CHINA, EASTERN HAN Dynasty, WU ZHU, bronze, with dots


CHINA, E. HAN Dynasty, 25-221 AD, cash, Obverse: WU ZHU, dot at top edge of hole obv, Reverse: dot top rev, bronze, obv. of GF-B4, rev. of GF-B4,84, VG

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During the Eastern Han period the casting of coins became substantially privatized, and various kinds of marks began to be added. The book “One Thousand Years of Wu Zhu Coinage 118 BC – AD 958,” by Heinz Gratzer and A.M. Fishman, is very useful in attributing the Wu Zhu varieties.

The end of Wang Mang came through a popular revolt. The Han returned, established a new capital, we call this later Han period “Eastern Han.” 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.