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Ch'in existed as a feudal state under the Zhou since before 1000 BC, casting coins (currently listed under Zhou) from about 400 BC.

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Some date it to 221 BC when they finished unifying China (note this unified China was much smaller than the China we know today), but the Ch'in themselves probably would have used a date of about 325 BC when Duke Hsuan Wen adopted the title of Emperor after defeating the state of Wen and withdrew Ch'in allegiance to the Zhou.

* "Duke" is the closest title we have found for the early rulers of Ch'in.

They were first known as the Western Han, ruling from Ch'ang-an in Shansi Province.

Broken only by the brief interregnum of Wang Mang's Hsin dynasty of AD 9 to 22, the Western Han lasted until AD 25 when the capital was moved to Lo-yang (in Honan Province) and the name was changed to Eastern Han.

This takes us back to our earlier theory that square-foot spades, and possibly ming knifes, were still in use throughout much of the Ch'in period, and may in fact have been the principle coinage of Ch'in. It is likely that the 34 mm Pan Liang coins are the earliest issues and may date to the period when the Chin Dynasty was a sub-dynasty under the Zhou. Collectors prize the heavier specimens, so the weight does affect the value in the market, but when these coins were in use it probably was not a factor in their circulating values.

While specimens of this larger issue weighing over and under 12 grams probably date to the same period, many collectors value the heavier specimens more highly. Specimens over 12 grams exist and command a premium price, but they are rare.

About the time the Chin Dynasty established control over China (and possibly a little earlier), the Pan Liang (or 1/2 Liang) coinage was introduced at this weight standard (about 6 grams), but very quickly the connection between the weight and the monetary unite ceased to apply.

This series is difficult to classify, with specimens occurring at weights from 2 to 18 grams (but rarely over 12 grams), and diameters from 14 to over 34 mm.

We previously discussed the possibility that some Square-Foot Spades and early Square-Holed Round Coins were cast under the Ch'in, but we also believe the earliest Pan Liang were cast before 221 BC.

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