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Chinese paper money

Chinese Burial Money

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Beginning in very ancient times, the Chinese included money among the objects buried with the deceased. This burial money was referred to as yi qian (瘗钱), meaning “buried money”, or ming qian (冥钱), meaning “dark money”. The money was to be used by the deceased in the afterlife to make life more comfortable.  It was [...]


Carrying Cash in Republican China

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My recent post entitled “Carrying Cash in Imperial China” illustrated the inconvenience of carrying “cash” coins at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Surprisingly, carrying cash in the 40 to 50 years that followed continued to be inconvenient even though paper money replaced coins as the primary form of money. Due to the severe inflation [...]

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Chinese Birthday Banknotes

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According to recent reports, the Chinese have been looking for new gift ideas for the major holidays which differ from the more traditional gifts of wine, cigarettes, moon cakes, etc. Of course, the most traditional gift has always been the giving of paper money in a red envelope. In line with the rapidly rising standard [...]