H4.3 RARE China Qi State knife money 400-220 BC Ji Mo Fa Hua, 4 characters Jimo knife
RARE ANCIENT Qi State knife money
Spring and Autumn period (400-220 BC )
Ji Mo Fa Hua, 4 characters knife
The authorized currency of Jimo
Reference: Hartill 4.3
Obv: Ji Mo Fa Hua (Ji Mo Legal Money)
Qi Knif Money, 400-220 BC
Weight: 30 grams; Size: 150 mm; Bronze
The Five Character Knives with the inscription ji mo fa hua (即墨法化), translating as “Ji Mo Legal Money”, were cast in Jimo which was located in what is now Pingdu in Shandong Province.
Qi knives: These large knives are attributed to the State of Qi, and are found in the Shandong area. They do not appear to have circulated much outside of this area. Although there has been considerable controversy concerning the date of their issue, archaeology shows them to be products of the Warring States period. They are known as Three Character Knives, Four Character Knives and so on, according to the number of characters in their inscriptions. Some consider the three horizontal lines and the mark below on some reverses are part of the inscription. The inscription refers to the establishment of the State of Qi. This could have been in 1122 BC, 894 BC, 685 BC, or 386 BC, depending on how one interprets the early histories. The two later dates are the most likely for the introduction of these coins. The alloy of the Three Character Knives contains around 54% copper, 38% lead, and 8% tin. The Four and Five Character Knives contain about 70% copper.
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