Five Character Knife Money, China, 5th-1st century BCE

Five Character Knife Money, China, 5th-1st century BCE

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description (Brief)
One (1) Five Character knife money
China, 5th-1st century BCE
Description
Many communities have designed money in the shape of objects that are important to them, such as tools and weapons. They usually do not make them sharp, though. They were only supposed to be used to make payments.
This piece of money shaped like a knife was used in China for a wide range of purchases. It is more than 2,000 years old, making it one of the first coins in world history.
Object Name
knife money
date made
5th - 1st century BCE
place made
China
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 18.8 cm x 2.5 cm x.45 cm; 7 13/32 in x 31/32 in x 3/16 in
ID Number
2017.0116.005
accession number
2017.0116
catalog number
2017.0116.005
Credit Line
Howard F. Bowker Family
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
East Asian Coins
Exhibition
Really BIG Money
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object