Trade dollar/chop marks

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Heavymetal, May 16, 2019.

  1. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    B1759B0B-0C00-4B01-B7FE-A95066E861A6.jpeg 24AAC239-DC4E-4969-A13A-A33B7A6FDE69.jpeg Some hate em,some love em. Thoughts folks?
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  3. Inspector43

    Inspector43 72 Year Collector

    I like them. They show exactly what the coin was minted for and all the work it did.
  4. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Though I don't collect them, I think they are interesting because of the history connected to them. It's my understanding that the trade dollars were minted for the primary (sole?) purpose of engaging in trade with the Orient. The chopmarks used by the various merchants in the Far East are evidence of their use in those markets.

  5. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Cool piece of history.
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  6. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I am a lover of coins that tell a story. I love this one.
  7. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    I had a very nice AU with only one chop mark on each side. Sold it about 30 years ago and still miss it. I bought it when they were unwanted and relatively cheap. Too pricey for my tastes now, but I agree about liking them when they show that they did their job.
  8. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    This may be a little off topic and I apologize.... Chop marks are oriental symbols. Do they typically represent the merchants business? Anyone know off hand?
    Hookman likes this.
  9. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I’ve got a book on chop marked coins. I’ll get you an answer in 24 hours if someone doesn’t beat me to it.
  10. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

    No rush on an answer. Belongs to a relative and not for sale at this time. I will get a chance for it in the future
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  11. Chop marks also appear on other coins--British trade dollars, French trade dollars, old Spanish pillar dollars, Spanish bust dollars, etc. It would make an interesting collection to get one of each major type that played a role in oriental trade and bore chop marks.
  12. Bob Evancho

    Bob Evancho Active Member

    On another forum, the Lost Dutchman said" Chop marks were made famous by US trade dollars. They were used earlier on Spanish milled dollars that went overseas. They were used to mark a coin as yours because either a bank does not exist near you or because the banks that are near you don't take that particular currency or coin. If you mark a coin and someone steals it you are able to identify it. This tradition continues today in cities in the Middle East and Asia. I am going to start to document these marks as I find them on modern American currency. " This is the same advise my Chinese friend said when he was going over my chop marked coins and telling me about the merchant or family who once owned the coin. I wish George Washington chop marked his coins. What a lesson in History it would be.
  13. DonDurbin

    DonDurbin New Member

    I do not care for the chop marks. I consider them the same as the holes drilled through coins. I have a 20 cent piece that someone deliberately scratched up the face. The only reason I bought it is that I consider the reverse that says 'Twenty Cents' the really interesting side. JMHO.
  14. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    These marks indicate why it's called a Trade Dollar. Great history.
  15. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    I want one just like yours. I believe the chop marks represent the authentication from the region where it's being traded.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  16. Jersey magic man

    Jersey magic man Supporter! Supporter

    You can also find "chop marks" on paper currency. Overseas banks stamped these marks on US currency to show that they are not counterfeit. Usually some symbol or letter in a circle. Sorry, don't have a picture of any, but I have seen them.
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  17. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    Here's my T$1. No chop marks as far as I can see.

  18. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    Yes, they were merchant marks noting that the coin met weight and fineness standards, and was ok to accept. If someone didn't recognize the chops on it, they would test it themselves and add their mark.
    If you recognized someone's chop, you didn't need to spend the time and effort to verify acceptability.
  19. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    You can find chops on British Trade Dollars, Maria Teresa Austrian dollars, Pillar Dollars (scarce), Mexican Pesos, Spanish American bust 8 Reales, etc.
    I think a chop type set might be fun to try to put together.
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  20. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal Well-Known Member

  21. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    The marks were often cities or ports where the coins came in and were assayed and approved. I gave only a quick browse in my book. Quite fascinating and a recommendation for anyone interested in learning about chop marks.
    chascat and Randy Abercrombie like this.
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