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Chinese Ancient Coins


Bronze coin with a square hole in the centre. In the late Warring State Period,bronze coins with a round hole in the centre first appeared in China.The hole made it convenient to string the coins together.When Qinshihuang unifed the nation and the currency,he had the round hole in the bronze coins changed into a square,as the round coin and its square hole is regarded as a reflection of the ancient theory that "heaven is round and earth square".Feudalism lasted for more than 2,000 years,however,despite the change of times and the currency,the round bronze coins with a square hole in the centre was in use for roughly the same duration.It was after the demise of the Qing Dynasty that they were gradually replaced with paper money.

Chinese coins are essential ingredients in the practice of Feng Shui (fēng shuǐ 风水), the traditional Chinese study of geomantic omens for buildings or cemeteries It is the most potent symbol of wealth, especially when tied with red thread. They are rounded shape with a square hole in the center. The circle represents heaven while the square represents earth. When used by humans, they represent the cosmic trinity of luck of "Heaven-Earth-Man".There is the Yang side (yáng miàn 阳面) (with four chinese characters according to reign of emperor) and the Yin side (yīn miàn 阴面) (2 characters) on every chinese coins. The Yang side should always be used facing up. Feng Shui masters (fēng shuǐ shī 风水师) often focus only on Ching Dynasty coins compared to other dynasties because Ching was the most powerful dynasty in China, while other dynasties usually collapsed in less than a century. The Chinese coins, particularly of those of the Kang Hsi or Chien Long Emperors' reign are deemed most auspicious. Chinese coins are creation of old advisors of emperors and that is why chinese coins are powerful emblems of wealth, endless fortune and prosperity.

Editor: Dong Lin

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