First chop marked coin

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Joe Campbell, May 16, 2022.

  1. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    I picked a few interesting coins yesterday. One is a Chinese 10 fen from 1890-1908. Its 82% silver and the price was right at under $2 so I grabbed without much inspection.

    When I got it home I noticed a small chop mark on the back. I think it’s cool because I don’t have any chop marked coins.

    Any thoughts on the coin or the nature of the mark are greatly appreciated.

    AFC44A6B-4334-4964-8C67-D4FDEAA19E44.png 0C5A7A02-096B-409C-BA16-E543EA779309.png 23B8D228-5E8B-409D-9899-73BA0A238024.png
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  3. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    For $2, it's a bargain even in the condition shown - it's almost melt value if I am not wrong. Chinese coins have been hot for the last couple of decades or so.

    I believe it's a punch mark to check if the coin is plated. Early 1900s was just chaotic. While chopmarks are often seen on larger crown coins, smaller denominations are tested.
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  4. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    Melt on it is around $1.56 so it was a no brainer for me. I was surprised to see the mark in a coin that small, and a mark that small. I guess I need to research the differences between a chop and a punch or a test.
  5. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Looks like a miniature version of the character "大" (big).
    I've seen similar in chop marks before. Such as the center of the reverse of
    this 1 yen (though it's upside-down).
    Meiji 20 1 Yen copy.jpeg
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  6. Joe Campbell

    Joe Campbell Well-Known Member

    With your coin being Japanese and mine being Chinese, what language is the character?
  7. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Well, the character would be the same in both languages, so in that case you could only tell by context. China had a large trade surplus, so silver flowed in to there
    from all over the world. But I don't think much domestic silver coinage made it from
    China to Japan in that era. So the mark is probably Chinese.

    I don't think 大 is a common surname in China, so not sure what it refers to.
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  8. Dnas

    Dnas Active Member

    Whether it's a Chinese or a Japanese coin, the chop marks were only done in China, not in Japan because there was no reason to do so.
    It just tends to be a Chinese character or symbol, not anybody's name.

    Here's one with a western symbol along with Chinese on Japanese 1yen.

    Meiji 28 c.jpg

    And one with a middle/centre symbol: (the one to the top left of the circle)
    Meiji 3b.jpg

    And one with two clear characters to the left of the silver "gin" mark:
    Meiji 14 c small2c.jpg
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  9. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    That's a nice one...
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  10. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    I have a chopmarked coin, too.
    You can see it here:

    If you all are interested in Chopmark coins, I suggest that you look into acquiring Colin Gullberg's book, Chopmark Coins -A History. It's the standard reference in English, and Colin also runs the Chopmark Collector's Club.

    He'll be giving a "Money Talk," as will I, at the upcoming World's Fair of Money in Chicago in August.
  11. ede1964

    ede1964 Active Member

    A4C90D34-0581-47BE-8F01-DD9DA973945F.jpeg Chopmarked coins featured in new 3rd edition of MEGA RED, a 10-page illustrated study of chopmarks and chopmarked coins by Colin Gullberg Appendix K
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  12. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    It's interesting to note that Japan did supply more than 30% of the world silver supply in the 1500s. Japan does have pretty rich mineral resources but does not mine due to environmental concerns.

    That said, chopmarks on small coins are not often seen.
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