Rare coins record Silk Road culture

An exhibition of more than 2,000 rare ancient coins, privately owned by a Chinese collector, closed on Saturday in Luoyang City of central China's Henan Province.

The gold and silver coins were collected over 10 years by Song Gong, a businessman in Henan.

The one-month exhibition attracted 3,000 to 4,000 visitors each day. Song hoped his collection could help them better understand the culture and history of people along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route between East Asia and Europe.

"The image, shape and manufacturing materials of different coins show the different religions, architecture, art and writing systems of kingdoms and ethnic communities ranging from the 6th century B.C. to the 19th century, such as ancient Greece and ancient Rome," he said.

Out of fondness for coin collection, Song has studied the Silk Road a lot. But he said that China's research in this field lags behind other countries. "I bought most research materials from overseas."

"Song's collection of coins will provide the foundation for Chinese research on the history and culture of the ancient Silk Road in the future," said Xu Tianjin, professor with Peking University.