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Ancient Chinese Knife Money, what is this worth?  
 

 
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New Member

United States
2 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2010  03:39 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add n8b to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I found this ancient Chinese knife money from the Zhou Dynasty in my grandparent's house. It seems to be in good condition for being 2500 years old. I'm wondering what it could be worth. The characters are very clear so that should help. Any ideas?

Pillar of the Community
United States
3421 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2010  09:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fioti to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
These are tricky. That is a nice tao. What's the weight? The shoulders and point are in XF shape.
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Canada
3638 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2010  12:13 pm  Show Profile   Check Libertad's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add Libertad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I definitely love the concept of two of my favourite things combined into one. Sorry I'm not helpful on the topic. Where in the US are you that you just found a Chinese relic?
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United States
3286 Posts
 Posted 06/21/2010  1:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Archraz to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
n8b- Very interesting! As it has been said, these can be very tricky, and not just apropos grading. One must remember that in China counterfeiters have been making reproductions of their own coinage for a long time now, and that many soldiers returned from WWII with souvenirs that they bought in Asia. This caused a lot of well-made & convincing fakes to enter the US. Also, you should remember that eBay has introduced a lot of reproductions to the US as well. Finally, it is possible that it is real since some real examples have made their way to the US over the years, be they war souvenirs or other circumstances. Most museums treat these as the centerpiece of their Chinese coin collections, so that tells you that these are highly-sought after and not that common.
Valued Member
Canada
437 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2010  08:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coinsnpaper to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I suspect that this is a modern issue, due to the thickness of the outer rim. What is its size? There were minature copies of these made as well.
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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 06/22/2010  11:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CGICHUI to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If the knife money is genuine it could be worth 450-650, it looks good
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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 06/24/2010  1:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add n8b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It weighs 52.1 grams and is 6 inches long. My grandfather was a diplomat in Hong Kong in the 1950s so I think it has better chance of being real than if he was just a soldier in WW2. If it was a replica, could it still be worth something since it would be old replica?
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Australia
12652 Posts
 Posted 06/25/2010  05:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also suspect it is a reproduction; while the zeno.ru database is not by any measure complete, the only match for your characters and reverse pattern I can find there is for some modern reproductions, like this one and this one.

The only "six-character" knives listed in the book by Wang Yu-ch'uan (published 1951) date from the early period of the State of Qi; the inscription on your coin seems to match the one in the book - the six characters translate to "Qi establishment state eternal legal knife-coin" - but the characters on genuine knives are much more archaic. Here's the plate from Wang:



On these Qi knife-coins, the top character, qi, looks like three stealth bombers flying in formation. On later three-character knives, qi looks like this, as you can see on this zeno example. But on your knife, the top radical has been truncated, as if the copyist ran out of room.

50 grams sounds the correct weight, but at six inches, it sounds slightly small; the one in the book is over seven inches, as is the zeno one I linked to above.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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