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Help? I need some info on this dollar


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gallery_8_39_10922.jpg

gallery_8_39_3032.jpg

 

Can anyone give me some useful and interesting info on this to put in my ebay listing for it. Mint? etc.

 

Thanks.

 

Ignore the greenish stuff. It's not really there. Picked it up from an errant layer in the photoshop when reducing the image size.

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Art, do you see that "M" with the "o" on top of it, at 8 'o clock?

 

That's the mint mark of the Mexico City mint.

 

Nice coin, btw :ninja:

 

Any chance we get to see the other side too?

 

 

pics are too big. I've got to redo them.

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Those look like chopmarks, was this from the far east?

 

I'm guessing that the chopmarks came from the far east. The coin's history is unknown to me. I purchased it from Blackhawk to use as part of my early collection display that I had in mind. Alas, it is time for this wonder and I to part company so I'm going to ebay it.

 

It's in a Postal Commemorative Society album. Quite nice actually.

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A lot of people do not know this now, but there was quite a trade across the Pacific ocean during the 18th and early 19th century. For this reason a lot of Mexican 8 Reales coins ended up in China where they were countermarked like this. I have an example from 1782 that is very similar in grade and chopmarks to the example above that I got for $5. Not a bad price for a 200+ year old coin with one heck of a history.

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A lot of people do not know this now, but there was quite a trade across the Pacific ocean during the 18th and early 19th century.  For this reason a lot of Mexican 8 Reales coins ended up in China where they were countermarked like this.  I have an example from 1782 that is very similar in grade and chopmarks to the example above that I got for $5.  Not a bad price for a 200+ year old coin with one heck of a history.

 

That is a great deal! I suppose since chopmarks would be relativel;y easy to duplicate they'll never enhance the value but it does make the story behind the coin more interesting.

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Yep, silver coins were/are used in China, India and the middle east and picked up chopmarks from everywhere they traveled. I had an 8 Reale with a swastika chopmark on it from India. US trade dollars, Mexican and Spanish 8 Reales and Austrian Thalers can still be found in use in Asia.

 

I bought a seated liberty quarter with a Chinese imperial assayer's large chop on the obverse and a large Sanskrit chop on the reverse a few years ago. The large chops were made by official assayers and the small ones were done by merchants if what I was told is correct.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have lived in the Far East for 30+ years, and have LOTS of spanish and mexican 8 reales coins. Nearly ALL of the ones with chopmarks are more desirable and carry a premium. Every Chinese Merchant had his own Chop that was recognized by almost all other merchants, or could be traced back to him. The Chinese Merchants' Chopmark was his Solemn Word that the coin was AUTHENTIC. The chinese merchants used this practice of Chopmarks SOLEY for the purpose of authentication, being suspicious and untrusting of everyone (also, they're not called "The Jews of the Orient" for nothing...). I hope that didn't offend anyone, and wasn't meant to. Its just a peice of interesting and factual history that is pretty common knowlege in this part of the world. I have visited a website on identifying chopmarks that i will post as soon as i find it again. BTW, the "swastika" is a Buddahist symbol. Also, there are a number of collectors who SPECIFICALLY collect coins FOR the chopmarks, and love researching the history of the coin. It is definitely NOT considered a form of mutilation, but simply add historical significance to the coin. It can turn a "common issue" coin into a very valuable, and highly prized part of a collection. If anyone is interested, email me and i will send you some scans of chopped coins/8 reales, and they ARE for sale. My specialty is really in U.S - Philippines Territorial coins/banknotes.

Semper Fi.

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I have lived in the Far East for 30+ years, and have LOTS of spanish and mexican 8 reales coins. Nearly ALL of the ones with chopmarks are more desirable and carry a premium. Every Chinese Merchant had his own Chop that was recognized by almost all other merchants, or could be traced back to him. The Chinese Merchants' Chopmark was his Solemn Word that the coin was AUTHENTIC. The chinese merchants used this practice of Chopmarks SOLEY for the purpose of authentication, being suspicious and untrusting of everyone (also, they're not called "The Jews of the Orient" for nothing...). I hope that didn't offend anyone, and wasn't meant to. Its just a peice of interesting and factual history that is pretty common knowlege in this part of the world. I have visited a website on identifying chopmarks that i will post as soon as i find it again. BTW, the "swastika" is a Buddahist symbol. Also, there are a number of collectors who SPECIFICALLY collect coins FOR the chopmarks, and love researching the history of the coin. It is definitely NOT considered a form of mutilation, but simply add historical significance to the coin. It can turn a "common issue" coin into a very valuable, and highly prized part of a collection. If anyone is interested, email me and i will send you some scans of chopped coins/8 reales, and they ARE for sale. My specialty is really in U.S - Philippines Territorial coins/banknotes.

                                                                  Semper Fi.

