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Knife-Shaped Bronze Currency

Tags: bronzes | currency | Spring and Autumn Period | Warring States Period | Zhou dynasty

Knife-shaped currency originates from the jadeite knife of the stone age. The knife was used as a weapon for self-defense, for hunting and in daily life. Therefore, at the time, the knife itself had monetary value.Knife currency was very popular in the Yianchi region in the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States. The pointed tip knife was developed early on. It had a pointed tip, a curvy blade, and a flat handle with round ring for running a cord through. This type of knife currency was probably transformed from the ring-tip knife of the Zhou Dynasty. The engravings on the blade of the pointed tip knife are all numbers; this is very similar to the Bu currency in its early stages.The knife currency of the Chi kingdom in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period was large and thick. There were at least three letters on the blade, six letters at the most. The blade of the Yen currency has a “Ming- like” script, so it is called “Ming-knife”. The Chi and Yen had the earliest knife currencies, and they produced the largest quantities of such currency.



National Museum of History