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Monies of Account and Monetary Transition in China, Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries

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image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

Between the twelfth and the fourteenth centuries China’s monetary system shifted from a multiple currency system including paper notes, bronze coin, and uncoined silver to a unified paper currency system established by the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Consequently, China’s longstanding bronze coin standard was replaced by a new money of account denominated in silver. However, silver largely disappeared as a medium of exchange under Yuan rule. Instead, silver units of account were used to denominate paper currency. The monetary policies of the Mongol Yuan state established a silver unit of account that remained the monetary standard throughout China’s late imperial era.


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