ANCIENT CHINESE bronze chuan “bead” money


CHINA, ZHOU Dynasty, 1122-255 BC, chuan “bead” money, Obverse: 6 half beads on spine, bronze, about 10x45mm, about 4g,

2 in stock

SKU: 2106148135 Categories: ,


There are a variety of small bronze items that have been speculatively considered to have been some kind of local money, but they are not mentioned in the classical Chinese monetary and numismatic books. Notwithstanding, some of these objects are found in such large quantities that it seems reasonable to consider them as money objects. The idea that enigmatic bronze objects were early forms of Chinese “money” was popularized in Europe by a monograph written by H. A. Ramsden in 1912.

Zhou dynasty was a confederation of little kingdoms with a figurehead Emperor. Various constituent states started using money in their commercial activities. Odd shaped coins such as spade, knife, ant, nose, yibi, and possible money items like fish and cicada money were followed by the early round coins.