Not far from the Hengshan Hotel where I always stayed when I was in Shanghai was Nanjing Road (Nanking in English). This well-known shopping district was within walking distance, and when I'd hit it I would turn right and head toward the famous Bund that ran along the Huangpu River. The Bund is a long boulevard lined with shops and stores of every variety. On one trip I landed in a small antique store up a side street that specialized in old Taoist charms and bought the bronze, coin-like amulet pictured here.
The coin is about the size of silver dollar and the old man that sold it to me said it had something to do with an ancient book titled I Ching, The Book of Change. The I Ching is the most ancient and profound of the Chinese Classics, venerated for over three thousand years as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success, and a dispensary of wisdom. Like a rabbits foot or other talisman or amulet, people carry them for luck.
When I returned from that trip, I gave the coin to my daughter Lynn who keeps it on her desk in her office to this day. On many of my trips to Shanghai I spent hours wandering in and out of every variety of store and small shop in this area and will blog about other things I saw and bought including a live "singing" cricket, a popular pet for people in China and pastime when it comes to fighting crickets.