Yu Min fantasy issue

Vladimir Belyaev
May 29, 2000
Click to enlarge Click to enlarge
Obverse: Yu Min Tong Bao - legend of the coinage of the Yu Ming reign title (1676 a.d.) during the San Fan rebellion ('Southern Ming').

Reverse: Kung Yi Liang - Board of Works, one liang

Diameter: 67 mm
Weight: 100 g

Recently I purchased this item together with short note which say the next:

Dan Cruson, Keng Ching-Chung: Further Coinage of the San Fan Rebellion 1674-81.
    It is a large piece of 67 mm diameter bearing the reverse inscription above and to the right and left of the hole. The only published source for this specimen is Ting fu-pao's encyclopedia of Chinese coinage, Ku Ch'ien Ta Tz'u Tien (CKB-343), and two specimens have been observed in the collection of the American Numismatic Society.
    Ting assumes that the piece is a forgery but Mrs. Rose Chan Houston (associate Curator of Far Eastern Coins for the ANS) observes that the calligraphy is very good and closely follows the official pattern, indicating that it may have been a commemorative or presentation piece. It is undoubtedly never meant for circulation since it is too bulky to have circulated freely or been properly accepted. No contemporary counterfeiter in his right mind would have put that much work or metal into a non-circulating piece. The possibility of counterfeiting such a piece for the modern cash collector trade is, of course, a possibility, but examination of the high quality of workmanship on the observed specimens suggests otherwise. If only we had more information ...

Any additional information highly appreciated.

Chinese Coinage Web Site