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Bu (spade-shaped with pointed feet bronze currency)

Tags: currency | Zhou dynasty

This blank Bu coin with its high shoulders, hollow head and pointy foot is from the East Zhou dynasty. The manufacture is perfect. It has a simple antique look, and a large example of the early stages of monetary currency in China.The earliest currency was made by imitating the shape of a spade. The original meaning of “Qian” (money) was “tool shaped like a spade.”The earliest style of currency was hollow headed currency, the so-called “hollow headed Bu currency,” which indicates the handle on top of the coin. This handle is hollow, as the head of a spade is hollow where the wooden handle is attached. Later on, currency no longer had the hollow head, becoming flat instead. This is called the flat-headed Bu currency.The Bu Currency was very popular in the Sanjin region. It was the earliest style of metal currency, and the blank Bu currency is the ancestor of the Bu currency system. Later on, the Bu currency became smaller, the hollow head became a flat head and the pointy foott became square or rou.


National Museum of History