Chinese coins: Identification and value??

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Mulligan, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Mulligan

    Mulligan Junior Member

    Hi all,

    This time 5 Chinese coins, anybody familiar with them? Have an idea of a price for them? I think the 5 and the 2 cash coins are from the Yunnan province, one from Szechuen/Szechuan and the other 2 I dont know...
    They're not really my thing, they were in a box of 'junk coins' (The sellers words!!) I bought for about $15

    Thanks in advance for any input... :)

    The links:
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  3. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    If those coins are genuine, and there's nothing about what I see to cast any doubt, that seller's laziness and/or bias against foreign coins cost him a bundle. :rolleyes:

    I'm still searching for information on the 10 cash Republic of China Year 25 piece (the one with a 1936 date); and the 20 cash Tai-Ching-Ti-Kuo copper coin. The Tai-Ching's legend includes characters for "year made", but no number! :confused:

    Whatever those two may be worth, you seem to have made a killing on at least two of the other three:

    1. The Yunnan Province brass 2 cent is Y#489, dated Republic Year 21 (1932(. It's in better condition, possibly a VF candidate. Krause values are $175 VG, $325 F, $500 VF and $750 XF.

    2. The Yunnan Province copper 5 cent is Y#490, also dated Republic Year 21 . The character at the bottom of the reverse is quite worn, so the coin probably wouldn't grade any better than Fine. The 2006 33rd Ed. Krause lists it at $125 VG, $175 F, $250 VF and $350 XF.

    3. The Szechuen 20 cash is almost identical to Y#227, an undated Imperial copper issued from 1903-1905, and is at least VF. On the obverse (the side without a dragon) the two center characters are Manchu, not Chinese. The one on the right is not the same one shown in the Krause picture of Y#227, but otherwise the coin is identical. I don't read Manchu, and don't know anyone who does (except possibly a fellow in Korea who may), so I can't explain the difference. Krause lists nothing identical to your coin. Y#227 is valued at $100 VG, $125 F, $175 VF and $250 XF.

    I haven't given up yet on IDing the other two, and if I'm successful I'll post the information. ;)
  4. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    I seem to doubt heavily how genuine they are. I am quite happy to say the Yuannan coins might be genuine but as for the rest, I am not too sure. The 1936 coin seems to be an awful copy if I am not wrong, but likewise I am not too sure either.
  5. Mulligan

    Mulligan Junior Member

    As both of you think the Yunnan Province coins are the real deal that makes me extremely happy!! :D
    As for the others, well, see what comes out of it...
    The seller will be highly unhappy if they are genuine and are worth as much as that, which serves him right as he is one of only 2 or 3 dealers in town and has a real attitude problem! Seems to think because I dont have $1000 to drop on a coin I am not worth the trouble ... :cool:
    Thanks to you both for your input and if they are indeed genuine I owe you guys a beer (or six)...!!
  6. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    I am inclined to believe it's not even a copy, but a fantasy piece. The only thing besides the date on one side is the legend "10 cash(?)", and the only legend on the other side is Republic of China Year 25 (1936). The rim pattern vaguely resembles one used by the British for Hong Kong coins and Trade Dollars, but the overall design is vastly different from other Chinese coins of the period.

    Last night, while watching Al Pacino committing the most botched up bank robbery in history on a Dog Day Afternoon, it suddenly struck me that "TAI-CHING-TI-KUO" was a legend appearing on several Ch'ing Dynasty coins in the dying days of the Empire. If it were not mint marked, it would be a perfect match for Y#21.1 or Y#21.2, depending upon its thickness. The first is 1.2-1.7mm, and the second is 2-2.3mm.

    The same coin was minted in several provinces, identified by a mintmark in the center of the obverse. The character on this coin, however, does not match any mint mark listed in Krause. Unfortunately that is the only reference I have for late Imperial Chinese coinage, which is not covered in the English language Fisher's Ding, based on the Chinese language work of Ding Fubao.

    With the huge variety of counterfeit collectible coins spewing from China these days, there is a distinct possibility that these two, and the anamolous Szechuan piece are all fantasies.

    But, before you become too excited about your great finds, remember that neither gxseries nor I can assure you that the Yunnan coins are real - only that from the pictures we see no specific evidence that they aren't. It wouldn't hurt to inquire of the major grading companies whether they authenticate that category, and if so to consider submitting them.
  7. Mulligan

    Mulligan Junior Member

    Hi Roy,
    I had thought about sending them for authentication. I will email some of the TPG's and if they do grade/authenticate I will send them off....
    The TAI-CHING-TI-KUO COPPER COIN is around the 1.6/1.7mm mark in thickness.
    Will keep you posted on the results/inquiry from the TPG's

    Thanks all....
  8. kvasir

    kvasir Show me the Money**

    Tai-Ching Coin

    I wouldn't get my hopes up, at least on the Qing copper cash.

