Help identifying Chinese cash coins

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by ffrickey, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    Hello all. My French inlaws recently passed me a small box of coins to identify. Most seem to be 18th-19th century European, with a few jetons or Rechenpfennige thrown in, but there are 5 cash coins (the term I apply to coins with square holes in the middle). I can't read Chinese so haven't a clue as to what these are, though since most of the other coins are 150-250 years old I am inclined to believe they may be genuine, though probably not very valuable. Any help identifying any or all of these will be greatly appreciated. Here's the first one, which I call CashA. 4.4 g, 22 mm

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  3. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    CashB 3.6 g 25 mm
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  4. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    CashC 3.6 g 23 mm
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  5. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    CashD. 4.5 g 27.5 mm. This one at least is in pretty good shape. CashD2.jpg
  6. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    CashE. 3.8 g, 24 mm CashE2.jpg
  7. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    Cool find! In all your photos, the left side shows the reverse (which gives the mintmark in Manchurian script) while the right side is the obverse, which lists standard Chinese characters for the emperor's reign title (naming conventions for Chinese emperors get... complicated.) Your obverses are rotated at odd angles, but I can make out all the reign titles:

    A. Daoguang (1821-1851)
    B. Qianlong (1735-1796)
    C. Qianlong
    D. Kangxi (1661-1722)
    E. Qianlong

    I don't have time to figure out the mint marks right now (need to get to work), but unless there's a rare mint your coins have very little value- maybe a couple of bucks for the Kangxi, less for the others. Hope this helps.
  8. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I've now had some time to look up the mint marks, and here's my best guesses:

    A: Board of Revenue in Beijing
    B: Wuchang in Hubei province
    C: Yunnan-Fu (Kunming) in Yunnan province
    D: probably Board of Revenue
    E: maybe Board of Works in Beijing? (not very sure of this one)

    None of these are rare mints (Board of Revenue and Board of Works are the most common), so my earlier suggestion of low resale value for these coins holds. Still interesting and historical coins- I wish more Western collectors appreciated cash-style coins!
    wmichael likes this.
  9. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody who doesn’t know anything...

    Parthicus is right on the money.
  10. ffrickey

    ffrickey Junior Member

    Many, many thanks, Parthicus. Just what I needed. But you have to admit it's hard for non-Chinese-reading Westerners to get into this stuff, not to mention the Chinese government's policy of forbidding the export of genuine coins (while at least tolerating if not encouraging the export of fakes). But again, thank you very much!
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