Loading Spinner

Asian Coins

Asian coins originated in ancient China, but they did not resemble coins as we conceive of them today. Ancient Chinese coins were first shaped like tools, usually either spades or knives. This early currency was eventually replaced by ban liang, which, with its round, flat shape, more closely resembled today's notion of a coin. Ban liang coins, however, feature a notable hole in the center of the coin. This hole was used to string multiple coins together to create larger, fixed values. Variations of this coinage continued to be minted until the mid 1800s brought the opium trade to China, and with it an influx of foreign Western-style silver coins.

Japan primarily used Chinese coins that were imported through trade. While Japan had a brief period producing domestic coins between 600-900 A.D., the nation lacked a true Japanese currency until the late 17th century. At that time, the Shogunate was established and Japan was unified. Shogunate coinage was still based on the Chinese system, including the hole in the center and the concept of stringing coins together, but featured Japanese types and legends.

India's coinage was influenced early on by that of the Greeks, favoring a round shape with animalistic types and minimal legends which quickly transitioned to featuring the ruling king on the obverse. In the early common era, the Gupta Empire produced many gold coins featuring crisp Sanskrit legends. These golden coins are regarded very highly by collectors. The rupee was introduced in the middle ages and marked India's move to a silver standard. By the early 1800s, the British Empire was in control of India, and minted rupees featured British monarchs on the obverse. Today, India's coins avoid featuring any person on the coin. Instead, the value of the coin and the emblem of India is presented on the obverse.


Quick Facts

  • Several Chinese coins have sold for sums in excess of $1 million, including an 1898 silver dollar, one of only six known to exist
  • While none of China's currently circulating coins feature the distinctive center hole, two of Japan's coins retain the feature: the 5- and 50-yen pieces
  • In 1911, a new rupee was printed to commemorate George V's coronation. The King’s robe featured an elephant that was poorly sculpted and looked more like a pig. This was highly offensive to the Indian people and forced a redesign in 1912

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

bp parity badge
1985 CHINA 1 OZ .999 GOLD PANDA 100 YUAN
Apr 28, 9:00 AM MST
1985 CHINA 1 OZ .999 GOLD PANDA 100 YUAN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1,75029 Bids
bp parity badge
2000 CHINESE PANDA 1/10 OZ .999 GOLD 10 YUAN
Apr 28, 9:00 AM MST
2000 CHINESE PANDA 1/10 OZ .999 GOLD 10 YUAN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$2009 Bids
A 39pc 14th Century Chinese Bronze Coin Collection
Apr 28, 11:00 AM MST
A 39pc 14th Century Chinese Bronze Coin Collection
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $5,000- $10,000
$2308 Bids
1908-S Philippines Silver Peso, SCARCE. Low Mintage
Apr 23, 5:00 PM EDT
1908-S Philippines Silver Peso, SCARCE. Low Mintage
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$326 Bids
2015 2oz CHINA SILVER PANDA NGC PF-69 UC
Apr 23, 11:00 AM EDT
2015 2oz CHINA SILVER PANDA NGC PF-69 UC
by Vintage Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$656 Bids
15 Moedas, Índia, Dom Luís I/ Dom Carlos I/ República, V.M. (Prata, P.46,67 g.)
Apr 29, 7:00 PM WEST
15 Moedas, Índia, Dom Luís I/ Dom Carlos I/ República, V.M. (Prata, P.46,67 g.)
by Palácio do Correio Velho
Est: €15- €0
€455 Bids
CHINA PANDA 500 YUAN GOLD COIN, 2002
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
CHINA PANDA 500 YUAN GOLD COIN, 2002
by Potomack Company
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,8004 Bids
India Portuguesa, Dom Pedro V, Meio Pardau (150 Réis), 1857, Goa, Prata, P.2,60 g.
Apr 29, 7:00 PM WEST
India Portuguesa, Dom Pedro V, Meio Pardau (150 Réis), 1857, Goa, Prata, P.2,60 g.
by Palácio do Correio Velho
Est: €80- €0
€1404 Bids
TWO TAIWANESE ONE OUNCE GOLD COINS COMMEMORATING SUN YAT-SEN, 1991 AND 1995
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
TWO TAIWANESE ONE OUNCE GOLD COINS COMMEMORATING SUN YAT-SEN, 1991 AND 1995
by Potomack Company
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$3,5003 Bids
SINGAPORE 50 SINGOLD COIN, 1985
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
SINGAPORE 50 SINGOLD COIN, 1985
by Potomack Company
Est: $700- $900
$4252 Bids
Set of 8 Macau 1999 Gold Coins with Gold Memorial Medallion
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Set of 8 Macau 1999 Gold Coins with Gold Memorial Medallion
by Luban Antique
Est: $50- $100
$202 Bids
Ancient India Chalukya Silver Drachm Heaven and Hell Coin - 11th Century
Apr 22, 5:00 PM EDT
Ancient India Chalukya Silver Drachm Heaven and Hell Coin - 11th Century
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$52 Bids
2022 AND 2015 PANDA .999 SILVER ROUNDS
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
2022 AND 2015 PANDA .999 SILVER ROUNDS
by Appalachian Trading Post & Auction Company
Est: $10- $5,000
$402 Bids
Spanish Philippines 1868 1 Peso PCGS Graded VF35
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Spanish Philippines 1868 1 Peso PCGS Graded VF35
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $125- $200
$752 Bids
Spanish Philippines 1868 2 Peso PCGS Graded XF40
Apr 24, 10:00 AM EDT
Spanish Philippines 1868 2 Peso PCGS Graded XF40
by Weiss Auctions
Est: $225- $275
$1402 Bids
24 Moedas, Timor, República, V.M (Prata, P.24,39 g.)
Apr 29, 7:00 PM WEST
24 Moedas, Timor, República, V.M (Prata, P.24,39 g.)
by Palácio do Correio Velho
Est: €30- €0
€352 Bids
Two Hong Kong Commemorative Cards with Gold Memorial Medallion
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
Two Hong Kong Commemorative Cards with Gold Memorial Medallion
by Luban Antique
Est: $50- $100
$101 Bid
bp parity badge
1887 HONG KONG VICTORIA SILVER 5 CENTS
Apr 28, 9:00 AM MST
1887 HONG KONG VICTORIA SILVER 5 CENTS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
RARE Ancient Chinese Empire Song Dynasty Coin
Apr 23, 5:00 PM EDT
RARE Ancient Chinese Empire Song Dynasty Coin
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
2009, 5g Gold, Fortune - Chinese Mythological Series
Apr 24, 6:00 PM AEST
2009, 5g Gold, Fortune - Chinese Mythological Series
by Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty
Est: AUD550- AUD600
AUD4501 Bid
2012, 1 Kilo Year of The Dragon Silver Gemstone
Apr 24, 6:00 PM AEST
2012, 1 Kilo Year of The Dragon Silver Gemstone
by Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty
Est: AUD1,750- AUD2,000
AUD9001 Bid
2013, 1 Kilo Year of The Snake Silver Proof
Apr 24, 6:00 PM AEST
2013, 1 Kilo Year of The Snake Silver Proof
by Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty
Est: AUD1,750- AUD2,000
AUD9001 Bid
2014, 1 Kilo Year of The Horse Silver Gemstone
Apr 24, 6:00 PM AEST
2014, 1 Kilo Year of The Horse Silver Gemstone
by Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty
Est: AUD1,750- AUD2,000
AUD9001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Asian Coins


Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery

Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty

Eureka Coins, Notes and Collectables pty

Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Ingenuity Gallery

Ingenuity Gallery