Interesting Facts about Ancient Chinese Coins

Mar 10 08:46 2009 Henry Fong Print This Article

Ancient Chinese coins date back to 2000 BC during the Xia dynasty. There are still coins used today, but then they varied in size and shape and were used for many different things.

Ancient Chinese coins have a long history dating as far back as 2000 BC when China was ruled by the Xia dynasty. These coins had many different variations. From size,Guest Posting shape, to design. These coins were unique with each passing dynasty.

The Western Zhou and Shang eras brought us several ancient Chinese coins. In the beginning, the first coins were known as cowry money. When they first came out, the were only made of shells, but eventually they were made from bone. In 221 BC, the cowry was made illegal.

When the Warring States and Spring-Autumn dynasties came into effect, we were introduced to many new coins. Hollow-shaft spade coins are one example of this. One of the other coins that was unusually interesting looked somewhat like a knife. These very large "coins" had a hole at one end for the purposes of stringing them together. These specific coins, "The Ming", are the namesake of the famous city. The "Bu" spade coin also came from this era also. Some of the very first circular coins came from this rime frame as well.

Between 221 BC and 207 BC was the Qin dynasty. This was the first time they used precious metals such as bronze and gold to make coins. These were not the first metal coins by any means, however. Metal coins existed between 600 BC and 300 BC during the Pre-Chou and Chou dynasties.

"Pan Liang" style coins were in service for an extremely long period of time. It is very possible that they were in use up to 2000 years. In some areas they were in use all the way until 1911 AD. The coins were made in the later years of the BC era, somewhere between 140 and 118 BC. These round coins have a square hole in the middle.

Over 220,000 strings of 1000 coins each were made during the first century of the Han dynasty. This is because minting coins was turned into a state monopoly. Casting coins in bronze started in the Western Han. This made it easy to standardize coins.

The Wu-Ch'U were introduced under the Emperor Yuan- shou. This coin was much like the Pan Liang except the rim was raised to prevent filling. This kept the coin from wearing out as quickly as the coins before it. This coin became used over the next 6 centuries in various forms.

One coin used during the Mongol period between 1280-1368 was a round coin with a square in the middle. It had many intricate designs. This coin was stopped from use very quickly due to people hoarding them. They were given a time period to return them or be punished.

Ancient Chinese coins very old, very detailed history. There have been so many unique unusually shaped coins. The coins have had many different materials. Many of the coins eventually became formed metal. The coins details all came from the current dynasty's rulers.

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Henry Fong
Henry Fong

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