Hartill 1.3 Bronze Cowrie shell money Shang Dyn 1766-1154 BC Earliest Coin China

ANCIENT CHINA

Shang Dynasty 1766-1154 BC

Bronze Cowrie shell money, the Earliest Coin


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Reference: Hartill 1.3

Weight: 5 grams; Size: 24 mm; Material: Bronze

 

 

COWRY AND COWRY IMITATION COINS

By the Shang Dynasty and continuing into the Zhou Dynasty, actual cowry shells were used as a form of money but they fall more into the category of "primitive money" than true coins. Their use far pre-dates the first true coins as shown by Wang on pages 64 and 6