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Goldweight with a Geometric Design

A work made of copper alloy.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of copper alloy.


18th/19th century


Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This rectangular gold weight has a surface composition consisting of four vertical raised bars and five horizontal raised bars. Gold weights were used for five centuries, between 1400 and 1900, throughout the Akan area of southern Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire as a tool for weighing the local currency, gold dust. Made of a copper alloy, the gold weights enabled merchants to trade with towns in the West African Sahel and North Africa, and later with the Europeans in the late 15th century. Brass cast gold weights ceased being used at the beginning of the 20th century when gold was replaced by bank notes and coinage. However, they continued to be made for sale to tourists.


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa




Goldweight with a Geometric Design


Ghana (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Copper alloy


0.9 × 1.7 × 2.4 cm (1/4 × 11/16 × 1 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Britt Family Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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