I have over 40 years experience with Chinese coins and buy only from reliable suppliers in the United States. Some of China's first coins were made to look like a knife, so that people would think of them as money, but they lacked a sharp blade. A hole was included for easy stringing.
The earliest coinage of Asia is also the oldest coinage of the world. The earliest coins from the Mediterranean region are from the kingdom of Lydiaand are now dated ca. The dating of the earliest coins of China and India is difficult and the subject of debate.
In the late Neolithic China, precious stones, brick tea, silk, and cowry shells were used as a medium of exchange. About years ago, Chinese coins were cast and widely circulated in the Zhou Dynasty. Ever since then, the cast coins became the most common form of ancient Chinese currency.
China has a very long tradition of using coins. The same design of coinage lasted 2, years and it was the first country to introduce paper money. The quality and value of coinage reflected the fortunes of the ruling dynasty, a decline in fortunes led to devalued and debased currency. Cowrie shells were used as currency back in the Shang dynasty.
In ancient China, coins were used as currency instead of paper money. Ancient coins were mainly made of copper, iron, gold and silver with different shapes, weight and marks. Ancient coins played an important role in archaeology, as well as exploring the history of commercial and economy in ancient China.
The identification of Chinese cast coins can be difficult, even for those who can read the characters. For the rest of us it can be a very frustrating experience. The purpose of this part of our site is to make the process easier.
These coins are round in shape and have a square or rectangle cavity in center. Coins are engraved with Chinese calligraphy that has certain meanings. These coins were introduced around BCE.
In ancient China, coins were the main forms of currency. These coins can be made of copper, iron, lead, gold and silver with different shapes, weight and marks. Different from equivalents like draught animals, textiles and shells, ancient coins play an important role in archaeology, that they not only have the reference value to judge the history of relics or remains, but also are significant materials for researching the history of commercial economy in ancient times. Because draught animals and cereals are difficult to deposit and divide, Chinese forebears used shells as a medium of exchange and unit of account in commerce during the last phase of the primitive society.
Ancient Chinese coinage includes some of the earliest known coins. These coins, used as early as the Spring and Autumn period — BCEtook the form of imitations of the cowrie shells that were used in ceremonial exchanges. The Spring and Autumn period also saw the introduction of the first metal coins; however, they were not initially round, instead being either knife shaped or spade shaped.