 

 

Excellent!!! ;) Thank you very much for that lesson. This is why I like this place, great people and everyone has some great information that they don't mind passing along. Thanks again my friend.

 

Oh send me some of those scans if you wouldn't mind the addy is:

 

davidc3@gmail.com.........................LOL Lets see the google bot spam me there! HAHAHAHAHA!!!! :ninja:

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I strongly disagree. While some merchant chopmarks are more desirable, most of the time heavily chopmarked are regarded as scrap metals. Best examples that I know are of Japanese silver yens and trade dollars. With those marks all over the coins, most of the time, they are not too highly regarded unless there happens to be a keydate.

 

How often would you see an auction that states: "Some merchant chopmark on some particular silver coin - RARE" :ninja:

 

And I beg your pardon there - once people find out how valuable such countermarks could be and if you get people in China knowing all these stuffs, all they need to do is to make counterfeits of such marks and tada - total headache. Afterall, they could counterfeit anything except humans but I guess that's a matter of time.

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IF you are interested, and email me, I have some interesting (and valuable) CarolusIII, CarolusIIII, FerdinVII and "Cap n' Rays" 8 Reales coins to show you all. Also a couple of the Brittish Trade Dollars mentioned in an earlier post. I have also included pics of the most COMMONLY faked/counterfeited coins circulating in Asia, and ARE on ALL of the ebays i checked. That INCLUDES ebay.us, uk, and au. I was SHOCKED at the number of bids on these fakes, and that supposedly savvy collectors ( buyers with many feedbacks) could not tell the difference.<p> 1) Check the source, and where its coming from! A seller from China with ZERO (or only several) feedbacks is USually a pretty good indicator. The Chinese are MASTERS at this game. And Americans (sorry...I'm one of you too!) are the MOST commonly duped. <p> 2) ASK QUESTIONS! Especially about the weight! <p> 3) Check the sellers feedback, even if he HAS multiple positives. You may discover that he built a reputation giving away free recipes, and/or that his "buyers" are all "SHILLS". You can also tell by checking the BUYERS feedbacks. The trail is usually very warm and fresh, and easily tracked, and....leads right back to the seller! <p> 4) You will MOST LIKELY discover that this seller has "sold" one or more of the EXACT same coin he is offering to you! Do a side-by-side comparison, and note the identifying markings on the same coin he sold to JOE BLOW LAST WEEK! They will try to tell you that Grandpa/grandma left them "several of the same dates/coins", which is why they have another/multiples for sale. Hey....I SHOULD SELL YOU THIS INFORMATION! Yukyukyuk... NOW than... the first series of coins are 2x CarolusIII, 2x CarolusIIII (all with multiple chinese chopmarks), and a Ferdin VII. These are also called "pillar dollars", and are ALL from Mexico, and were ALL circulated in the Philippines during the Spanish Occupation. The second group is 2xGBR Trade Dollars (also known as HongKong Trade Dollars), and a 1801 CarolusIIII with the MOST chops i've ever seen on a coin, and a NICE 1819 Ferdin VII. Notice that the Ferdins are Unchopped (as Most are). Don't quite know why??? The LAST group are ALL common FAKES. The 1882 J.S. Cap n' Rays is the only faked year of this coin that i know of. (S---can it if it don't work). ALL of these can be had for the asking (email me and we'll talk). I am HAPPY to share all my wisdom and information with y'all, and will post some more goodies on how NOT to get ripped-off, in the near future...depending on the feedback i get on this posting...cause i ain'tagonna waste my time on deaf ears! HAPPY NEW YEAR! P.S BEWARE OF FAKED MORGANS AND GOLD COIN AS WELL, ESPECIALLY IF THEY"RE OUT OF............................................CHINA!!!

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  Every Chinese Merchant had his own Chop that was recognized by almost all other merchants, or could be traced back to him.  ...  "The Jews of the Orient" ... I was SHOCKED at the number of bids on these fakes, and that supposedly savvy collectors ... i ain'tagonna waste my time on deaf ears!

 

You are preaching to the choir, but welcome aboard, anyway.

 

eBay is a quagmire, but everyone who buys there is 100$% certain that they are specially gifted, intelligent, aware, knowledgeable, and informed buyers who know a true bargain when they see one. So, warning people about eBay is a waste of time.

 

Dierdre McCloskey is a professor of economics who wrote the now-classic essay "Bourgeois Virtue." She points out that expatriate ethnic communites (Jews, Quakers, Chinese) often find commerce convenient and form strong personal relationships across distances in support of trade.

