Note: The word "cash" used in these contexts was derived from the Tamil kāsu, a South Indian monetary unit. The English word "cash," meaning "tangible currency," is an older word from Middle French caisse.
Renminbi, the official currency of the People's Republic of China (PRC), whose principal unit is the Yuan
The English term "cash" was first used on coins issued in Kwangtung (Guangdong) Province in 1900. It did not appear on paper money. The plural forms "cash" and "cashes" were both used. The English word "cash", meaning "tangible currency", is an older word from Portuguesecaixa or Middle Frenchcaisse ("box, chest, case"). The Chinese character wen (Chinese:文; pinyin:wén) has several other meanings in modern Chinese.
The wen was one of the chief units of currency in China and was used to denominate both coins and paper money. Other denominations were used, including various weights, based on the tael system, for sycee silver and gold ingots.
Until the 19th century, coins denominated in wen were cast, the most common formation being the round-shaped copper coin with a square or circular hole in the centre. The hole enabled the coins to be strung together to create higher denominations, as was frequently done due to the coin's low value. The number of coins in a string of cash (simplified Chinese:一贯钱; traditional Chinese:一貫錢; pinyin:yīguàn qián) varied over time and place but was nominally 1000. A string of 1000 wén was supposed to be equal in value to one tael (liǎng) of pure silver. Each string of cash was divided in ten sections of 100. The person who strung the cash into a string took one, two, or three cash per hundred, depending on local custom, as payment for his effort. So, in fact, an ounce of silver could vary in exchange from 970 to 990 cash (or more) between two places fairly close together. In places in the North where there was a shortage of coinage a string of 500 or 500 exchanged for an ounce of silver. Paper money sometimes showed pictures of the appropriate number of 1 wén coins strung together.