CHINA, 206 BC – 7 AD, so-called Tung Ten BAN LIANG

$65.00

CHINA, WESTERN HAN Dynasty, 206 BC – 7 AD, cash, Obverse: BAN LIANG, blob bottom obv., Reverse: flat, bronze, 24mm, 2.79g, Schjöth calls the blob “illegible inscriptions.” I have seen these referred to as “Tung Ten Ban Liang,” H7.17v, S101v, ex-Fisher collection, crusty, F

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Description

The Ban Liang coins, originally half of a Chinese ounce, shrank and grew through several centuries before being replaced by the Wu Zhu.

At the end Zhou period Qin state became dominant. Qin Shi Huangdi became first Emperor of united China. The Han Dynasty followed, China grew prosperous. A minister, Wang Mang, usurped the throne 7-25 AD. His administrative experimentation brought famine and war. Han returned. The political situation deteriorated until China broke up into independent regions.

The oldest Chinese coins are at least as old as the earliest Greek coins. The Chinese coinage system differed from other systems in two ways. It was monometallic, only bronze coins circulated in general commerce. Gold and silver were treated as commodities. And the manufacturing method was by casting in moulds rather than by striking heated solid planchets. The main reference I use in attributing and describing these coins is the book: Chinese Cast Coins, by David Hartill.