Why were the First Bronze Coins in China Known As Knife Coins?

(Last Updated On: February 14, 2023)

The first bronze coins in China were known as knife coins because they were shaped like knives. Knife coins were used in ancient China from the late 2nd millennium BC to the early 1st millennium BC. They were cast in molds and had a square hole in the center so that they could be strung together.

The first bronze coins in China were known as knife coins because they were shaped like a knife. Knife coins were used during the Zhou dynasty and were made of bronze or copper. The shape of the coin helped it to be easily recognized and also made it difficult to counterfeit.

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Why were the First Zhou Coins Shaped Like Knives And Spades?

The first Zhou coins were shaped like knives and spades because they were based on earlier Chinese coinage. Knife and spade-shaped coins were used in China as early as the 2nd century BCE, and their shape was likely inspired by tools that were already in use at the time. The use of these coins continued until the 1st century BCE when the Zhou dynasty began minting its own currency.

The Zhou coins retained the knife and spade shapes of their predecessors, but they also featured new designs that helped to distinguish them from other Chinese coinage.

What were Ancient Chinese Coins Called?

Ancient Chinese coins were called “banliang” or “sycee”. They were made of bronze and copper and were used as currency during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC). Banliang were the first coins used in China and were oval-shaped with a hole in the center so they could be strung together.

Sycees were also oval-shaped but did not have a hole in the center.

What is Chinese Knife Money?

Chinese knife money is a type of ancient Chinese coinage that was used during the Zhou dynasty. Knife money was so named because it was shaped like a knife, with a handle at one end and a blade at the other. These coins were made from bronze and were used as a medium of exchange in China from around 1200 BC until they were replaced by spade money in the late 7th century BC.

Knife money came in several different sizes, with the largest coins weighing up to two pounds (1 kg). The smallest coins were known as “blade” knives and weighed less than an ounce (28 grams). The most common size of knife coin was the “shoulder” knife, which weighed between one and two ounces (28-56 grams).

The value of these coins depended on their size, with larger coins being worth more than smaller ones. In addition, some knives had marks that indicated that they had been cast by certain mints or workshops, and these coins could be worth more than others. Knife money continued to be used after the introduction of spade money, but it became increasingly rare over time.

By the 3rd century BC, knife money was only used in transactions between private individuals, and not by the government or for paying taxes. Eventually, knife money fell out of use altogether and was replaced by other forms of currency. However, these ancient Chinese coins have remained popular collectibles, and many examples can be found in museums and private collections today.

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What is the First Coin in China?

The first coin in China is called a banliang. It was made of bronze and weighed about 3.6 grams. The word “ban” means “half” and “liang” means “ounce”, so the literal meaning of the term is “half an ounce”.

The banliang was produced during the Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE) and circulated alongside other coins such as the wuzhu and qian. The design of the banliang varied over time, but it typically featured a square hole in the center which allowed it to be strung together with other coins. On one side of the coin was usually an inscription indicating its value, while the other side often featured images or characters from Chinese mythology.

Banliangs were used for large transactions such as buying land or paying taxes, but they were also broken into smaller units for everyday purchases. For example, 8 banliangs could be exchanged for 1 jin (斤, a unit of weight equal to 0.5 kg) of grain, or 10 banliangs could be used to buy a horse. In 2006, a hoard of more than 2,000 banliangs was found in Gansu province.

This discovery has helped scholars learn more about this important early Chinese coinage.

Why were the First Bronze Coins in China Known As Knife Coins?

Credit: www.science.org

Chinese Knife Money Value

If you’re a fan of ancient Chinese history, then you’ve probably heard of knife money. Knife money was used as currency in China during the Zhou dynasty (circa 1046-256 BCE) and consisted of bronze knives with a hole in the handle through which a cord could be strung. The knives were of various sizes, with the larger ones being worth more than the smaller ones.

So, what was knife money actually used for? Well, according to historical records, it was primarily used for large transactions, such as buying land or paying taxes. For example, in one record from 722 BCE, a man paid 2 large knives and 40 small knives to buy some land.

In another record from 648 BCE, a man paid 8 large knives and 2 small knives as tax payment. As you can see, knife money was clearly valued quite highly back in ancient China. So what does that mean for its value today?

Well, unfortunately, due to its relatively recent origins (compared to other forms of currency), there aren’t many examples of knife money still around today. As a result, it’s difficult to put an exact value on it. However, based on its historical use and rarity, experts believe thatknife money would be worth a considerable amount if it were still in circulation today.

Why were the First Bronze Coins in China Known As Knife Coins?

Old Chinese Coins Identification

If you’re a coin collector or just someone who’s stumbled across an old Chinese coin, you may be wondering how to identify it. Though there are many different types of old Chinese coins, there are some general tips that can help you narrow down the possibilities. First, take a look at the coin’s size and shape.

Old Chinese coins were typically round with a square hole in the center. They came in a variety of sizes, but most were between 2 and 3 inches in diameter. If your coin is significantly larger or smaller than this, it’s probably not an old Chinese coin.

