YUANBAO ~ The most common shape of a yuanbao is boat shaped, elliptic, oval, with a circular or oval little bump in the middle.
A yuanbao is a small metal ingot that was used in ancient China as money. Being made out of silver or gold, the value was determined by weight in tales,
which is a weight measurement, part of the Chinese system of weights and currency.
Yuanbaos were made by individual silversmiths for local exchange. Hence, the shape and amount of each yuanbao/ ingot were highly variable.
The amount of each yuanbao/ ingot was detailed on its bottom, while the most common shapes were oval or square, but "boat", flower, tortoise and others shapes were known as well.
Today- except for the fact that the Chinese currency is still called ‘yuan’ and ‘yuan’ translates to ‘round’- as in the shape of a coin- imitation yuanbaos are a symbol of prosperity, income and /or wealth,
frequently seen as design or decoration on items in connection with Chinese New Year. http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/yuanbao.htm