1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Tael
TAEL (Malay tail, tahil, weight, probably connected with Hind. tola, weight), the name current in European usage for the Chinese liang or ounce, the liang of line uncoined silver being the monetary unit throughout the Chinese empire. The tael is not a coin, the only silver currency, apart from imported dollars, being the ingots of silver known as “sycee ”; the only other native currency is the copper “cash.” As a money of account the tael is divided into 10 mace (tsien), 100 conderin or candereen (fun), 1000 li. The value varies with the price of silver. The “Haikwan tael,” i.e. the custom-house tael, that in which duties are paid to the Imperial Maritime Customs, is a weight of 58–77 grains Troy, the value of which varies; thus it was reckoned at 3s. 1d. in 1905, 3s. 31d. in 1906, 3s. 3d. in 1907, and 2s. 8d. in 1908 (see China: § Finance).