TypeCoin’s Top 10 for 2020

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by TypeCoin971793, Dec 5, 2020.

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    I see others posting their lists, so I guess I will jump on the bandwagon. 2020 is definitely a year to remember for both good reasons and the never-mding chaos. I started my first job as a Flight Test Engineer for the US Army and I wrote my first book. Those things have kept me sufficiently occupied that I no longer frequent the forums as much as I used to (or would like to). That doesn’t mean I have stopped collecting; that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been actively pursuing ancient Chinese with the occasional Roman/Greek/medieval thrown in.

    I will share the lone non-Chinese coin on the list first because most of you couldn’t care less about the Chinese coins, and I would hate to waste your time.

    This is a Postumus antoninianus from the Cologne mint, purchased from a JA auction. I wanted this to represent the city of Cologne in my collection of coins from cities I visited while studying abroad in 2018. Not only was the condition impeccable, I likes the die-cutter’s overzealous rendering of the female anatomy. I haven’t seen another like it.

    67C53379-D5C5-44A5-89E6-5A69E3588FBD.jpeg 320A2978-F1E1-4C62-B4F1-B579AAEEEDB0.jpeg

    And now for the Chinese coins. These are in no particular order.

    This is a prototype hollow-handle spade coin. This is basically the earliest manufactured, non-cowrie money to have existed in China. Excavations of tombs have dated these to 1200-800 BC. There are examples of this exact type which bear an inscription (this one does not), so it is plausible that this can be considered a coin rather than proto-money. That would mean it beats electrum coinage by at least 150 years. It is also exceedingly rare, with another example likely not showing up on the western market for decades.


    While not a singular coin, it is a singular numismatic artifact. When I bought it, I thought it was simply a clump of coins fused together. After cleaning the dirt off, I found that this was actually a clump of melted scrap! My guess is that someone was melting Wang Mang’s coins right after we was deposed in 23 AD so that they could make their own coins. That would explain the sudden boom of privately-made coins after the fall of Wang Mang.

    4EA3232E-FD07-48BC-8BFB-ECBD7A9CEBD4.jpeg EAF3A78B-8919-427A-8F3E-669596F03827.jpeg

    Next up, silver “Liang Ban.” The color of the metal is strongly silver, and the style is quite unique, indicating that it was a special issue. I had never seen anything like it, and the blue encrustations are nice. I need to test it for silver.

    2A7C0987-4F1F-495F-B2F9-B29111E391BD.jpeg 28C2F4B1-982E-45AD-A334-723925EF491E.jpeg

    Wang Mang “biscuit” Huo Quan with a shattered mould error. This is one of the privately-made issued produced after the fall of Wang Mang. This one is particularly special in that the mould broke apart while the metal was being poured, and it was allowed to cool like that. That makes for a really neat effect.

    C99E98C8-1060-4E9B-9AEF-693815EAF6E1.jpeg 9E941428-8944-4C60-AB25-2A75770B36E7.jpeg E9FABCD2-1C6C-45FE-948E-D689E2DD4CAC.jpeg
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Next up is a square-shoulder hollow-handle spade. I always love getting these, and they are very hard to acquire nowadays.


    Here is a fun error which I have been planning on writing up on. It is a Wu Zhu with the obverse inscription repeated twice. It is official in style, so it is either an error made by rotating the mother mould, or it was intentionally produced by an errant mint worker. The result is a really neat looking coin. These are excessively rare and highly desired in the Chinese market.

    BE7BA59F-6F4F-47DC-B723-D04DC3171494.jpeg 3A13A700-CFA4-4FF2-AF20-68336A8F920D.jpeg

    Here is another fun error. It is a Ban Liang with the “Ban” character (on the right) being upside down. This error is also extremely rare and highly desired.


    Up next is a very rare spade. It’s inscription is “Gan Dan”, a city which produced both knife and spade coins of various types. This is a large-size pointed-foot flat-handle spade, which filled a glaring hole in my collection. The type is very scarce at best, and prohibitively rare at worst with some varieties known by only a handful of specimens. This coin is from a recent hoard which came to market.

    FD587D06-EB5A-4EEF-A776-B805CC195AFA.jpeg F18D3F17-8896-4793-8BF7-8533E99A4450.jpeg

    Last, but certainly not least, is this square 4-Zhu coin. It popped up in a small lot of similar coins on eBay, and it was an inscription which I did not already have. It is in very high great, and I particularly love the patina. Some call these “weights” because of the hangar, but that is highly unlikely because of the variability of the mass of these objects. They seem to be a short-lived experimental issue made sometime in the Western Han Dynasty.

    DE881B20-2799-48AF-B0B4-15032C3ECF02.jpeg 7B52AFAE-60C1-4CD8-BE59-08D8EC573C55.jpeg

    If you have gotten this far, I appreciate your dedication. I hope I have not bored you to tears with my Chinese-centric acquisitions.
    dlhill132, eparch, Pavlos and 39 others like this.
  4. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    A bunch of amazing coins, I love them! The crowning glory is that prototype hollow handled spade, but the other hollow handle is very nice too. I have never seen a doubled wu zhu before - wow! The other weird one that really appeals to me is the silvery ban liang, I hope you'll learn enough about it to do a writeup at some point.

