Does anybody know what east Asian coin this is? (dragon)

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Dnas, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Dnas

    Dnas Active Member

    Does anybody know what east Asian coin this is?

    It has the dragon from the Japanese silver 1 Yen coin (1870-1914), but it's not a Japanese 1 yen. (50 sen, 20 sen & 10 sen use the same dragon, but this coin is full size "trade dollar" sized of ~38mm diameter).
    The Korean 5 Yang has a similar general design to the Japanese 1 yen, but with a different dragon and national symbol.

    This coin seems to have a dragon that's identical to the Japanese Meiji/Taisho dragon. It's not Japanese, because it doesn't have the 3 "Japan" kanji, nor the rising sun. (Japan uses some kanji from China)
    I can make out that it's the first year of an emperor (who?) But the rest of the Chinese I can't read. I assume that it may be a Japanese Empire coin, maybe Manchuria (Manchuko) or similar.
    Here's the coin:
    East Asis a crop.jpg

    East Asia b crop.jpg

    Here's a Japanese 1 yen, year 45 (1912) showing the same dragonfor comparison:
    1 yen.jpg
    1 yen b.jpg
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  3. Muzyck

    Muzyck I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a biscuit today.

    Looks like a fantasy.
    spirityoda likes this.
  4. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Well, 乾隆 is Quianlong, one of the Qing Emperors. But silver coins of this style would not have been minted during his era, so I'm guessing a fantasy piece.
  5. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    I agree that it seems it must be a fantasy or medal of some sort, though how old it is and indeed exactly what it is, I have no idea. It's attractive and rather interesting, though.
  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    PS- is it silver? The color looks like it might be.

    Does it pass the ping test? (*See #7).

    SensibleSal66 likes this.
  7. Dnas

    Dnas Active Member

    A friend asked me about this coin, which he was considering buying. I said I had no idea what it is, and that the details were are strange, given that the dragon is identical to the Japanese yen.

    I have an extensive collection of Japanese silver coins, so I know how to identify silver.
    (I have most dates of Japanese silver 1 yen from 1870 to 1914.)
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & avid numismatist Moderator

    So is this piece silver? If so, that’s at least one step in the direction toward it possibly being an older medal or fantasy of some kind, at least.

    But I guess you haven’t examined it in hand either, then?

    If it isn’t silver, I’d lean more towards assuming it’s a modern fantasy.

    (Not that I know anything else here, obviously.)
  9. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm throwing in one more vote for fantasy piece. The date is Year 1 of Qianlong, but the dragon design and overall layout are from a Japanese yen of over a century later... An attractive piece, but not an official coin.
    The Eidolon likes this.
  10. Dnas

    Dnas Active Member

    Ok, thanks everyone for the replies. So it looks like a fantasy piece, given that it seems to indicate the first year of Quianlong.
    I'm interested in reverse (the other side to the dragon).... it could be a design from another coin, but again, which one?
  11. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    The reverse looks much more like a good luck charm than a coin design.
    I thing the characters are: 天賜鴻福 (tian1ci4hong2fu2)
    "Heaven bestows great blessings"
    I believe the bird is the Chinese phoenix, 鳳凰 (fenghuang), a traditional symbol of good luck.

    Edit: The phoenix is rare on Chinese coins, but common on amulets/luck charms. It turns out there were a few official circulating Chinese coins with a phoenix on them, though I've never seen one in person. The Japanese version of the phoenix is common on 50 sen coins, though (see middle two coins).
    50 sen Ob.jpg 50 sen Rev.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    Dnas and Parthicus like this.
  12. Stork

    Stork I deliver Supporter

    There are a few Chinese coins with a phoenix...a different look. Solitary and three tailed. I think that is significant but don't recall the details.

    Stylistically reminds me more of this type (sorry, and ebay link):

    And a few more bullion types:
    The Eidolon likes this.
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