 

In Arabic lands, the shroff was a money-changer, a banker. Into the 20th century, the shroff was also known to Europeans who traded in China and India. Some numismatists cite "shroff "as the origin for the word "chop," the banker's marks found on large silver coins that circulated in Chinese finance. Chopmarks are often found on American Trade Dollars (1873-1878), as well as Spanish 8-reales, and other coins. Another etymology for that word points to the Chinese "chop" meaning "fast" or "quick" as in "chopsticks." It is true that chopmarks are seldom true Chinese characters but rather a shorthand. A third origin is in the Hindi word "chap" meaning a stamp, seal, or brand. Ultimately, that word may itself be a dialect pronunciation of "shroff."

 

Americans who smoke tobacco may recall that Camel cigarettes advertise their fine Turkish tobacco. Tobacco, of course, did not originate in Turkey, any more than tomato sauce and noodles originated in Italy. We see England as the most powerful force in the global commerce of the American colonial period. England pulled the tides of our shipping, but the true course of our commerce was defined by the distant yet powerful attraction of the shroffs.

 

Shroffs were clearing houses for the purchase, transport, and sale of imports and exports. For over 300 years, European merchants of all nationalities doing business in southern Asia even looked to local shroffs to provide venture capital. By 1850, the British world economy based on the industrial revolution and laissez faire economics ultimately eclipsed the Asian networks of shroffs in China, India, and the Islamic lands. Even so, the shroffs did not simply evaporate. Writing about life in Shanghai in the 1930s, Canadian aviator Pat Patterson makes several references to "shroffs" some of whom were merely bill collectors for bordellos. You can still find bankers on Shroff Lane in Colaba, near Bombay, India. The latest issue of The Far East Economic Review of Hong Kong has a regular "Shroff" column about mergers, acquistions, and other financial transactions.

 

The Mexican Mint apparently made steady profits selling their silver 8 Reales coins. These were preferred in the Orient. I assume that merchants from the USA and Europe paid for these silver coins with gold. What else would pass in international trade? They may have been tendering silver to be coined, but that seems unlikely.

 

I have four 8 Reales with chopmarks. I find them fascinating.

 

(Best story -- I can track the details if you demand them -- is the advertisement from about 1999 or 2000 from a reputable firm in a hobby newspaper, with a long list of coins for sale including a Trade Dollar, chopmarked, and graded Uncirculated.)

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Great article! Thanks for that, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! To EVERYONE! Occasionally, someone will listen to advice, if it makes any sense at all, and possibly save themselves some grief. I've had three emails from readers already, grateful for the advice. One guy was ready to hit the "Buy it Now" button on an item, and did some investigating after reading what to look for, and found the buyer was selling the EXACT same coin on three different pages! He did a side-by-side comparison, and WALLA....same distinguishing marks, toning, color on ALL of them. If it saves ONE person from turning their money over to some snake, then i'll waste a bit of time.

 

I'm glad you have a few of the chopped reales. They really do give a feel of having been passed around from merchant to merchant, with a trackable history, which DOES add a premium to many of them. I ESPECIALLY loved your "Best Story" comment at the end of your response, about the Chopped and UNCIRCULATED coin that was advertised. I hope ccg read that! It sort of throttles his comment about chopmarked coins becoming scrapmetal. Like i said before....I'LL take all you got at Spot Scrap. Yukyukyuk.

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I'm glad you have a few of the chopped reales. They really do give a feel of having been passed around from merchant to merchant, with a trackable history, which DOES add a premium to many of them. I ESPECIALLY loved your "Best Story" comment at the end of your response, about the Chopped and UNCIRCULATED coin that was advertised. I hope ccg read that! It sort of throttles his comment about chopmarked coins becoming scrapmetal. Like i said before....I'LL take all you got at Spot Scrap. Yukyukyuk.

 

Before I would like to continue or rather create a big mess due to misunderstanding, I would like *your* defination of what a chopmark, or rather a typical Asian countermark means. Perhaps what a typical Asian like me would think differently than what you would think.

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Hi gxseries, and Happy New Year.

I think if you read the explanation and comments written by mmarotta, which pretty much echo what i had said before about "chopmarks" (ABSOLUTELY not a countermark, which is something COMPLETELY different). A Merchants chopmark was his own personal id, that was generally recognized by other merchants. The chop was put on a coin as a way of guaranteeing the authenticity of the coin being used for payment, by the merchant putting the chop. I have bought, sold and traded MANY of these coins over the past 30 years, and have listened to many a story from authentic Chinese who were able to trace alot of these coins back to their ancestors. But...i've only lived in S.E. Asia for the last 35 years, and been to only 61 countries, so i can understand why you might not take my word for it. Furthermore, there is a HUGE market for "chopped" coins. If you look on ebay right now, you will find a number of CHOPMARKED Philippine pesos and Carolus 8 reales that have multiple bids on them, and other UNchopped examples with NO bids. I think that might say something? BTW, i didn't quite understand your comment regarding a big misunderstanding, or mess? Why would there be? i thought this was a nice, friendly place where opinions and information could be exchanged in a cordial manner. I respect your opinion, even if i don't agree with it. It also kinda fits in with what mmarotta said about "preaching to the choir". I sure hope that clarifys my position on chopmarks, and i hope thats the end of it!

