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Gullberg’s new Chopmark Book


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Chopmarked Coins: A History; the silver coins used in China 1600-1935 by Colin James Gullberg (iAsure Group JEAN Publications, June 2014, 187 pages, 8-1/2 x 11, color ill., $55 + S&H).


For most collectors in most times and places, these were just damaged coins, worth less than unmarked coins in the same grade. For merchant sailor and numismatist, Frank M. Rose, they became a passion. For over 25 years, his 1987 work, Chopmarks, stood alone. Now, it has a worthy companion.


This is a narrative about collecting, a history of economics in China, and an overview of a huge, unexplored area of numismatics. It is the tip of the iceberg.


Gullberg illustrates the history of western silver coins in China with examples from his own collection, the Rose collection, and several other sources such as the British Museum, and Stacks Bowers. Coins are arranged by their initial year of issue. An example from 1848 stands for the 1825 Cap & Rays; the 1867 Chile Peso is illustrated with a coin from 1877. The running narrative closes with necessary warnings about fakes.


This is not a catalog of chopmarks, though many are explained in the text. If you are seeking to identify the chops on your coins against these, you will have to look at a lot of pictures. Some are easy to spot. The number eight is considered lucky and 8 is a chopmark that stands out among the other characters.


This book provides our hobby with a much-needed framework for further study. For the new collector–as Gullberg himself was new only a decade ago–this book will introduce a rich, complex, and compelling world.

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The book is actually only $40, not $50. (In included my annual membership by mistake in the tally.) You can only order the book direct from the author. Colin Gullberg <chopmarknews@gmail.com>

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