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  • Delivery in 3 - 6 days. Orders over $50 ship free!
  • You will recieve the exact item shown.

Item Description:

Includes glass top display box.

  • Origin: Imperial China
  • Authority: Xin Dynasty
  • Ruler: Wang Mang, the sole emperor of the Xin dynasty
  • Material: Bronze
  • Denomination: 25 Huo Quan (equal to 25 smaller bronze coins)
  • Type Number: Hartill 9.30 in Cast Chinese Coins by David Hartill, the standard English language reference work for Chinese numismatics
  • Obverse Design: 貨布 (huo bu, or money spade) written in bronzeware script, vertical line between characters
  • Reverse Design: Blank

Spade money (Chinese: 布幣 or bù bì) is a rare form of early Chinese proto-money that entered the historical record around 1200 BCE, before the widespread adoption of coins in China.

They demonstrate a link between bartering with farming tools and the use of true money, as early forms of spade money were meant to resemble functional tools and even included sockets to be fitted onto wood handles. Gradually though, spade money became thinner, flatter, and less utilitarian, a path that would lead to the evolution of standard coinage.

Spade money was abolished in favor of Ban Liang coins during the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE. However, the currency was briefly reintroduced during the Xin dynasty under the rule of Wang Mang, who seized China from the Han dynasty for about 14 years. The piece of spade money shown in this listing comes from this time period.

Ex-Classical Numismatic Group item.

All purchases include a Certificate of Authenticity. You will receive the exact item in this photo, along with a glass top leatherette display box.

Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.

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