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China, Province Henan, Fork Spade Coin Jinbu

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China, Province Henan, Fork Spade Coin Jinbu (obverse) China, Province Henan, Fork Spade Coin Jinbu (reverse)

Around 1000 BC, people in the plains along the Yellow River used spades as units of value and barter ojects. As money, these large instruments were rather impractical, however. In the course of the 8th century shrunken forms of spades emerged approximately at the same time as the first cowrie imitations appeared in the north of China. As working tools, the shrunken spades useless; but as money they came very handy.

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