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Dating old chinese coins

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Chinese coins were manufactured by being cast in molds, whereas western coins were typically cut and hammered or, in later times, milled.

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This will be a work in progress for some time to come, as we add more types. If we need more information, you will be presented with another selection of choices.They are filled with symbolism and are believed by the multitude of Chinese to have vast powers.The Chinese also produced other "coin-like" pieces such as "horse coins" (马钱), depicting famous historical horses, which were used for games and as gambling tokens.The identification of Chinese cast coins can be difficult, even for those who can read the characters.For the rest of us it can be a very frustrating experience.Other metal coin-shaped pieces traditionally included by collectors in the category of charms are the chess pieces used in Chinese chess also known as For the most part, all these old charms, horse coins and chess pieces were privately cast and their quantities and dates are almost impossible to determine.

Nevertheless, they serve as important cultural artifacts from the life of the common Chinese throughout the centuries.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang, now world famous for his army of terracotta soldiers, was the first person to militarily conquer the various "warring states" and thereby unify China in 221 BC.

He then undertook the task of creating a central government which included unifying scripts, weights and measures as well as standardizing the monetary system.

Ancient Chinese coinage includes some of the earliest known coins.

These coins, used as early as the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BCE), took the form of imitations of the cowrie shells that were used in ceremonial exchanges.

At first, distribution of the coinage was limited to use around the capital city district but by the beginning of the Han Dynasty, coins were widely used for such as when paying tax, salaries and fines.