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Item:312724904880Smaller round pieces of jade in shape of coins (bi) are found in tombs from the Western Han period. This type is the latest, made of polished jade. A piece of jade carved into a shape of a coin, with a hole for stringing. 35mm in diameter, 6.81 grams, carved out of a thick piece of jade. SKU Q61-48186 The origin of the round coins is very obscure, but it seems they appeared around 400 BC or perhaps slightly later. Some different opinions still exist on many aspects of the earliest round coins such as their origin, casting time and locale, their evolution and denominations. The likeliest, and the generally accepted current theory is that the earliest coins were modeled after jade rings called Yubi 玉璧. These rings of varying size were produced for at least two millennia prior to the Zhou dynasty and were used as religious objects (some scholars postulate that the round shape of these rings represented the heavens), decorations, as means of wealth storage and high-value gifts. Their use was reserved by the nobility, and it was a criminal offence to were jade rings and other ornaments which incorrectly reflected one’s station. Because of such severe restrictions of use and ownership, the jade rings could not have been used as true money, but as luxury goods and status stymbols. Still, in later times some jade rings might have assumed a quasi-monetary status based on hoard evidence. Cowries were used as primitive money in China since the 2nd millenium BC. Later on, bronze cowrie-shaped coins and cowrie-shaped coins made out of carved bone (like this piece) were used as money. This piece is of very nice high quality! The bronze cowries are rare and almost always crude, like this piece. These are rightfully considered to be the very first bronze coinage of China. This coin is unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.
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100% authentic late jade Yubi (ring), Western Han dynasty (206 BC - 9 AD), China