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Chinese coins

Nine-Fold Seal Script Charm

Nine-Fold Seal Script Charm thumbnail

Beginning with the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and extending to the last years of imperial China, government seals were engraved in a very stylized Chinese script known as "nine-fold" seal script. This rounded and convoluted script is both ornate and authoritarian but can be difficult to read by the uninitiated. A few very rare coins cast [...]

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Byzantine Gold Coin Found in Tomb of Emperor Jiemin of Northern Wei thumbnail

Chinese archaeologists recently completed their work excavating an ancient tomb located near Luoyang (洛阳), Henan Province (河南省), according to recent reports in the Chinese press. The archaeologists from the Luoyang Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Artifacts (洛阳市文物考古研究院) can be seen working in the tomb in the image at the left. The archaeologists believe that [...]

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Knife Money from State of Qi Unearthed in Shandong

Knife Money from State of Qi Unearthed in Shandong thumbnail

A farmer working in a field in Shandong Province recently unearthed an ancient knife-shaped form of money from the Warring States period (475 BC - 221 BC), according to a Chinese newspaper article published today. Mr. Jia Qingguang (贾清广) was sifting sand at his farm in Liaocheng (聊城市) in China's eastern province of Shandong when [...]

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Stringing Cash Coins

Stringing Cash Coins thumbnail

Arthur Henderson Smith was a famous American missionary who went to China in 1872.  He worked in Shandong Province until the Boxer Rebellion forced him to flee and take refuge at the Legation Quarter in Peking in 1900. Smith wrote several books about China including "Village Life in China" which was published in 1899. The [...]

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Cycling Across Imperial China

Cycling Across Imperial China thumbnail

Two Americans decided to take a trip. The year was 1890 and Thomas G. Allen Jr. and William L. Sachtleben had just graduated from my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. The "ordinary" ("penny-farthing") bicycle with the very large front wheel and very small back wheel was just beginning to be replaced by the [...]

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World’s Largest Copper Coin Sculpture

World’s Largest Copper Coin Sculpture thumbnail

In the year 621 AD, Emperor Gaozu of the newly established Tang Dynasty introduced a new coin with the inscription kai yuan tong bao (開元通寶) which set a standard that lasted for some 1200 years. Although the last kai yuan tong bao coin was cast many centuries ago, a new kai yuan tong bao coin [...]

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Bricks with Coin Design Discovered in Southern Dynasty Tomb thumbnail

A video broadcast by Hubei TV (HBTV 湖北网台) on August 13, 2013 reports that a tomb dating from the Southern Dynasties was recently unearthed at a construction site in the city of Xiangyang (襄阳). The discovery is considered remarkable because many of the bricks used in the construction of the tomb display the design of [...]

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Carrying Cash in Imperial China

Carrying Cash in Imperial China thumbnail

Isabella Lucy Bird was a famous English explorer, writer and photographer who traveled the world in the late 1800's. She visited China and documented her adventures in a book entitled "Chinese Pictures: Notes on Photographs" written under her married name of Mrs. J.F. Bishop and published by Charles L. Bowman & Co. in the year [...]

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Coins and Charms of the Shui Nationality

Coins and Charms of the Shui Nationality thumbnail

The Shui people (水族) are one of the ethnic minority groups who live mainly in the Sandu Shui Autonomous County (三都水族自治县) of southwest China's Guizhou Province (贵州省). The Shui (Sui) are descendants of the ancient Baiyue (百越) who lived in the area of southern China and northern Vietnam beginning in the first millennium BC. "Shui" [...]

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Rare ‘Three Hole Spade’ Sold at Auction

Rare ‘Three Hole Spade’ Sold at Auction thumbnail

The mystique and rarity surrounding the "three hole spade" (san kong bu 三孔布) is such that many Chinese coin collectors consider it to be "the king of ancient coins". Even though catalogs of ancient Chinese coins have existed for almost 900 years, "three hole spades" from the Warring States period (475-221 BC) are so rare [...]

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Coins from the Han, Tang, Song and Jin dynasties were recently unearthed at a construction site in Dingxi City according to a report published in the May 23, 2013 issue of the Lanzhou Morning News (兰州晨报). Dingxi (定西) is located about 100 km east of Lanzhou (兰州) in China's northwest province of Gansu (甘肃省). The [...]

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China TV Shows Ancient Coin Cache Being Dug Up in Anhui thumbnail

More than 500 pounds of ancient coins have been dug up at a construction site in east China according to news reports by Chinese print and TV media. The site is located in Guzhen County (固镇县) in Anhui Province (安徽省). Chinese archaeologists from the Guzhen County Bureau of Cultural Relics (固镇县文物局) are seen digging up [...]

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