Before the first US combat troops arrived in DaNang on March 8, 1965, on the
sidewalk of SaiGon, quite a few people lived of selling to tourists pieces
of jade, ivory, coin, charm ... alleged to be some hundred years old. When the
war was escalated later on, more foreigners poured into crowded streets in
SaiGon, DaNang, Hue. These charms became good-bargain souvenirs for one who
loved to get antiques from Vietnam with a cheap price. The producers began
to mint more imaginary charms for profit. There is nothing wrong as long as
one paid a price for replica or good-luck charm (1 or 2 US dollars), not a
price for authentic ancient coin. Today one can see some of these charms
shown at coin shows or even flea markets in America. Their designs are
beautiful to make people think they are worth than they are.
Collections of Vietnam imperial coins of Albert Schroeder (published in 1905), Lacroix Desire (published in 1900), Ting Fu Bao and Miura Gosen did not even have any of these charms. Of course, because they were produced later in Vietnam, or Hongkong , Thailand.
According to Tien Co Viet Nam written by Do Van Ninh published in Ha Noi, when the author went to Hue for his research , fortunately he had a chance to meet Mr. Le Dinh Tanh, living in village Thuong Nam of Thuy Xuan area, near Hue, who was the one to produce many moulds to mint these Vietnamese charms.
Quang Trung Trong Bao
Khai Dinh Trong Bao
Gia Long Thong Bao
Minh Mang Thong Bao
Ham Nghi Trong Bao