The information on these pages is intended to give the reader a basic overview of major Chinese coin types like knives, spades and round coins, as well as the most basic circumstances of the coinage of each dynasty. Since the information has to cover a large area, it is somewhat superficial, but I give references to more specialized literature where the subject can be studied deeper (see the literature page). I had studied some Chinese when I started to collect Chinese coins, but I still sometimes had trouble identifying coins. I have included some tools I have found useful myself, and I hope it will be of help to beginners.
The title "Chinese Coins" refers here mainly to cast coins of
bronze, iron and lead.
Dynasties: Chinas history is divided in dynasties, not in the years of the Christian
calendar, and all
coins on this site can be accessed from the list of dynasties on the coins page.
Legends: I use the pinyin system to transcribe all coin legends and Chinese words. See conversion table.
Chinese characters: Chinese characters are written in a simplified form in modern China today. Because characters on coins are written in the old full form, all the Chinese characters on this site are also in the full form. Special software is usually needed to read Chinese on computers, but all the characters on this site are images, and therefore no special software is needed.
A page like this is constantly under construction, and I will continuously add new coins and information.
Comments welcome: email@example.com