Cash a type of coin from China and East Asia. Used from the 4th century BC until the 20th century AD, characterised by their round outer shape and a square centre hole (方穿, fāng chuān).
Originally cast during the Warring States period, these coins continued to be used for the entirety of Imperial China as well as under Mongol, and Manchu rule.
The last Chinese cash coins were cast in the first year of the Republic of China. Generally, most cash coins were made from copper or bronze alloys. Iron, lead, and zinc coins occasionally used less often throughout Chinese history.
Most cash coins were cast. During the late Qing dynasty, machine-struck cash coins began to be made.
As the cash coins produced over Chinese history were similar, thousand-year-old cash coins produced during the Northern Song dynasty continued to circulate as valid currency well into the early twentieth century.