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

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

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Description (Brief)
One (1) Five Character knife money
China, 5th-1st century BCE
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
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
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
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Howard F. Bowker Family
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
East Asian Coins
Really BIG Money
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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