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Hartill 6.25 ANCIENT CHINA Zhou Dynasty 700 BC -255 BC Yi Liu Huo, Yi 6 Huo ANCI

Hartill 6.25 ANCIENT CHINA Zhou Dynasty 700 BC -255 BC Yi Liu Huo, Yi 6 Huo


Zhou Dynasty 700 BC - 255 BC.

Yi Liu Huo, Yi 6 Huo; Nice and Rare

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Reference: Hartill 6.25

Weight: 10 grams; Size: 35 mm; Bronze



Early round coin with square hole Obverse: "YI Liu HUO" (YI Six Huo). Note the strongly developed outer and less developed inner rims.

This "YI" series of square-holed round coins is very simple, being composed of a single basic type issued in the four denominations of 1, 2, 4 and 6 huo. Here again "HUO" is used as a monetary unit rather than a term for knife money. This is another series for which the dating is uncertain (somewhere between late Zhou and early Han) and we would be very interested in hearing the details of any hoard in which these are found alongside other coins.

Much of the current literature lists the character for "I" as a variation on the character "Pao" (money), to which it does have a strong resemblance. Wang (pages 188, 189) makes a convincing argument for the proper reading as the city name "I", the ancient county seat of the county of Han in the state of Ch'i, a site just northwest of Shou-kuang in the northeast of Shantung province.


Early square-holed round coins seem to be found exclusively in areas associated with knife money. They come in two distinct series, the relatively common "MING" types that appear to be related to the ming knifes, and the much scarcer "I" series which seem to represent the issues of a single mint called "I". The only inscriptions they have is their monetary designation of "HUO", a character which has come to mean "knife money", but which had also become a unit of denomination by the time these coins were issued.

Dating this series is difficult, although it is likely that they are much later than the round hole coins with which they have very little in common and are probably not related. It is possible, and for the "I" types even probable, that they were cast in the late Ch'in or Han periods and should not be included in this discussion of Zhou period coins. It is also likely that the earliest Pan Liang coins (currently discussed under the Ch'in Dynasty) predate the Ming and "I" round coins and should be included here.






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Hartill 6.25 ANCIENT CHINA Zhou Dynasty 700 BC -255 BC Yi Liu Huo, Yi 6 Huo ANCI

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