Some 3,000 years ago, the Shang Dynasty (1700-1027 BCE) in China was using cowries as money. Toward the end of that era, the first coins appeared, except that they weren't the round coins we're familiar with. Those only made their appearance around the fourth century BCE. No, those first Chinese coins looked like spades and knives and made their appearance around the eighth century BCE. Of course, until Qin Shi Huang Di united China in 221 BCE, that huge country was divided and re-divided into kingdoms, and each princeling had his own form of coinage, but they were portrait-free. All that fascinating history of China's money opens at the Eretz Israel Museum on November 23 in an exhibition of Chinese coins from ancient times to the present day. The exhibition will stay a year.