While the Government was trying to restrict the operation of the several mints, it was confronted by a further difficulty on account of insufficiency of copper coins; the relation between silver and copper was almost abnormal and an edict was issued early in February 1902 authorizing the Yangtsze provinces and those on the sea board to coin the new copper Yuan on the model of those struck at the provincial mint of Kiangsu. These new coins were neat and without a square hole, and naturally the people took to them very rapidly and an enormous amount of Yuans were put into circulation within a few years. The issues of these copper coins were very profitable to the mints; but on the other hand they complicated the currency problem by heavily depreciating in value.