Ancient Wu Zhu cash, late Eastern Han period, ca.146-190 CE, China (G/F p.64)

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Two large Chinese characters Wu Zhu (=5 zhus) with a typical rounded "zhu" / Blank, inside and outside rims. 25mm, 2.03 grams. Hartill #10.2; Gratzer/Fishman "One thousands years of Wu Zhu coinage" p.64. SKU DD297-46286

These coins were cast using old Eastern Han Wu Zhus as mother cash - as a result, these late coins are crude, poorly cast and usually have surface problems. This is a very nice example.

In the period following the reign of Emperor Huan Di (AD 146-168), many Wu Zhus were cast privately all over China. Because they were cast in numerous foundries all over the empire and were not issued by a single authority, the weight, size, and quality of the cast coins varied greatly. Many of the full-sized coins have an official look to them, but they are still of unofficial casting. They seem to have been cast using the old coins of the previous Eastern Han emperors as mother coins, with the molds often modified to include additional marks such as “stars,” dashes, and various Chinese characters, both in incuse and in relief.

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