What do you think of this Chinese Cash piece - Da Zhong tong bao, San Fu reverse?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by mrbreeze, Feb 1, 2023.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    I have a Chinese cash piece that I find very intriguing. I am providing the best photos I can and would hope that those with or without knowledge could make a general observation. In seeing the photos, what is your opinion as to these two questions?

    1. When was this coin made?
    2. Who made it?

    The coin in question is a 3 cash piece made between 1361-1368 at the mint in Fujian province.

    F78B9D78-A607-43B1-9CCE-7DC85D0AFE4B.jpeg 27647018-A638-4EB4-8880-FA8905BF8D85.jpeg CA9CF13D-6FB4-42CD-BA2A-70CB29875448.jpeg 20C0C433-4064-49E4-8288-3EDAB08E8BFE.jpeg F2A97E70-365E-4756-A173-997548621AC1.jpeg A20A7649-CB5F-4BDC-AC30-FBF356CD94D2.jpeg B9485FC6-7A26-4169-9ABF-64E4A8E66322.jpeg E4162A7B-A7B6-4858-92FD-C7120DB68444.jpeg

    The pictures for reference are Hartill (Ming 20.27) and Fisher's Ding (1871). The coin is rated a 2 on the rarity scale (basically 1=unique, 16=everybody has one) by Hartill.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
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  3. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    Apparently I’m not smart enough to see a difference.
  4. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    No opinion.

    There's just too much fakes and this is not my field.

    I personally think the coin looks too clean and tidy for something that's cast 1300s. I could be wrong and hope that it is worth something.
  5. bernard55

    bernard55 Active Member

    what do the deep scrapes all going the same direction signify?
  6. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Well damage Sir.
    Contact to be exact.
    I am not pickin,
    Good to see you bernard.
    bernard55 likes this.
  7. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member

    @Pickin and Grinin

    This coin is cast, as were all Chinese cash. The scrapes on the rim are the file marks where the coin maker smooths the section where the coin is cut from the sprue. I’m not 100% sure about the “filing/smoothing” on the characters.
    It is usually never that obvious, although I have seen it before. That is a good question because it is one of the odd things about this piece. At that point and near that point on the rim, you can see some spots where the metal did not fill the mold.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2023
    bernard55 likes this.
  8. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Well-Known Member


    I appreciate the comment. It is interesting that you mention the “clean and tidy” look as not indicative of a 1300s era coin. The actual lack of perfection is what I see as the main problem with the coin. The Chinese at this point were already regularly producing some beautifully made pieces that were tighter than some mints in the 1800s. Also, you are right to be weary of these types of coins. There are probably several “available” on eBay right now.
    Worth is not that important to me as my main intent is to determine if it’s a legitimately made coin by government minters at the Fujian mint in the 1360s. I think it is old, but if it is 100% legit, my opinion is wrong in this case. But, there were not many available and these transition times in Chinese history present opportunity for lackluster specimens.
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