Yidao ping wuqian coin

Length: 7.2 cm, Weight; 22 g

This knife-shaped coin is made of bronze and consists of a ring and a ‘blade’. The ring is shaped like a round coin with a square hole, with two incised seal characters yidao in gold inlay above and below the hole. There are three molded characters in relief ping wuqian, or ‘equivalent to five thousand wuzhu coins’, on the blade. Together the five characters mean that one knife-shaped coin was worth five thousand wuzhu coins (coins weighing one twenty-fourth of a tael each). This is one of the knife-shaped coins made in 7 AD, or the second year in the reign of Wang Mang, who tried to revive ancient traditions. Wang Mang coins are favored by collectors for their high-quality bronze, unique style of inscriptions and striking shapes.