Author Topic: China, Chia Ching, iron cash of Chekiang C 4-2.1a  (Read 1327 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bgriff99

  • Meritorious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
China, Chia Ching, iron cash of Chekiang C 4-2.1a
« on: February 26, 2015, 06:55:52 AM »
This piece is ex-Dan Ching.   It came with a number of contemporary forgeries in his collection which Scott Semans did not put in the 1992 auction.   He offered them to me directly for a nominal price.   On Dan's envelope dated 1980, it has penciled in Scott's handwriting "counterfeit", so that was his call not Dan's.   

Just now, double checking, I see it is listed in the 1996 Krause, no price or picture.    There is no record of so much as trial casting of such a coin.   However at just this point in the reign (about 1808) the cash become quite small, and at the Beijing mints, few.   Some kind of unrecorded distress was going on.    Especially for the Beijing mints the actual cash found year by year do not at all match the unchanging recorded levels of casting, which are in any case quotas not tallies.

The brass cash for comparison is an obverse-reverse composite of two different pieces.   I may or may not have found every last mold variety.   The iron cash could have been made using an original brass cash for its seed, if such a one existed.   The only other known iron Chia Ching cash are from Sinkiang.

It makes little sense for this to be a contemporary forgery, due to the high fuel costs of making it, and its poor appearance.  It could only be passed as so much spacing on a string, hidden.   That could more easily be done with lead or zinc, and even those are almost unknown.   Neither does it look like a modern forgery.   The sprue is exactly where it should be, same as both brass cash, and has been nipped.     Diameter 21mm, weight 3.0g
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 09:06:49 PM by bgriff99 »

Online Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32 582
Re: China, Chia Ching iron cash C 4-2.1a
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2015, 04:29:39 PM »
From A Monetary History of China by Peng Xin Wei:

Xinjiang's Zhang Ge'er (Jahangir, a Khoja) revolted against the Qing army in daoguang 6 (1826) and took the four cities of Kashgar, Ying-jishar, Ye'erqiang (Yarkand) and Hetian in Hujiang. The Qing armies converged on Aqsu, greatly increasing the demand for army supplies, and driving up the price of coins, so that the authorities added to the number of furnaces to speed up the process of minting. They probably set up the Kulja Office at this time. Those thin-bodied Qianglong red cash were probably made then.

Is this too late to explain this coin? Could it be an emergency issue or a private cash, cast in times of scarcity of coin?

« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 09:32:04 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bgriff99

  • Meritorious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
Re: China, Chia Ching, Chekiang iron cash C 4-2.1a
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2015, 08:38:50 PM »
The monetary story of Jahangir's revolt is long and complicated.   They made new coins of 1.5 times the weight of regular cash, denominated them as "value 10" and paid the soldiers at that face value.   They had before been paid half and half, silver and cash.    Manchu officials had been likewise paid part in silver, part in cash but that was simultaneously changed to all silver.    The market accepted the value ten pieces only as value 2.   Thus was created a two-kinds system that lasted until the slightly smaller old cash wore out circa 1890.   

The excessive quantity of new cash from 1828, and the fact that the soldiers spent them all, caused 100% inflation against silver in one year.   On top of that, after the soldiers left, the officials acknowledged the new value tens were really value 2's, and issued unit cash marked value 5.   In their accounting they showed making more value 5's than 10's, but because of the 1.5 times weight difference, they made more profit on 10's, and actually issued only a minute amount of 5's, pocketing the profit.    Most value 5's are rarities.   

So the monetary "crisis" there was only a contrivance to divert the huge incoming silver subsidy for the war directly to the officials, and screw the soldiers.   The natives were essentially enslaved at will to mine and smelt copper, which was there to be had, limited only by labor.   That diversion of silver then fed into the Tao Kuang period of having to make very small cash.   Because it permanently exited the economy, either being stored or exported to India.

The worst period of crisis in Chia Ching, of a focused kind, was the White Lotus rebellion.   That was over when the very small Chia Ching cash appeared, but was probably the underlying cause.   The odd part is that they went back to big ones in just a few years.   I don't know what happens to official but little cash in a situation like that.    There must have been tremendous fluctuations in the silver to cash exchange.    Yunnan did not appear to have this problem, so perhaps there was also a transport interdiction from there to the rest of the country.

The iron cash, if official and contemporary, would be a survivor of a feasibility trial, which showed it was not feasible. 
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 09:06:17 PM by bgriff99 »