This publication brings together the results of metallurgical analysis on Chinese coins undertaken at the British Museum during the last 15 years. The largest project looked at the metal content of Chinese cash coins over a period of more than 2,000 ...
years. Although the results of the survey were published in 1989, the full details of the survey and photographs of the coins tested are presented here for the first time, along with an introduction by Joe Cribb and comments by Michael Cowell. Since then, smaller metallurgical projects have been undertaken at the British Museum, looking at specific questions, such as the iron content of Song dynasty coins, the brass content of Qing dynasty coins, and the question of metal supply for Qing dynasty coins. The results of these projects are brought together here for ease of reference, and are presented in chronological order of the material examined. In the last decade, numismatists and scientists in China have also been looking at similar questions, using coins from archaeological sites. Zhou Weirong's new book, "Chinese Coins: Alloy Composition and Metallurgical Research", is now available, and an English version of the introduction, postscript and contents pages are published here.