View Full Version : Knife Money

08-20-2012, 04:08 AM
From Qi state (Shandong province), north-eastern China
Eastern Zhou dynasty, around 350 BC

Chinese knife money

During the fourth and third centuries BC, a distinctive type of money was issued in the Qi state, in the form of large knives. The knife money was associated with particular cities within the state, and the knives are almost always found in modern-day Shandong province. The inscriptions on some of the knives indicate that they were sometimes issued in commemoration of important events, such as the inauguration of a new ruling dynasty. The inscription on this knife money indicates that it is 'legal currency of Qi



08-20-2012, 04:16 AM
The shape of spades and swords inspired the shapes of ancient Chinese coins. Archaeologists found Chinese "knife money" from the Yellow River Valley dating to 500 B.C. This is one of the earliest known coins on the Eurasian continent. Eurasia comprises the traditional continents of Europe and Asia


Eamon Burke
08-20-2012, 12:51 PM

I want knife-coins.

08-20-2012, 02:21 PM
I have never heard of knives being used a currency....rocks, plants, chocolate beans, coffee beans, precious metals/stones (duh)....but a weapon? That's a new one.

08-20-2012, 02:46 PM
Brings a new meaning to "I am out of knife money".

08-20-2012, 06:54 PM
There are several stories that attempt to explain how knife money was introduced but it is not certain if any or all are true.In one story a prince who was running low on money to pay his troops allowed them to use their knives as a form of currency to barter with villagers and the medium became so popular that it became generally accepted. In another story, the same prince began accepting knives as payment for small fines in the place of the current legal ring currency. Knife money may also have been brought in by sea traders from the Indian Ocean.

and the hole is for putting on a belt.