Vancouver mining company was being conducted by Ecofor Consulting Ltd., based in B.C. and Yukon, when the find was made....

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