Dating chinese cash coins
Knives were a common barter item in ancient China, but a bit hazardous to carry around to trade.
Some of China's first coins were made to look like a knife, so that people would think of them as money, but they lacked a sharp blade. This knife coin is called the "Ming" after the city where it was made (not the dynasty that was much later). It is made of bronze and is about 5 inches (13cm.) long.
The other two characters (usually the right and left) on the coin have the general meaning of "currency" and do not really need to be translated.
However, if you wish to be very literal in your translation, these two "currency" characters can be translated as follows: 通寶 "universal currency" or "circulating currency" (pronounced As mentioned above, the inscriptions on a few coins are read clockwise beginning with the top character.
In the modern era these coins are now considered to be Chinese “good luck coins” and are used by hanging these coins round the necks of children, or over the beds of sick people, and hold a place in various other superstitions, as well as Traditional Chinese medicine, and Feng shui.
Pricing refers to the step wherein a probable market price is set on the coin.
The high quality of the coins and excellent calligraphy set a standard for Chinese coins for the next 1000 years!