Flat handled spade money, Pre-Imperial (770-220 BC)
Wei State, 400 BC
梁充釿金当寽， Rev: 新 Xin (character cut in intaglio)
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Reference: Hartill 3.47
Obv: 梁充釿金当寽 Liang Chong Jin Jin Dang Lue
Rev: 新 Xin (character cut in intaglio)
Weight: 14.11 grams; Size: 54 mm x 35 mm
Cloth coin with a flat head and bridge legs : Liang xin jin bai dang lu.
Warring states period (475-221.BC).
Casting era : The year when king Hui transfered the capital city from An yi to Da liang (339.BC) - The year of fall of Wei kingdom (225.BC).
Casting place : Liang, that is Da liang which was the capital city of Wei Kingdom - present Kai feng city of He nan province.
This coin was made in Da liang after king Hui transfered the capital city from An yi to Da liang (339.BC).
Obverse : Chinese character inscription : Liang xin jin bai dang lu.
Liang means Da liang where this coin was made. xin (= new), jin (= an ancient Chinese unit of weight), bai (= a hundred), dang (= deserve), lu (= an ancient Chinese unit of weight which was used in Han, Wei, Zhao kingdoms). Therefore this inscription means "Liang new jin. One hundred pieces of this coin deserves lu".
|"AN-YI" ||A mint designation. ANYI was a city in central China that was part of the Liang (Wei) dynasty during the 4th century BC but had been under the Ch'in dynasty earlier. |
|"LIANG" ||A mint designation. LIANG was a city in the state of Liang (Wei) to which the capital was moved later in the 4th century BC. |
|"BAN JIN" or "ER BAI DANG LIE" ||Denomination marks indicating a value of 1/2 Jin or 200 to the Lie. |
|"YI JIN" or "BAI DANG LIE" ||Denomination marks indicating a value of 1 Jin or 100 to the Lei. |
|"ER JIN" or "WU SHI DANG LIE" ||Denomination marks indicating a value of 2 Jin or 50 to the Lei. |
HEAVY FLAT SPADES OF THE STATE OF LIANG (Wei)
Around 400 BC flat spades revolutionized the spade currency. Unlike the hollow-handled spades which required a complex multi-piece mold with a casting core in the handle, the flat spades required only a simple two-piece mold, allowing for larger mintages in shorter periods of time. They were sturdy, easier to store and were cast in the three denominations of 1/2, 1 and 2 "jin", making them very suitable for use in everyday transactions. Most of the the early issues name the city of Anyi which was the State of Liang capital early in this period. The later issues usually name the city of Liang to which the capital of the stater of Liang was moved later in the period. There are some very scarce types which name other cities. The denomination can be expressed either directly in jin, or as fractions of the LI with 100 to the LI equal a Jin. This is probably the period when coins came into common use over a wide area of China. Early flat foot spades were called "CH'IEN, which later became a generic term for all types of money.
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