I just bought a fun hoard

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TypeCoin971793, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    I bought this hoard to analyze the types of Huo Quans in circulation at a given time. I divided the coins into three groups: Fine official style, crude unofficial style, and lightweight illicit issues. This was the inventory:

    Fine “official” style: 109
    • Single Obverse inner rim: 87
    • No obverse inner rim: 3
    • Spike at lower left corner: 2
    • Spike at lower right corner: 2
    • Double inner rim: 5
    • Crescent above hole: 7
    • Crescent below hole: 3
    Crude “Unofficial” Style: 70
    • Single Obverse inner rim: 46
    • Crescent above hole: 13 (all were from the same batch)
    • No inner rim: 5
    • Spike at lower-left corner: 1
    • Spike at lower-right corner: 4
    • Crescent above hole and spike at lower-left hole: 1
    Small, light illicit coins: 18

    The fact that there were lightweight illicit coins in circulation implies that this hoard was buried either late in Wang Mang’s reign or early in the Eastern Han Dynasty. However, very few percentage-wise in this bunch. I have dealt with a hoard which was comprised of over half illicit issues, meaning that these coins degraded further after this hoard was buried. Huo Quans were cast by the Eastern Han until the 40’s AD before the Wu Zhu was reintroduced, about 20 years after Wang Mang’s death.

    Another item of note is the 13 Huo Quans with exactly the same style, meaning they were from the same batch. This implies that this hoard was buried shortly after these coins were made. These coins are of such poor manufacture, that there is no way that they would pass as official issues. Wang Mang had a draconian policy on counterfeiting and the government had a monopoly on coin production, so it is very unlikely that he contracted out casting coins to private issues. They are the correct size and weight, so they are not really counterfeits. This all implies that these are from the period shortly after Wang Mang’s death in 23 AD. New coins still needed to be minted for circulation despite the shattered state of the government, so it makes sense that private individuals would be filling this need. I conclude that this hoard was buried sometime between 23 and 30 AD and is a snapshot of the monetary situation during the turbulent immediate-post-Wang Mang period.

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  3. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I like hoards, they are more interesting than the coins individually. I have bought similar Chinese ones when available before, along with a Byzantine one.
    philologus_1 and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  4. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    The left coin is an example of the crude Unofficial style, and the right one of the fine official style.


    An unofficial coin tree of Huo Quans:

    E1F59CAD-B95F-4BA8-BBD0-6D419837B853.jpeg 433AB516-180E-4C68-B4B4-9954D4CFBFD3.jpeg 7EBA1E93-5467-4C6C-9E58-6A23FC14B75A.jpeg 8D551A4C-F738-458A-83BB-95324F1AD4B9.jpeg
  5. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Very insightful research. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  6. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    I agree. You learn a lot more about the context of the coins as well as be able to add something to the knowledge of collectors. Buying the single coin would never allow me to do that.

    Plus, the group is cheap enough that I can pull out any interesting varieties and sell the rest when I am done (or keep them if I think they are more interesting as an intact group).
  7. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

  8. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    I re-read that thread. You mentioned casting sprues, and thought I would post this (here rather than there, since this is a new thread):

    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  9. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    That’s really neat!! You can see the sprue at 7:00 relative to the obverse. The other excess metal is spillage from the mould! Definitely something I would buy.
  10. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Tribunicia Potestas

    Some really interesting coins @TypeCoin971793 - thanks for sharing the hoard and I enjoyed the write-up.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
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