Large bridge money - earliest coins of Eastern Zhou dynasty (771-221 BC), China

Regular price US$ 78.95

Shipping calculated at checkout.

Beautiful original patina, great condition, no repairs. 127mm wide, 7.54 grams. Cf. Zeno 148808; BM (Chinese Coins) #- (chapter 1). SKU hv8020


The piercing is original - these were strung together, like the later holed cash. The "Bridge Money" is a misnomer - these were miniature imitations in bronze of a Chinese musical instrument called a "qing". Traditionally these were made of jade or a similar stone. They were made sometime during the Eastern Chou period (770-220 BC). Since then many have been excavated in Szechuan (Sichuan) and some researchers think they are the money of either the Ba kingdom or the Shu kingdom. In the work of Coole (Coole, A. B., "An encyclopaedia of Chinese coins", Denver, 1967) these pieces are discussed under "Odd shaped mediums of exchange" where he suggests they were used in the transitional period between the "bartering age and the coin age". Such examples were made in many shapes and resembled various valuable utensils and objects of the period including bells, knives, spades etc. Such examples are representative of the earliest phase of money-like exchange known in the world, and considering not much is definitively understood of these objects, they are perhaps best referred to as examples of proto-money.

This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.