The earliest copper coin is called 芒鈧渂an liang qian芒鈧劉 (氓聧艩 盲赂陇茅鈥櫬? Ban Liang coins) which turned up and began to circulate in the whole country following the found of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC芒鈧€?06 BC). Ban Liang coins were more material economical than any other coins circulated at that time and the square hole was easier to make. This revealed that people at that time were efficiency-conscious, which was also reflected in the spectacle of the Terracotta Army.
People in ancient times believed that the heaven is round and the earth is square, which is one of the reasons why the copper coin has the round shape and a square hole in the center. Besides the mostly round copper coins, there are also copper coins in other shapes: spade-shaped coins and knife-shaped coins in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC芒鈧€?76 BC), and ring-shape coins in the Warring States Period (475 BC to 221 AD). In addition, silver ingots and gold ingots were also circulated in ancient China, and the wide use of silver coins was beginning at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368芒鈧€?644).