    - The "Szechuen Province" coin is an obvious forgery.
    The obverse (one with most of the inscription) says it's "Made in the Jilin Province" ( 吉林省造 ). This is an obvious mismatch with the reverse, and I doubt very much you have a mule.

    Nevertheless, if this is genuine (which it obviously isn't), the centre 4 characters would indicate the coin was made in the Guang Xu Era, or sometime between 1875 and 1908.

    - I can read the Tai-Ching coin inscription but you'd have to determine if the coin is authentic. I'm also very suspicious of how genuine these coins are when similar period cash coins with the square holes are usually heavily worned beyond recognition.

    The Chinese inscription on the reverse (assuming that's the one with dragon) says it's made in the Xuan Tong Era, some time between 1909 and 1910. The Xuan Tong Era is ruled by the emperor known to the West as Puyi, the Last Emperor.

    The middle of the obverse (assuming that's the one with all the inscriptions) says it's a Copper Coin of the Great Qing (Tai-Ching, or Qing Dynasty). The single character 粵 in the middle circle at the centre of the coin is the abbreviation for the province of Canton or today's Guangdong province. The top 4 columns of swirly inscription is Manchu, the imperial script, which I can't help you with.

    Franking the Manchu script are two Chinese characters that usually indicate the lunar year cycle. "丙午" indicates that it's the year of the Horse of 1846, 1906, 1966 etc. The lunar year runs on a 60-year cycle. Obviously, none of these falls under the Xuan Tong Era. Thus, if they indicate the year instead of just for indexing of some sort, these two characters could disauthenticate your coin.

    That said, it's worth looking at the rest of the inscriptions. The bottom indicates the value, which says it's 20 mil, or 0.20 of a cash cent. I'm not too sure what "戶部" means. Abbreviation for "Ministry of Finance" perhaps?

    Supplementing the info given previously:
    - The Yunnan 2 cent and 5 cent coins were made in the 21st year of the
    Republic, or 1932.
    - The 25th year of the Republic coin matches the year inscribed: 1936.

    The verdict? I'm 95% sure that your Qing coins are forgeries or fantasy pieces, whatever you want to call them. And the shopkeeper was right, they are junk, but interesting exonumia nevertheless provided you can read the inscriptions.

    I once almost bought some at one of these Chinatown stores in Toronto. But I thought these coins are in condition too good for their age, and they dump these in a plastic little trade free for customers to search through just like other merchandises. I wouldn't dump my 100 year-old coins in a tray for anyone to pick through, would I?
  9. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Most definately agree; I even have real trouble trying to tell the difference between a genuine or counterfeit even though I know rather fluent chinese.

    You must remember though that workmanship in China nowadays rather decent or rather darn excellent for the values of what you pay.

    Suppose if you had this die,


    And if I sold you for 20 dollars and including the reverse (that's what I heard from some people who *used* to see such dies)

    How tempted will you be to make counterfeit coins from this??? I'm sure (or hoping) that you will say no, but there are always plenty of people who think of abusing such dies to strike counterfeit coins (hence all those counterfeit coins) Afterall, if you stuck 100+ coins and sold them for 5 dollars each, which seems to be the "retail price", tada, $$$. Evil but this kind of trade still exists.

    Regardless, if it's genuine, I must congradulate you. I do recommand you to take a gram scale that measures up to one decimal place and give it some weight comparsion. Quite often that will filter the odd coins out...
  10. kvasir

    kvasir Show me the Money**

    oh my, after seeing this die, it further confirms the Qing coins as counterfeits. The design is too similar to the Japanese ( 大日本 ) Meiji yen.

    I agree, even reading Chinese is not enough to distinguish genuine from counterfeit when just looking at the inscription. I had to get out my Chinese Almanac (Tong Xing) to get the list of Era and corresponding year and lunar cycle.
  11. Mulligan

    Mulligan Junior Member

    Such knowledge! Thanks for your valued input on them....
    Oh well, one of these days ;>)

    I did weigh them and they are as follows:
    The 1936/"The 25th year of the Republic..." -- 12 grams
    The Szechuen 20 cash -- Flickers between 14 & 14.1 grams
    The TAI-CHING-TI-KUO -- 12.8 grams
    The Yunnan 5 cent -- 11.9 grams
    The Yunnan 2 cent -- 9.1/9.2 grams

    A real pleasure to read information like this, a valuable asset to have..
  12. kvasir

    kvasir Show me the Money**

    I mean, for all that trouble they have to go through to create dies for forgeries, why not go the extra mile to do a little bit of research to at least get the year right? The mismatch on the Szechuen coin I can understand since it's easier just minting coins with random faces.

    I'm not too familiar with Chinese laws but perhaps this would prevent the manufacturers from being charged with forgery. I understand forgery in China is a crime worthy of the capital punishment, as with trafficking and corruption. But is minting imperial coins or non-negotiable coins punishable? I'm not too sure. Perhaps with the purposely wrong date they could escape the loophole by saying they were making medals with no intention for them to be credible forgeries.
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