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Chinese Hupeh 1 Tael: replica or original?  

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 Posted 02/12/2008  8:25 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add lfb00 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello colleagues,

I found some Chinese silver coins and I am surely in doubt if they are fake or not. I am now asking for your help/opinion evaluating them.

Let's start with the 1 Tael coin from HUPEH province. According to Krause catalog (2006), there are two kinds of this coin: one with large inscription and other with small inscription. Comparing the picture, I classified the one from the image below as small inscription kind (Y# 128.2). I also found some imperfections, like on the "ONE TAEL" letters, where the "A" is a little upper than the other letters, and the "ONE" is on the very bottom of the coin. What are your guys opinion about its classification and originality?

I have other that matches with the Y# 128.1, large inscription. It seems to be a re-strike or fake, because it have a very erased word "ONE" before the "ONE TAEL" on the coin. Have anyone heard or seem something like that?

Thank you very much

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13 Posts
 Posted 02/12/2008  8:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add drt100 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I live here in Beijing and I have seen books and books of Chinese older coins. They are interesting and most are fake. Actually I have bins of thousands of fake coins. Some are fun and have ended up two headed, others are simply wrong with one side for a specific coin type and another for other coin types. Normal the real coins ring when tapped together and the fake ones kind of clink. You can do this test also by dropping the coin on a glass table top. The real ones ring and spin down, the fake ones don't. Also real coins when rotated, the bottom of the back side should align up with the top of the front side. Often the coins are not aligned and a just a bit off. There are so mnay fake ones that "seem real" that most collectors here assume they are all fake. This week end I went to the Ghost Market (an old antique dirt market, but huge) a guy wanted to sell me a whole books of coins for about 10 dollars US, then went down to $5. The book held 8 large coins like yours per page and it have 10 pages or 80 coins. That placed them at about 15 cents or less each. I did not buy them, although they all looked old and interesting. That market is really fun. Fake or not I often buy odds and ends because they just look interesting ... mostly all fake.

Prof. Dr. David Reed Thomas - Living in Beijing China.
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12696 Posts
 Posted 02/12/2008  11:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is wise to be skeptical. I'd classify it as "large inscription", based on the pics in Krause. A genuine coin in that condition would be worth thousands. Unless you've purchased this coin from an acknowledged expert in this series, and paid big money for it, it's highly unlikely to be real.

Easiest check is the weight. The tael should weigh 37.7 grams - over 10 grams heavier than a normal dollar. A correct weight doesn't prove it's genuine, but a wrong weight does prove it's a fake.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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4464 Posts
 Posted 02/15/2008  01:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In my opinion, there is enough information in the photos to convince me that this one is a fake;

1. At the edge of the coin in the center of the top there is a rough partial collar seam. That is a feature commonly seen on modern copies.
2. The surfaces of the coin have a grainy texture indicative of a casting.
3. The lines on the surface of the reverse above One Teal are WRONG. They are die features that do not belong.

When testing modern counterfeits weight is only one aspect. Density must be considered as well. You can easily make coin of this diameter weigh 37.7 grams by thickening it. Specific Gravity is the best way to tell you actually have silver. But even then - there are full weight full assay silver forgeries out there.

Be careful.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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United States
28 Posts
 Posted 02/16/2008  5:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ywan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fake for sure. The dragon scale is too ugly.
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