Author Topic: Vietnam, some fakes vs. genuine cash  (Read 1314 times)

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Offline bgriff99

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Vietnam, some fakes vs. genuine cash
« on: February 15, 2015, 04:09:11 AM »
These are from Macao, the 1980's to 1990's.   At that time English speaking collectors used a 1983 reprint of Eduard Toda's 'Annam and Its Minor Currency', an 1882 book.   Its illustrations were Chinese character type fonts in a coin outline.   Forgers took advantage of that, but also even then made better ones good enough to pass against the good rubbings in Japanese books.

First is a Le Dynasty coin which until eBay came along, plus the general outpouring of excavated finds in Vietnam, was not even available to western collectors.    About a $125 coin now in this condition.    This poor quality fake could not be sold today to any serious collector.   It is made by replacing the reign title characters on a common Le coin, and recasting.   Barker 40.4

Second is a Mac Dynasty coin.   The fake is not even close to any genuine variety.   It appears to be made from a Hung Wu coin, by character replacement and recasting.   In the condition of the fake, the retail value today of a genuine piece is about $60.   Aside from the rough casting, the general appearance and patina of these coins is quite passable.  Barker 48.1

Third:  another Mac coin.   The fake is made from a Le 'Hong Duc' cash, needing only the top character changed.   It was within the ability of the artisan to make this undetectable against the Japanese books of the time, but he didn't bother.   In this condition, now about a $50 coin.   Barker 45.1 

Fourth:  attributed to the Le rebel, Tran Cao, circa 1517.    In seal script the coin reads 'Phat Phap Tang Bao'.   Phat Phap means "the way of the Buddha".   The fake is a direct recasting of an original.   The slight difference in the top character may indicate a variety, or an artifact of recasting.   A $60 coin today, which is more than its scarcity should command, and so it's readily available.   Barker 43.1

Fifth:  Restored Le Dynasty.   The fake is oversized, made probably from a N. Sung flan, but not the obvious Hsuan Ho, which doesn't match up well.   The genuine coin cost just $7.   Barker 58.1

« Last Edit: February 15, 2015, 06:33:08 AM by bgriff99 »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Vietnam, some fakes vs. genuine cash
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 12:19:44 PM »
And so it goes, from easily recognisable to quite deceptive. How far are we from these pieces being included in serious collections? I suppose Ebay traders are already hoarse from shouting RARE, PATTERN, LOOK and what not when flogging these.

I know only one catalog (Gomes, Portuguese coins) that tries to list fakes systematically. Something is to be said for that approach. It has the potential of shaming the governments of the countries where the fakes are made to do something. After all, this is not just duping collectors, it is falsifying national history.

What kind of procedure do you call character replacement?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bgriff99

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Re: Vietnam, some fakes vs. genuine cash
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 07:02:51 PM »
How far are we from these pieces being included in serious collections?

What kind of procedure do you call character replacement?

Peter
"Character replacement" is the technical term for that.    It was also done sometimes to make private cash, and a couple times official ones in a hurry in a new reign.

I finally gave up trying to help Krause after they asked for my input on a swath of cash coins, particularly to narrow down correct issue dates for Sinkiang coins.   Eagerly opening the new catalog, none of that was there (they had lost it in a building move).   Instead were new entries of a lot of fakes.

I saw an eBay site a couple days ago with entirely fake Chinese, Korean and other cash.   Beautifully executed so far as metal appearance, but not characters.    They were mostly nonexistent combinations of rare mintmarks on the regular familiar reigns.    All made up from scratch.   Every coin on the site was $2.50.   It had a nearly 100% positive rating.   Of some 360 sales, just one "fake coin" complaint.    Historically, Chinese collectors did not want common coins, and did not much care if their rare ones were genuine.   They loved the oddball items and so played right into the hands of charm makers.

Anyway, cash coin forging has become so intense many people have given up on them.   Scott Semans had people coming back twenty years after sales demanding refunds.    Many of the pieces in Steve Album's sales now look very suspect to me, not from the character standpoint, but the metal surface.   For $200 forgers can certainly duplicate any pattern.