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Ten Disk-Shaped Ingots


Western Han dynasty (206 BCE–9 CE)

Not on view

The use of gold as money in China can be traced back to the Warring States period (475–221 B.C.). Following the standardization of coinage after the Qin unification, round bronze coins entered regular circulation, and gold became an upscale currency. One of its major uses was as annual tribute from princes and marquises to the central government. These ten gold ingots were among 219 pieces discovered about 4 kilometers east of the site of the Han capital, Chang’an. Each weighs roughly 250 grams, equal to one jin in the Han system.

Ten Disk-Shaped Ingots, Gold, China

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