Warring States period (475-221 BC)
Length in Chipped State 5.9 cm, Thickness 0.4 cm, Weight 129 g
Excavated in Xiangcheng, Henan Province, 1978
This block is semi-circular in shape and cut on the face of one side. The front face features 13 stamp impressions that read “chuiqiu” (垂丘) with overlapping and incomplete impressions. This gold block is a form of gold currency used in the state of Chu during the Warring States period. The Chuiqu impression denotes an ancient place name. Though the state of Chu cast a great number of Ying yuan and Chen yuan forms of gold currency, cast Chuiqiu blocks are extremely rare finds. This is the only one of its kind to have been discovered to date.
The majority of surviving Chu gold blocks are incomplete, and are visibly cut. Many have been cut into miniature blocks, illustrating how gold blocks can be cut to the needs of the day. Not restricted for use in large-scale transactions, they were also used for small-time trade.