Chinese Empire, Xin Dynasty, Wang Mang, Spade Money Big Pu (Value 1000)

The spade coins of Emperor Wang Mang had face values from 200 to 1000 copper coins. This piece bears the inscription "one spade worth 1000" – meaning 1000 round copper coins, the so-called wu shu. While the spade coins circulated as higher denominations, the round coins were used as small change. Coins from 1 to 100 wu shu existed. Besides, additional forms of money such as cowry shells, gold nuggets or silver ingots were in circulation.