Next, look at the characters on the coin. If you can’t read them yourself, try asking someone who knows Mandarin or another Chinese dialect. These characters will usually tell you what dynasty the coin is from (if it’s from ancient China) and what its value was.

From there, you can start to research more specific information about your particular coin. But even if you can’t identify every last detail about it, hopefully, these tips will help you get started!

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Ancient Chinese Coins

The ancient Chinese coins were a type of round coin with a square hole in the center. The use of such coins dates back to at least the 8th century BC. In China, these coins were used for everyday currency as well as for special occasions like weddings and funerals.

Ancient Chinese coins come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and weights. The most common size was about 3 cm in diameter and had a weight of about 4 grams. Some ancient Chinese coins were made from bronze while others were made from iron.

The composition of the alloy varied depending on when the coin was made and where it was minted. For example, early Chinese coins from the state of Qin were made from an alloy that contained a high percentage of copper. Later on, iron became the primary metal used for manufacturing Chinese coins.

One interesting thing about ancient Chinese coins is that they were often cast in molds instead of being struck by hand or machine. This allowed for mass production which helped to meet the demand for currency during periods of high economic activity. It also meant that many different people could have contributed to the making of a single coin without having to be highly skilled artisans themselves.

Today, ancient Chinese coins are considered valuable cultural artifacts by both collectors and historians alike.

Chinese Knife Money for Sale

If you’re in the market for some authentic Chinese knife money, then you’ve come to the right place! Here at Chinese Knife Money for Sale, we have a wide selection of these unique and interesting coins for you to choose from. So, what is Chinese knife money?

Well, it’s a type of coin that was used in ancient China as a form of currency. These coins were usually made from bronze or copper, and they had a hole in the center so that they could be strung together on a cord. The knives that were used as part of this currency system were actually double-edged blades with a handle on one end and a blunt end on the other.

Interestingly, the use of knife money dates all the way back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC). It’s thought that this type of currency got its name because early examples were often made using old bronze knives. Over time, these coins became more standardized in both their appearance and their size.

So, if you’re looking for some authentic Chinese knife money to add to your collection or simply want to learn more about this fascinating aspect of ancient coinage, then be sure to check out our website today!

Ancient Chinese Coins Value

In ancient China, coins were used as a form of currency. The value of coins depended on the material they were made of and their weight. The most common materials used for coins were bronze and copper.

Coins could also be made of gold, silver, or jade. The value of a coin also depended on its size. The larger the coin, the more valuable it was.

This is because it took more time and effort to produce a large coin than a small one. Coins were usually round with a square hole in the center. This allowed them to be strung together into strings or belts.

Each string or belt contained a certain number of coins that represented a certain value. For example, 100 coins might represent 1 tael (a unit of measurement). Ancient Chinese coins typically had images of animals or mythical creatures stamped onto them.

These images were meant to represent different aspects of Chinese culture and beliefs.

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Chinese Coin With Square Hole Meaning

The Chinese have a long and rich history of using coins with square holes in the center. These coins were first used during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC) and continued to be used throughout China’s Imperial period. The square hole was designed so that the coin could be strung together with other coins, making them easier to carry around.

The Chinese refer to these coins as yuánbǐ (元币), which means “primary currency.” In ancient times, yuánbǐ were made from bronze and copper. They were often used as a form of exchange for goods and services.

For example, one could trade 10 yuánbǐ for a horse or 100 yuánbǐ for a piece of silk. Today, you can still find yuánbǐ being used in some parts of China. However, they are now mostly considered collector’s items due to their age and historical significance.

If you’re ever in China, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for these unique coins!

Chinese Coins Identification And Price Guide

There are a few different ways that you can identify Chinese coins. The first is by their size, as Chinese coins are generally much smaller than other coins from around the world. Another way to identify Chinese coins is by their weight, as they tend to be much lighter than other coins as well.

Finally, you can also identify Chinese coins by their inscription, as most of them will have characters on them that are specific to China. Once you have identified a coin as being from China, you will then want to start looking at its price. The value of a Chinese coin will depend on a number of factors, including its age, condition, and rarity.

For example, an older and more rare coin is likely to be worth more than a newer and more common coin. Likewise, a coin in better condition is also likely to be worth more than one that is in poorer condition. If you are interested in collecting Chinese coins, or if you already have some in your collection, then this guide will help you determine their value.

With a little bit of research, you should be able to find out exactly how much your Chinese coins are worth!


The first bronze coins in China were known as knife coins because they were shaped like knives. The Chinese believed that the shape of the coin would bring good luck and fortune.



This is Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife enthusiast and Specializes in Japanese Knives from the experiences of testing, reviewing, and researching last 5 years. I create this site to document my passion and love for kitchen knives and the cutting experiences of various types of knives used in my daily life. I really strive to provide you all with the most accurate and helpful information on knives around the world.