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I've been a collector of Spanish colonial coinage for 30 yrs now. No, that doesn't make me an expert, but I know more than a little bit about the subject and I will say this about chopmarks. It's all a matter of likes and dislikes.

 

To some collectors coins with chopmarks are quite desirable, it's the chopmarks themselves that make them so. And many of these collectors will often pay substantial premiums for nice examples. But then there are other collectors, like me - who wouldn't own a chopmarked coin even if it was free. To me chopmarks are damage plain and simple and they only detract from the coin.

 

Now that is only my opinion, but I am certainly not alone in having it. And that is my point. Collectors are free to like or dislike what they choose. And neither is wrong for doing so. That's why they make chocolate and vanilla.

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Most definately all of the above statement is true but there is deeper and serious meaning to it. A chopmark is a countermark, except that it is more personalized. A chopmark or trade seal itself is a "signature" of what a typical merchant, if not general public in the past would have used more often in the past. In fact, such seals were so highly regarded that if one were to steal such seals, all would be lost for that particular generation as they will be held reliable for whatever the seal has signed for. A seal was or still is one of the most powerful tool when it comes down to signing properties or guaranting the authencity of some art pieces. Although this tradition has died down, in Japan, you can use such seals to sign everything. I heard in Korea it is somewhat similar and well as in China, HK, Macau and in Singapore (all the major chinese community) although limited activites. Of what activies I am not too sure. A good example is if you can find an example of a Japanese, Korean or Singapore banknotes, you should be able to find a seal in any of those notes. There might be seals for other countries I mentioned but I was not too sure.

 

You could compare such seals to when you sign for an American Express Black credit payments - most certainly painful if you don't realize when you lose the card. The degree of seriousness cannot be underestimated when it comes to such.

 

I should have added this link a lot earlier on - I just did not remember until now: http://www.sycee-on-line.com/Chopmarked_coins.htm

 

Speaking of which, yes, I do detest countermarked coins, but it depends on the degree of how much countermarks a coin has.

 

Taking an example of this,

 

wpe1B2.jpg (link from sycee)

 

This is what I would call a "heavily" countermarked coins, although there would be a lot worse than these. If any of the countermarks were to ruin a single digit on that coin, I would be much happier to see that in a metal refinery.

 

Typical Japanese who do collect such coins don't often collect such coins as it seems that such coins aren't trustworthy enough. Of course, you can argue if it was heavily counterstamped, there should not be much problems as it shows that it is a genuine coin. However that seems to suggest that there were plenty of "mistrust" and or "vandalism" over the authencity of the coins and hence avoided, although there is one more serious reason behind this. The same goes with overstriked coins, and quite often, unclear overstriked coins are not too popular against a totally clear overstriked ones.

 

Perhaps if you were to remember China's Red history, do you remember a period of time (1959?) when the Communists ordered all metals to be melted down? There are stories that such coins were thrown in metal refineries, leaving no indication of how many of such coins still remain.

 

Again, I don't know how difficult it would be to counterfeit such coins or seals. History has shown that both have been counterfeited before and as long as anything has value to it, counterfeiters are up to it.

 

Good examples are as follows:

 

901676.jpg

 

A horrifying decent die of a Japanese 1 yen coin.

 

Of course, you might be able to scream out counterfeit, but wait till you look this:

 

http://cgi.liveauctions.ebay.com/14140-Jap...591175531QQrdZ1

 

A reverse die of a Japanese trade dollar coin, proudly presented by Heritage Gallery. I can't be more impressed. The die design seems awfully similar to mine so I am quite sure mine looks awfully similar to the design of the die there.

 

How hard is it to counterfeit a seal? Probably not hard at all. Cost of making one such coin? Ok, if I were a hardcore criminal and use real silver to fix the alloy content, that will not cost any more than 10 dollars. To sell it a profit over 50 dollars is considered heaven in China - can you imagine how sophiscated levels of counterfeiting is in China? There is a saying in China that everything can be counterfeited except for humans. No one has ever investigated if such seals were counterfeited in the past - and I would be shocked if none were to be proven as counterfeits.

 

Perhaps that is my personal reason why I avoid such silver coins - there are just too many counterfeits floating around, from typically wrong alloy coins to very high quality ones. Countermarked coins make no differences if the counterfeiters read this and realize the potential of mass scamming.

 

Overall, my personal opinion is that such countermarked coins do have values - market value depends purely upon supply and demand (not just my opinion) but the story behind such marks is just not a simple straight story.

 

Edit: sorry, accidently repeated the whole text twice when I just wanted to copy and move a certain line.

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