South China Sea Chinese Shipwreck Bronze 1 Cash Coin 2 Pack 618-627 AD | Artifact #G3054

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1400-Year-Old Chinese Shipwreck Coins (they're said to be Good Luck!)

Chinese treasure coins like these were minted during China’s dynasties from 250 BC through 1911 AD. They are 1 and 2 Cash coins, made of bronze and used for trade throughout the Orient. These coins were cast (made in a mold) so the square holes helped hold them in place on a wooden dowel for filing. These coins have been considered “Lucky” for centuries, and were often brought back from Asia by visitors for luck!

Your Chinese 1 Cash Shipwreck Coins:

  • Denomination: 1 Cash
  • Date: Tang Dynasty 618-627 AD
  • Coin Metal: Bronze

Historians believe that the Chinese first started using cowry shells for money near the end of the Xia Dynasty (about 4,200 years ago).  But due to their rarity (they had to be brought from the South China Seas), imitation shells were carved from jade, bone and other materials.  Towards the end of the Shang Dynasty (1766 – 1154 B.C.) bronze shells started to be produced, and are regarded as the first metal coinage in human history, pre-dating the coins minted by the Lydians (of modern day western Turkey) about 600 B.C.

The shell money transitioned into currency of different shapes; bridge money, fish money (fish meaning prosperity in many cultures), spade and knife money, are a few examples.  Circular coins with holes in the middle came into use about 350 B.C., and were issued for over 2,000 years, by every major ruler and many rebels and pretenders, ending with the Qing (Ch’ing) Dynasty in 1911.

Learn more about these fascinating Chinese Cash Coins here>