Brass Chinese

by admin on November 6, 2008

Brass Chinese

Brass Chinese

Chinese Coins - silver panda coin obverse side country of china

Traditionally, Chinese money coins were cast in copper, brass or iron. In the mid 1800s, the coins were made from three parts copper and two parts lead. Cast silver coins were periodically produced but are significantly rarer. Cast gold coins are also known to exist but are very rare.

Chinese money coins originated from the barter of farming tools and agricultural surpluses. Around 1200 BC, smaller token spades, hoes, and knives began to be used to conduct smaller exchanges with the tokens later melted down to supply real farm implements. These tokens came to be used as media of exchange themselves and were known as spade cash and knife money.

The earlier coins were cast to weight standards in a direct relationship with the denominations, so if you weighted a coin at twelve grams it was almost certain a 1 Liang (or 1 Jin) denomination. During the Chin Dynasty, around about 250 BC, this modified and be begin to see coins issued with denomination marks that bare no relationship to the particular weight of the coin. This is best seen on the Ban liang (1/2 Liang) coins of the State of Jaw which can vary in weight significantly but the earliest enormous diameter issues weigh at least six grams (and often significantly more), but the size and weight steadily fell and when they were last issued in the Han Dynasty are typically seen at three grams or maybe less, but still with the Ban Liang denomination on them.

The Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese all cast their own copper cash in the second part of the second millennium similar to those employed by China.

The last money coins were struck, not cast, in the reign of the Qing Xuantong Emperor just before the fall of the Empire in 1911. The coin continued to be used unofficially in China till the mid twentieth century.

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Just wanted to share this story I recently read. What do you think of it?

Under a cultural-exchange program, my family was host to a rabbi from Russia at Christmas time. We decided to introduce him to a culinary treat that was probably not available in his country: we took him to our favorite Chinese restaurant.
Throughout the meal, the rabbi spoke excitedly about the wonders of our country in comparison to the bleak conditions in his homeland. When we'd finished eating, the waiter brought the check and presented each of us with a small brass Christmas-tree ornament as a seasonal gift.
We all laughed when my father pointed out that the ornaments were stamped "Made in India." But the laughter subsided when we saw that the rabbi was quietly crying. Concerned, my father asked him if he was offended because he'd been given a gift for a Christian holiday.
He smiled, shook his head, and said, "Nyet. I was shedding tears of joy to be in a wonderful country in which a Buddhist gives a Jew a Christmas gift made by a Hindu!"

Oddly enough, this atheist cynic finds it a pretty good story.

Thanks for sharing it.

Back in June I was visiting a Muslim family out in the countryside in Morocco, and I noticed on the wall several posters. They seemed to be the only mass-produced objects in the entire village. Two of them were of the pilgrimage to Mecca, and another was a "family tree" kind of thing, showing the relationships between Adam and Eve and the later old Testament characters such as Moses and Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammed. I've never seen anything like it before - a great illustration of why Islam is counted among the "Abrahamic" religions.

But the best part was that next to the family tree, someone had pasted a set of stickers showing the members of the Moroccan soccer team.

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