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Ming Tao
A imitation of the useful tool
"Ming Tao" was the money of the State of Yan , but it was circulated
freely both in Central China and in the outlying kingdoms during the Warring States Period.

Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E

Description No. 0032 Place of Origin:
Wt. 14.4 g. length: 140mm width: 17mm Rareness E

Mint Evolution & Peculiarity Knife coins were evolved from the bronze implement "Tao Hsiao". [a type of broze knife used by the people of Yan state to cut the meat for food] There was a ring at the end of the implement's handle and the handle was carved with a rift. Knife coins often bear inscriptions on the both sides which indicating the places or states, where the knife coins were minted. Ming tao is always found in the modern provinces of Hopeh and Liaoning as well as southern Manchuria. "Ming" perhaps was a town in Hopeh province. The inscription bore on obverse side was Chinese character "Ming" and the reverse was Chinese character "Tso" means left. Other sources suggested that the inscription bearing on the obverse was Chinese character "I" and could be explained as "Yan" during the ancient time. It is believed that Mingtao was minted after 305BC.


  1. 中國大百科全書 (中國歷史), 中國大百科全書出版社 1994, p.496 ISBN 7-5000-5469-6.
  2. Liu Chu Cheng : 中國古錢譜 (Illustrative plates of Chinese ancient coins) National Bureau Cultural Heritage 1988. ISBN 7-5010-0298-3
  3. Pang Hsin Wei: 中國貨幣史, 上海人民出版社 (The Currency History of China), 1988. ISBN 7-208-00196-0 / K.47
  4. A History of Chinese Currency (16th Century BC - 20th Century AD), 1983 Jointly Published by Xinhua (New China) Publishing House N.C.N. Limited M.A.O. Management Group Ltd. ISBN 962 7094 01 3

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