    A spectacular year - you may have to change that signature! :D

    I only dabble in far eastern stuff, but my favourite Chinese coin for the year is this early round coin, Hartill 6.3 (city of Yuan, state of Liang):
    Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 11.08.03 PM.jpg

    Must see what I can do to pick up one of those big point-foot spades from the hoard...
  5. thejewk

    thejewk Well-Known Member

    An interesting group for sure. I particularly like the repeated legend Wu Zhu and the attractively patinated 'weight'.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  6. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    Not my collecting area but a great looking and very interesting group....
    Love the clump of melted scrap the sort of thing you might see in a museum, really cool!......Also the shattered mould looks great!.....Obviously though the spades are quite special congrats on a great year....
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  7. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I appreciate the shattered mold coin that speaks to the process of making the coins. While the Postumus is well 'detailed' it loses points from the eye being cut as a protruding point just like the other body parts.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  8. Parthicus

    Parthicus Well-Known Member

    That's a very nice group @TypeCoin971793 , I didn't mind the Chinese focus at all. If I had to choose, I'd probably pick the fused group of Wang Mang coins and scrap- that is truly a moment of history frozen in time, and the sort of thing I'd expect to see in a museum exhibit.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  9. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    It's sure out of my focus, but it's part of the fun here at CT, to have members with very diverse interests, showing and teaching about what they like.

    We learn every day, and that's very interesting
    Orielensis and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  10. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    You certainly have neat coins. Before you posted(some time ago) your Chinese "spade " coins/ I thought a spade was only a tool for planting trees. Thanks for "enlightening" me on that:D I am still amazed that the Chinese Ming/ earlier dynasties did not strike AV coinage.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  11. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    “My eye is up here”
  12. Alegandron

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

    No way, Dude! I REALLY enjoy your fantastic Chinese coins / Unusual coin contributions! FANTASTIC! In fact, I tire of the Romean-Empire-Centric posts, and enjoy seeing coins of the many OTHER cultures or time periods.

    Great selection that you posted. I find them fascinating.

    Here is one you may know... :D

    (Someone's FAT PAW is in the pic!)
    China Wu Zhu coin clay mold unearthed in SanMenXia City in HeNan Province full obverse impression partial second impression probly H-8.6 110-90 BCE

    I like those 4-Zhu too...

    China Sui Dynasty 589-619 CE 4-Shu Hartill 13.53 w-hanger below RARE

    China Xinjiang Warring States Period 475-221 BCE Arrowhead socketed leaf shaped biblade w grooves nailhole bronze 36x10mm 3.9g

    CHINA - ZHOU Dynasty, 1122-255 BC square foot spade 350-250 BC AN YANG - 3 lines rev bronze 31x52mm 7.45g H3.184 S13+
  13. AnYangMan

    AnYangMan Well-Known Member

    You've had a cracking year coin-wise! You know how jealous I am of the HH spade and the Handan spade and I just love the aesthetics (helped by a gorgeous and thick botryoidal malachite patina) of that molten pile of Wang Mang stuff! And the prototype spade sure is a monumental purchase that you won’t be able to repeat quickly ;)

    I still think the double Wu Zhu is not an error, but rather something made deliberately. If it really was a double mould impression, the characters of the first impression would have to be a little squashed as they would have to be pushed into the ‘fields’ of the mould of the second impression. Probably something made for deliberate charm-like purposes?
  14. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Very interesting to say the least. Thanks for posting them
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  15. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Very nice indeed, I love the clump of molten coins, lucky there was enough readable to determine the dynasty.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  16. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    Interesting collecting year, thanks for sharing.
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  17. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Really cool coins @TypeCoin971793 . My favorite is the melt scrap because of the cool story and theory.

    I also like all of your spade coins. The spades, the knife coins and the cowry shells are my favorite types of Chinese currency. Cool year and thanks for sharing.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  18. otlichnik

    otlichnik Well-Known Member

    Nice stuff. I really love that Wang Mang interregnum era scrap. Beautiful.

    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  19. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    That is a Aesculapius, who is male, on the reverse of your coin.
    Alegandron likes this.
  20. Al Kowsky

    Al Kowsky Supporter! Supporter

    TypeCoin, You've got some beautiful ancient bronze coins from China :D! I never acquired any ancient coins from China, but ended up with a number of fakes :p. I've always admired Chines jade carvings & at one time had an impressive collection of them, including a few ancient carvings. I find you spade bronzes especially attractive :happy:.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  21. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Turns out this coin is fake, as in, a genuine coin altered by adding new characters in the gaps. :( What a bloody disappointment

    EFD538AD-D7EA-4849-8B51-53C694E1206E.jpeg E1E94EDE-9086-4718-8A9B-870A927BE544.jpeg
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