Coin Tree Mold, China, 1862-1874

Description (Brief):

One (1) coin tree

Description (Brief)

China, 1862-1874

The saying “money doesn’t grow on trees” clearly didn’t originate in China, because until the late 19th century, this actually was the case. Quite different from the method of striking coins popularized in Europe, Chinese coin makers would manufacture coins by pouring molten metal into master molds. When the metal cooled, the new coins were connected to a rod made from metal that had cooled in the middle of the cast, rather than in a coin mold. The result resembled branches stemming from the trunk of a tree, earning the name, “Coin Tree.” The cooled metal coins would then be carefully broken off from the metal rod and sanded down to create the finished products.

Date Made: 1862 - 1874

Place Made: ChinaAssociated Place: China

See more items in: Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, East Asian Coins

Exhibition: The Value of Money

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Publication: Feingold, Ellen R.. Value of Money, The

Credit Line: Chase Manhattan Bank

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: NU.79.112.CM00337Accession Number: 1979.1263Collector/Donor Number: CM00337Catalog Number: 79.112.CM00337

Object Name: coin tree

Physical Description: metal (overall material)Measurements: overall: 60.3 cm x 5.9 cm x 2.6 cm; 23 3/4 in x 2 5/16 in x 1 1/32 in


Record Id: nmah_910239

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