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Pillar of the Community

United States
549 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  01:14 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add ichirensha to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm in China and my Chinese mother-in-law gave me a handfull of old coins. I couldn't be more thrilled but know absolutely nothing about Chinese coins and very little about coins in general. She doesn't know anything about the coins either and told me she has just collected them over the years. There are six crown-size coins, all different, and several smaller coins from China. I found one old 50 sen from Japan and a 1919 one rupee from India. The crown-size coins are heavy and look like silver but I have no idea, really.

I know you need pictures but I've not been able to figure that one out in my several years on the forum in the USA, let alone China. Does anyone know a website I might take a look at that might help me?

Pillar of the Community
United States
3098 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  02:47 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wd1040 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
haha Post a pic up anyways!

But if nothing helps, you can always send it to HA or Stack's to see if they know. If they don't know, try Christie's or Sotheby's. But by that stage, they tend to think you're going to sell it, instead of looking for an identification.
Bedrock of the Community
13499 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  03:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Without pictures, I'll guess that that they are Chinese provincial or national silver dollar. Answering a question like this is like a numismatic expert taking questions on a radio show.

To get a better answer than this, take them to your nearest reputable coin dealer; he should be able to identify them for you, and if he is interested, offer to buy them off you for a reasonable price.
Pillar of the Community
United States
2605 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  03:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add svslav to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There's just a few examples on World Coin Gallery. You may get lucky.

If you cannot upload pictures you could try to verbally describe them to us - that could be fun to figure out.
Learn More...
12711 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  03:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply has an excellent compilation of images of fake and fantasy Chinese dollars, as well as genuine coins. See here for "tourist copies", here for fantasies, and assorted subcategories here and here for the more convincing replicas.

While is by no means comprehensive listing, it's fair to say that any coin you can only find listed as a fake, with genuine examples either nonexistent or listed as being very rare, then your coin is probably a replica.

If you can get accurate weights, that can go a long way towards proving authenticity, or at least disproving it; while some fake coins are made to the correct weight, many are not. Check NumisMaster for catalogue pics of genuine coins and for what the weights of genuine coins should be.
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
Pillar of the Community
United States
549 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  07:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ichirensha to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks very much for the answers. I'll check out the websites you have suggested. These appear to provincial coins. I'll be home in a week and have a much easier time researching these. Now, I'm traveling and nothing at all is familiar to me. I just happened to receive the coins as a gift and couldn't wait to find out if I was rich or not. Lol.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3098 Posts
 Posted 07/15/2010  12:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wd1040 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
But in the case you can't identify it, post it here! At least I can read the coin for you.
Pillar of the Community
United States
549 Posts
 Posted 07/24/2010  11:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ichirensha to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've added some scans so hopefully someone will be able to chime in.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3098 Posts
 Posted 07/24/2010  11:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wd1040 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
sigh... time to pull out the "if" key... as in "if" they are real. For the most part, they do look real some of them look real, and I see 2 of some considerable value.

So... identification will go like this

A1: Shanghai/HongKong Tael: This coin was struck in Shanghai, and would be considered one of the first "western" style (as in round coined) silver coins in China. Some people would consider this a pattern coin, as there weren't many minted. I actually think it was a private issue... Krause lists at a few thousand. (IF real hahaha.... D; ) Too bad there are sooooo many copies of this out there...

B1: Empress Cixi commemorative: western style silver dollar commemorating Empress Cixi. I think it's quite common...

C1: Circulating Yuan Shikai Silver dollar from ROC year 7 (1918). Why is it yellow... and smaller than the imperial dollars? I thought they should be the same size, but I don't remember...

D1: Xuantong (last emperor) Yunnan struck 1/2 dollar coin. This design would be regular of the imperial issues (with the dragon and the characters on the other side). Yunnan province... I think that was a mint with few issues....

A2: Does this one scream fake? Most likely hahaha... The design is from a coin commemorating the first year of the republic of China (1912). It says a dollar, but the Chinese says "Five Dollars" huh...

B2: Da Qing Ying Bi: Qing dynasty silver coin. Is it really uniface? It's supposed to show the dragon on the other side. Looks to be Beijing minted by the treasury mint (not the public works mint)

C2: Same as C1, except with Sun Yat-sen. Republic year 24 (1935). Again, why is it yellow? Tarnish? Does it mean it could be real? heh....

D2: Guangxu (1871-1908) dated 1/2 dollar, struck in Heilongjiang province. Western style coinage started somewhere halfway during his reign.

A3: Guangxu dollar, Zhejiang province. Kuping means imperial treasury standard.

B3: ... ah! Here's a site for it have fun!
Just kidding, after reading that site, it is a Hunan province private strike one tael, meaning it was not government mandated. Quite rare, I think... (this is the 2nd rare one)

C3: Same as C1

D3: Same as B3, except half tael and err... Guangxu reign instead

A4: Same as B3... except why is it much smaller? It's the same inscriptions...

B4: ... I have never seen a front facing Sun Yat Sen dollar. Could this be fake or a trial piece? In olden days they did make essais in brass/bronze...

C4: On the top it says "Every 2 pieces equals a dollar) and in the middle it says "middle dollar." Never seen these either before, but it reminds me of Japanese 1/2 and 1 sen pieces, that also carries the inscription "### pieces equals 1 yen"

Hope that helps! You would need to look at it closely to determine those aren't fakes. If they aren't, then you have quite a lot of heft on your hands. Now look for them in Krause! (If they have them listed)

Are you near Hong Kong by any chance?

Edited by wd1040
07/24/2010 11:54 am
Valued Member
United States
347 Posts
 Posted 07/24/2010  3:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add manymore to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I do not happen to collect these types of coins but I think I may be able to provide a little additional information to the discussion.

Using wd1040's format:

C1: I read the date as year 10 (1921) not year 7 (1918).

D2: The obverse states Heilongjiang Province but the reverse says Hubei Province.

B3: According to "A Concise Chinese Coin Dictionary" (jian ming qian bi ci dian), this coin was made in Kashgar, Xianjiang Province in the year 1907. Just below the top rim on the obverse side of the coin are Chinese characters which read ka shi which is Kashgar. Also, the link you provide to the Chinese website has one reply providing essentially this same information. The Hunan reference is not referring to where the coin was made. The term hu ping, which originated in Hunan, was popularly used by the general population and was therefore adopted for use in Xinjiang as the standard scale for silver. Your link mentions that the hu ping standard was 36.13 grams.

C3: The 3rd year which would be 1914.

A4: See B3 above. My reference book shows a "5 qian" (wu qian) version of this coin which is smaller than the "one liang" coin. However, the denomination should be "wu qian" and not "yi liang" as is the case on this coin.

B4: There is a front facing Sun Yat Sen dollar. My reference book relates the "story" of this coin. It was made in the 18th year (1929) of the Republic. It was bought from an engraver at a mint in Vienna, Austria. The "coin pattern" was never sent to China. There is only one specimen of this coin known to exist.

New Member
United States
27 Posts
 Posted 09/16/2010  01:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sethhsu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
well, some of this collection are coins that never existed, like B1, someone just made it up by imagination. many of the others are keys of keys, unless your mother-in-law is a world famous coin collecter, otherwise these could not be real. Some of them do show problems in patterns and characters.
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