What is a Vault Protector?
In East Asia, bronze “cash” coins were a centerpiece of local commerce. These classic round coins featured the iconic square hole in the center to allow specific amounts to be strung together and easily counted and transported.
On very special occasions, Chinese mints would cast larger, thicker, heavier coins that also bore the square hole. These coins were not made for circulation, but for ornamentation. At the treasury, these coins would be hung with red silk string through their holes, placed over the altar in the treasury’s spirit hall, where offerings could be made to gods of fortune, prosperity and wealth.
These “Vault Protector” coins were believed to protect their owners against disaster and ensure the favor of the gods. For this reason, those with the financial means would often secure one of these coins and leave it in their vaults to guard the rest of their fortune.