Measurements: W. 4.8 cm, H.9 cm
Period: The Spring and Autumn period (770--476 BCE)
Provenance: Handed over from the Working Team on Cultural Relics of Henan Province.
“San Chuan Jin” Hollow-headed Bu (spade) Coin
The coin features a short and hollowed handle, sloping shoulders, and splayed arched legs. On its reversed side, three characters “San Chuan Jin” in large seal script are cast in relief, flanked by two slanting lines. “San Chuan (lit. three rivers)” refers the Yellow River, the Luo River, and the Yi River, while “Jin”may refer to either a farming implement or an ancient weighing unit.
Hollow-headed Bu spade currencies were cast and circulated in the states of Zhou, Jin, Zheng, and Wei during the Warring and States period;they are one of the earliest metal coins unearthed in China.
Originally cast towards the end of the Western Zhou dynasty, the coins gained popularity after the late Spring and Autumn period, but were abolished by Qin Shi Huang in 221 BCE.