Small Zaoqian Wu Zhu, later Eastern Han period (c.146-190 AD), China (G/F 4.343)

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Two Chinese characters Wu Zhu (=5 Zhu), outer part removed / Blank, no rims. 18mm, 0.96 grams. Gratzer/Fishman "One thousand years of Wu Zhu coinage" #4.343; Hartill 10.17 (different description). 

Scarcer type with a dash over the hole.
These official Eastern Han coins were modified in an interesting way. The existing official coins were cut into two pieces, a narrow outer ring and a smaller inner piece. Only one intact piece could be made from each official large Wu Zhu; the second piece could not be kept undamaged and was probably melted down. The value of the outer piece is thought to have been equal to that of the inner piece because both the inner and outer pieces are often found together. This modification was probably done officially, in time of economic trouble or coin shortage, to increase the amount of coins in circulation. These coins are found in graves dating to Emperor Huan Di and his successors, though the small inner coin might have circulated in later periods as well, and they can be dated to ca.146-190 CE. 
This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.



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