China/Thailand, Sycee Fang bianding, Value 5 Tael, with 6 Stamps

The use of silver ingots in China dates from well before the Christian era. Originally the ingots were probably not used as currency but as a means of hoarding wealth. Gradually, however, silver began to be used for paying large amounts. Silver ingots thus became an ordinary means of payment, and circulated in China, Burma and Thailand until well into the 20th century.