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Ten “Half-Ounce” Coins (Banliang)


Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE)

Not on view

The Qin economy was monetarized in the mid-fourth century, and over time many different types of bronze coin were in circulation. This mold may date from 210 B.C., when the First Emperor ordered the issue of greater numbers of “half-ounce” coins. The Qin also used standard-sized bolts of cloth as a medium of exchange, with one length of cloth equaling eleven coins. The Han generally followed Qin monetary policy and, under Emperor Wu (r. 141–87 B.C.), issued a new type of bronze coin, the wuzhu, consolidating production in 114 B.C.

Ten “Half-Ounce” Coins (Banliang), Bronze, China

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