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Lalo

Chinese coin identification

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Hi,

someone gave me this coin for my collection, I haven't been able to identificate it. Can anyone help me?

Thanks,

Lalo.

 

 

70804808.jpg w2272.png

44501174.jpg w2272.png

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What are the diameter (in mm) and weight (in grams)?

 

I believe you have a commemorative medallion of some sort rather than a coin, as there is no country name or denomination on the piece.

 

The western dates represent a truncated version of the reign of Pu Yi, the Last Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, which actually included the last 29 days of 1908, and the first 43 days of 1912, ending with the the establishment of the Republic of China on February 12, 1912.

 

The portrait does appear to be that of Pu Yi, who was only a few days past his sixth birthday when the Republic was declared. The hat matches the one seen in many photographs of the infant monarch. On the other hand, the dragon on the reverse does not seem to match any of the dragons seen on Imperial Chinese coinage, including provincial coins of the Imperial era.

 

The legend at the bottom of the reverse doesn't make a whole lot of sense, or explain the purpose of the medal. It reads "20" following his Imperial designation, but I have been unable to find any historical significance for that number in relation to Pu Yi, his official reign; his brief reign as puppet emperor of the short-lived Second Empire in July, 1917; or his term as puppet emperor of Manchuko under Japanese occupation in 1934-45.

 

An interesting piece of copper or bronze, whatever its source.

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Thanks for the information, it was very interesting.

 

I haven't mesured it, I also don't know it's weight and I don't have a scale.

The person who gave it to me said something about Tibet, but I don't think it's related.

Actually, it's a silver coin, because of the light it seems to be copper or bronze.

 

Does anyone have another information?

Greetings,

Lalo.

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If you don't have a metric ruler or tape measure around the house, how about the diameter in inches?

 

Or, a size comparison to a US coin?

 

There doesn't seem to be any connection between Pu Yi and Tibet, and the characters on the piece are Chinese, not Tibetan.

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Thanks for the information, it was very interesting.

 

I haven't mesured it, I also don't know it's weight and I don't have a scale.

The person who gave it to me said something about Tibet, but I don't think it's related.

Actually, it's a silver coin, because of the light it seems to be copper or bronze.

 

Does anyone have another information?

Greetings,

Lalo.

It's a souvenir piece struck mainly for the tourist trade. You can buy a whole set of them (all the Qing emperors) on eBay. The metal composition is what is sometimes called "Tibetan" or "Nepalese" silver - it is basically a type of debased silver or billon with enough silver to make the coin "ring" like a silver coin but a large portion of nickel, tin, and other metals. Usually these coins attract a magnet (because of the nickel content) so you can tell they are not high-purity silver coins.

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Thank you, where did you find all this information? First time I hear about Nepalese/Tibetan silver. Well I guess my coin isn't that much after all, isn't it?

Anyway do you have any idea how old is it?

 

Satootoko, thank you very much for your help.

 

Greetings,

Lalo.

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Sturzny's information about a series has cleared up the mystery of the number at the bottom of the reverse.

 

First of all, it's 12 (10 + 2) reading from right to left in the traditional Chinese manner, not 20 (2 * 10) reading from left to right in the modern manner. I should have realized that, but rendering the characters in their Japanese reading, not their Chinese reading, I thought "Dai" (Great) followed the regnal name whereas it actually preceded the name..

 

Anyhow, Pu Yi was the 12th Qing emperor since the Dynasty's founding in 1644.

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Thank you, where did you find all this information? First time I hear about Nepalese/Tibetan silver. Well I guess my coin isn't that much after all, isn't it?

Anyway do you have any idea how old is it?

 

Satootoko, thank you very much for your help.

 

Greetings,

Lalo.

 

My main collecting interest (I am also a dealer) is Chinese milled coins of the late Qing dynasty and early Republic. So I have seen most of the fakes, replicas, souvenir pieces, warlord issues, fantasy pieces, etc. out there, although new ones are appearing all the time. Being a souvenir piece, your coin was probably struck sometime in the last 20 years or so. As far as I know, they are still making them, although most of the better "private mints" in China have switched to turning out fakes of collectible coins which is much more lucrative.

 

By the way, the "flying dragon" reverse on your coin is copied from an early Republican silver dollar issue which was struck around the time General Yuan Shih-kai declared himself emperor - which didn't go over too well with the Chinese people.

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Here is the silver dollar struck in 1916.

970828.jpg

Republic, Yuan Shih-Kai, Silver Commemorative Dollar, 1916, on the installation of Yuan Shih-Kai as Emperor Hung Hsien

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installation of Yuan Shih-Kai as Emperor Hung Hsien

Which lasted all of 83 days, one of the shortest reigns in Chinese history, although considerably longer than Pu Yi's 11-day "restoration" in July, 1917, lasted.

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