Featured The perks of buying hoards.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TypeCoin971793, May 26, 2018.

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    I recently purchased a couple hoards of 100 Huo Quans from the Wang Mang period. They were uncleaned and unsifted, so I got some gem UNCs, some worthless culls, and some interesting and scarce varieties. I prefer this method of collecting as I usually find a few surprises and I learn something from the context of all of the coins being together.

    One thing I like keeping is coins with nice patinas. I just don’t see many Huo Quans that are red, so I kept most of them. (They are redder in hand.)


    An interesting find was an example without the sprue filed away. This is highly unusual because these coins were almost always well-made and such significant oversights like this just did not happen. Maybe it is an illicit cast? The vast majority of the coins in this hoard were of the beautiful official style, but some were of much lower quality. The govenment had a monopoly on coinage, so it did not contract minting duties to private individuals. I think there were multiple mints, so maybe they had different standards for quality control. Given the fact that all of the coins were roughly the same size, I think the hoard was put together and buried before the total collapse of everything, so the illicit casting of Huo Quans was not yet a big thing.

    Here is a sampling from the other hoard that shows how much the coin sizes varied. These coins were lost in a river during the late Xin dynasty or early Eastern Han Dynasty.

    Here are a couple of interesting errors I found. The left coin has a slipped mould error, so the image was cast twice. The right coin has a massive mould crack, which is equally impressive on the reverse.


    I was particularly excited to find this coin. The character are far bigger than I have seen on every other Huo Quan I have handled, meaning it must be quite scarce.


    And here is the most exciting bunch I found. They all have some wood fused to them, meaning they were in a box when they were buried. The patina indicates that the coin were buried on land rather than in water, so the hoard was likely buried intentionally. It makes you wonder why. I do not know the city where these were found, so I do not know if there was any clues the geographical context could tell me. I will probably ask.

    This isn’t the first time I went through a hoard that had wood stuck to some of the coins. The first hoard I went through, a lot of several hundred clipped wu zhus lost in the Nanjing river in the 400-500’s AD, had wood fragments in it.


    And then when all of the picking and choosing is done, I gather all of the ones I can live without and get them ready to sell.


    I find that by doing this regularly, I am exposed to thousands of coins which I know 100% that they are genuine, and I get a feel for what genuine patina is like. In the realm of Chinese numismatics, often the patina will tell you if a coin is real or fake.
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  3. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely Wang Mang coinage. I wish I was there to sort through a hoard of hundreds of Huo Quans. What a thrill that must be.

    fB6Gc8Zg4sWXYSj23qTnqJ5iy7xF9Q (1).jpg
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  4. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

    You definitely have a unique talent for finding and acquiring such awesome coins!
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  5. Ken Dorney

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

    Hoards are always fun, no matter the type of coin or culture.

    As for your large character example, its probably listed as Gratzer & Fishman C5.89g (which they list as 'Common' but I dont think their ratings are even vaguely accurate).
  6. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I think the best thing about you buying these hoards is the wonderful group shots we all get to enjoy :)
  7. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    I just have one question...Why is this thread not a Featured Thread? I know a thread of this quality would have been featured if it was a Greek, Roman, or Parthian hoard.

    Come on mods, we are waiting!
    RAGNAROK and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  8. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great thread , many thanks Typecoin

    dlhill132, RAGNAROK, TheRed and 5 others like this.
  9. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    To suggest a thread for feature, PM Peter Davis. The mods don't see every thread posted here, or at least I doubt they do. They depend on us to suggest threads.

    As for it not making the cut due to not being Greek or Roman, I think there has been a veritable avalanche of ancients threads featured in the last month or two, cutting across all areas of collecting and all types of posts. Plus, it's a new thread. The mods and Peter probably aren't here as much as we are :D Give them time.
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
    Cucumbor and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    @TypeCoin971793 cool HOARD!

    Xin Dynasty:
    China Wang Mang 7-27 CE AE 5 Zhu Xin Dynasty - Emperor 5 Zhu stroke to lower left
  11. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Must... not... push... Best Answer... button...
  12. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Severus Alexander and -jeffB like this.
  13. Sallent

    Sallent Supporter! Supporter

    Well, I reported the thread, now it's all up to the gods, I mean moderators, to decide if this makes the cut to featured thread.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Hear hear!! :shifty::smuggrin:

    More on topic... apparently hoards rock. I wish I had one.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  15. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    I just bought these. I guess such significant casting defects did happen.

  16. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Well-Known Member

    A truly amazing collection, @TypeCoin971793 ! The vastly diverse interests of the CoinTalk Ancients Forum members is what makes this forum such an interesting place to hang out.
    Theodosius and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  17. Johnnie Black

    Johnnie Black Neither Gentleman Nor Scholar

    I love the variety of toning you see in ancient Chinese coins. The greens and blues are so vivid. I’m jealous of that pile!
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  18. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    It is actually encrustation, or “patina”. Lots of modern collectors look at my Chinese collection and go “those must be worthless; they are so corroded.” They are actually worth more (at least to me, anyway) with the corrosion because it shows the original out-of-the-ground look and helps show the coin is authentic.
  19. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Interesting! I think I've encountered those wood remnants before, but didn't know what it was.

    Was already featured by the time I got here.

    You can also use the "report" button - it is not just for flagging spam and rule violations - it can also be used for praise. Or to report issues with your own posts (like requesting an edit extension, etc.)

    RAGNAROK Naebody chaws me wi impunity

    Rounded-Featured-Congrats, mate! :)
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  21. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Man, don't know how I missed this thread. I would probably say I am one of the board's both hoarders and buyers of hoards.

    I agree, they can be great. It is a great way to really get into differences in a coin type, because you have many examples in front of you all at once. I probably have a few dozen chinese groups like yours, (most from Frank Robinson over the years), but have many from other cultures as well. While more a collection than a hoard, I just bought that Kushan grouping from CNG last week.

    Yeah, sometimes the "you only need one example of a coin in a collection" people will give you grief, but I think buying hoards is terrifically funn and interesting, and in the end that is all that matters.
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