China, Kingdom of Zhou, Hollow-Headed Spade Coin Kongshoubu

The first spade coins appeared a little later than the knife coins. They initially bore no inscriptions and were thus a pre-coinage currency. Their size and shape resembled the spades that were in use on the fields at the time. Later the spade coins became smaller and more abstract in shape – just as the knife coins. Additionally they were then marked with indications of value, place and validity, and with that became proper coins.