Empire Of Silver: A New Monetary History Of China

byJin XuTranslated byStacy Mosher

February 23, 2021|
Empire Of Silver: A New Monetary History Of China by Jin Xu
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A thousand-year history of how China’s obsession with silver influenced the country’s financial well-being, global standing, and political stability

"A wonderful book for understanding one thousand years of Chinese monetary history."--Debin Ma, Hitotsubashi University

This revelatory account of the ways in which silver shaped Chinese history shows how an obsession with “white metal” held China back from financial modernization. First used as currency during the Song dynasty in around 900 CE, silver gradually became central to China’s economic framework and was officially monetized in the middle of the Ming dynasty during the sixteenth century. However, due to the early adoption of paper money in China, silver was not formed into coins but became a cumbersome “weighing currency,” for which ingots had to be constantly examined for weight and purity—an unwieldy practice that lasted for centuries. Jin Xu argues that even as China’s interest in silver spurred new avenues of trade and helped increase the country’s global economic footprint, in the long run silver played a key role in the struggles and entanglements that led to the decline of the Chinese empire.
Jin Xu is senior editor and chief financial commentator at the Financial Times Chinese. She has been a visiting fellow at the University of Tokyo and a Caijing Fellow at Peking University.
Title:Empire Of Silver: A New Monetary History Of China
Product dimensions:384 pages, 9.25 X 6.12 X 1.06 in
Shipping dimensions:384 pages, 9.25 X 6.12 X 1.06 in
Published:February 23, 2021
Publisher:Yale University Press
Appropriate for ages:All ages
ISBN - 13:9780300250046

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