Small "Bei" ant-nose cash coin, State of Chu, 400-220 BCE, China H#1.4

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One uncertain Chinese character which has been read as "Jin" ("money") or "Bei" ("Shell", a possible reference to the cowrie shells) / Blank. 13mm long, 0.67 grams. Issued ca.400-220 BC. Schjoth #15-17; Hartill 1.4. 

High quality example, rare this nice. These were cast in a mixture of copper, tin and lead, soft alloy which did not preserve well and most of these coins are found corroded.

These bronze pieces with inscriptions are known as 蚁鼻钱 Yi Bi Qian (Ant Nose Money) or 鬼脸钱 Gui Lian Qian (Ghost Face Money) were definitely used as money. They have been found in hoards, strung up, like the later cash with holes, in the areas to the south of the Yellow River corresponding to the State of Chu in the Warring States period. Their weight is very variable, and their alloy often contains a high proportion of lead. The name Ant (and) Nose refers to the appearance of the inscriptions. It is likely that these coins were actually meant to imitate the cowrie shells which were used as money for centuries earlier.

This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.



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