Copper 'machine struck' forgeries and fantasies

      Shown below copper Chinese coins presents small set from infinite offers of similar items on Chinese street markets. By my opinion all of them are forgeries and fantasies but there are different ideas among collectors.
      Any additional comments highly appreciated.
      Vladimir Belyaev

      Catalogs:
      KM - Krause, Chester L., Mishler, Clifford. 1995 Standard Catalog of World Coins.
      - T.K.Sü. Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins. 1975. In Chinese and in English.


Message from Nicholas Peniazeff (29-Oct-2002):       I do not know what to make of your expression "common appearance". As to slight difference in characters all it proves that there was more than one die. All dies those day were hand made. Slight difference is natural. 500 cash coin is corroded. And been so large it is a weak strike. Twenty cash coin looks to me as a trial piece. That is what I will do to try a new die out quickly, without setting the press with collar. Two cents coin looks very similar to the one in museum.

Vladimir Belyaev (29-Oct-2002):

      "Common appearance" - color of metal, poor style of calligraphy, inaccurate inscriptions alignment etc.
      Slight difference in characters can really proves that more than one die used for coin production. But we must understand what is this difference. Very poor and inaccurate calligraphy usually says that die was engraved by bad worker, not at official mint. It is very clear seen on the Sichuan 200 cash coin - the English inscription is with 2 errors, letters are of a different size and not properly aligned.
      Some of coins are really very nicely made (for example, Sichuan 30 cash and 2 cents coins), looks very similar to published and exhibited coins, but however they are fakes on my opinion.

Paul Liu (29-Oct-02):

      I am not a "specialist" in copper cash. But by looking at the scans - the coloring of these coins are similar, no wear & tear (i.e. in XF condition). I would concur they are probable fakes.
      During my business trips to Beijing (a dozen times during 1998-1999 timeframe), I always visited Panjiayuan antique flea market every weekend. I have seen dealers selling similar copper cash for 2 to 4 RMB each (i.e. US 25 to 50 cents). When they have many of the same kind, it was quite obvious they were replicas.

Scott Semans (09-Nov-2002):

      I agree entirely with Vladimir's comments. When so many elements of the appearance are common across coins supposedly made in different places at different times, it condemns the whole group. Also many elements of the engraving are clumsy, including both English and Chinese calligraphy.
Szechuan (Sichuan) province
30 cash
Not dated (22nd year of Guangxu = 1896 [Sü, p.248])
Catalogs:
      KM - not listed
      290 (37 mm)
Problems:
      Common appearance of the coin.
      Shown coin have small caliigraphy differencies from image in the Sü's catalog (for example, compare characters bao , guang etc.).

Szechuan (Sichuan) province
200 cash
2nd year of Republic = 1913)
Catalogs:
      KM Y#459.1 (copper, tassels draped over flag poles)
      312 (42 mm)
Problems:
      Common appearance of the coin.
      Shown coin have caliigraphy differencies from images in the Sü's and KM catalogs (for example, compare characters guo , nian etc.).
      Stars at sides have different shape.
      Different shape of grass and flowers.
      Bottom Chinese inscription shifted right.
      Flags have different shape of strips.
      Error inscription (HE REPUBOIC OF CHINA instead of THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA).

Shantung (Shangdong) province
20 cash
21st year of Republic = 1932
Catalogs:
      KM - not listed
      Sü - not listed
Problems:
      Common appearance of the coin.
      Very wide rims.
      Absence in catalogs.

Republic - General issue. Nationalist Commemorative.
500 cash
Not dated (1927/8 [KM]
Catalogs:
      KM Hsu#445a (issued 12 pcs.; 8 known)
      Sü - not listed
Problems:
      Common appearance of the coin.
      Shape of ornaments, flags and flowers.
      Calligraphy.

Kwantung (Guangdong) province
2 cents
7th year of Republic = 1918
Catalogs:
      KM Y#418 (brass, 31 mm)
      KM Y#418a (copper, rare)
      372
Problem:
      Common appearance of the coin.
      Shown coin have small caliigraphy differencies from image in the KM catalog (for example, characters min , tong etc.).