My Newest Cash Coin

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by SorenCoins, May 26, 2022.

  1. SorenCoins

    SorenCoins Well-Known Member

    Just received my most recent purchase--a Chinese cash coin. This is my first cash coin from an emperor other than the Qianlong Emperor. This one is under the Daoguang Emperor (reigned 1820 to 1850).


    Prior to purchasing it, I used my copy of Hartill's Cast Chinese Coins to identify it and determined it was Hartill #22.597, which would make it from 1824-1850. Can anyone else with Hartill's book tell me if they agree or disagree with this identification?

    Also, it is a little grainy. Normally, a grainy surface would make me think a coin is fake, but I think with cast Chinese coins this is a normal characteristic. I have heard of so-called "Degenerate Examples" being common with some Chinese cash coins, but I do not know much about them. Does anyone here know anything about "Degenerate Examples," what they look like, and if this may be one?

    Thank you in advance!
    Chris B, ominus1, MIGuy and 2 others like this.
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  3. Milesofwho

    Milesofwho Omnivorous collector

    Looks normal to me! I don’t have my copy of Hartill on me, but it’s probably correct. I believe that degenerate examples are smaller, even more crude copies of existing cash coins.
  4. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    I have Hartill, but frankly I'm usually not good at figuring out sub-varieties of Qing cash- I'm happy when I correctly remember the emperor and mint. Looks like the key distinguishing feature used by Hartill is the exact form of the character Tong, which unfortunately is a bit fuzzy on your specimen, so I would probably not worry too much about the exact Hartill number. Also, 22.597 is discontinued in the 2nd edition and 22.596-22.598 are subsumed under 22.596.

    Fuzziness is caused by problems in casting. This would indeed indicate lack of authenticity for struck coins. However, since these coins were originally cast, evidence of casting is not a problem. (Ironically, there are some modern repros that are machine-struck, where the lack of casting evidence is itself a clue to their fakeness. The ones I've seen have a stippled field. I think these are intended for use with fortune-telling using the I Ching, but they sometimes "escape" into the numismatic world.) "Degenerate" specimens are especially poorly cast, worse than yours; often on the reverse there is a raised area in the two blank quadrants (top and bottom). I think some of these may be unofficial casting done at about the same time as the originals (i.e. circulating fakes), though telling genuine but poorly-made mint creations from unofficial ones is harder with cast coins. I have some that I got in a large lot of circulated Qing cash, mixed in with ordinary pieces; evidently they circulated alongside normal coins.
    The Eidolon likes this.
  5. Darius590

    Darius590 Active Member

  6. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    It's 22.596. I'll post some pictures if I can make them worthwhile. 22.597 still exists in the second edition, Hartill just puts the tong instead of a whole coin to save space.
  7. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    I will try to explain this in as best detail as I can think of to help any novices on here as well, should they be interested.

    These are images of an actual 22.596, the Hartill example of 22.596, and actual examples of 22.597 & 22.598. First is 22.596. It may even be considered somewhat degenerate as the characters are lacking in some detail. The second pic is the Hartill example of what it should look like. The third pic is 22.597 and the 4th is 22.598. There are basically 2 things to look for when distinguishing between 596, 597 & 598 (assuming we are correct in that it is 1 of those 3, which, at a cursory glance it most likely is). Both pick up points are on the tong character and are relatively easy to see once you have been "pointed" in the right direction. My 5 year old finger paints hopefully help. The tong is the character to the right that looks like an "L" with a three story building on the tail. The two parts to look at are the top of the 3 story building - the "head," and the left side of the "L." The head of 596 is what is called "closed." Don't know why it's called that, but it looks like a squatty "T" with a curled down right side. 597 & 598 have what is called the "square" head. It looks like a backward block "C." Concerning the "L," these 3 examples can be either 1 dot or 2 dot. Basically, when the vertical side of the L stops, count how many marks are there to complete it. 22.596 is a 2 dot, 22.597 is a 2 dot and 22.598 is a 1 dot.

    22.596 - closed head, 2 dot tong
    22.597 - square head, 2 dot tong
    22.598 - square head, 1 dot tong

    So, comparing the Original example, It is a closed head, 2 dot tong. That leads us to 22.596.




    Last edited: May 28, 2022
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