Fake Chinese spade in my collection

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TypeCoin971793, May 4, 2021.

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    I was looking through a friend’s box of fake Chinese coins, when I spotted a round coin, a Qi Yuan Yi Jin, that looked suspiciously like a spade in my collection. I bought the round coin as a fake and took it home to examine with my spade.

    Now, I was never 100% comfortable with the spade for several reasons:
    1. There was a bright powdery blue patina on the rims. Genuine ancient Chinese coins almost never have that kind of patina. I have seen very, VERY few exceptions.
    2. There was a glossy bald spot on the upper right obverse that had tiny raised bumps. Pitting is generally okay because that’s corrosion. Raised bumps are a big no-no and mean that the coin is likely made from moulds transferred from a genuine patinated coin (aka, modern mould).
    3. The right character (Jin, 釿 upside down) was soft and a bit thick, as was the rim in the area. This is a huge red flag for any ancient Chinese coin, but again, there are a few very few exceptions.
    4. The patina in the middle obverse looked really weird, almost like a liquid was applied and dried. Liquid patterns in patinas are a red flag because that implies liquid chemicals were used to induce accelerated patination. Accelerated patina does not bond well with the surface of the coin and will flake off with fingernail scraping.

    However, I ignored these red flags for the following reasons:
    1. The dealer I bought it from is very reputable and experienced.
    2. The patina was randomly crusty and colored.
    3. The metal sounded old.

    When I got home, I compared the two coins, and my heart sank as I realized that the patinas were exactly the same. Same color, same texture, same patterns, same bumpiness in the glossy bald areas, etc. That meant that they were either from the same hoard (possible, but very unlikely), or that they were both made by the same counterfeiter (far more likely). I tried using my fingernail to scrape the patina off the round coin, and chips came off, implying the patina is not ancient. Since both have issues that don’t make them look authentic, this makes them guilty by association with each other. I’ll be trying to get a refund for the spade after 4 years (I don’t think I will have an issue).

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    paschka, Choucas, Orielensis and 10 others like this.
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