Chinese name: 金/钅

*钅is a common variation of 金


Pinyin: jīn

English name: metal

Imagery: metal in the earth

History of radical: This radical is called metal. In bronze language, it is a picture of layers of earth with pieces of minerals and metal. Characters with this radical relate to metal or metal products. In Chinese history metals are mystical materials. In fact, the first Emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huang, believed that mercury held the key to eternal life.  Ironically, it was probably the cause of his death as he ingested large quantities of it.

For example: 

  • 钉(dīng): nail
  • 针(zhēn): needle
  • 钢(gàng): steel