Kai Yuan with an dot in the jing component of the kai

Started by Michiel, November 11, 2014, 12:32:18 PM

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In the jing component of the kai there is an dot that i can't place. A lot of kai yuans have an dot on the obv. But i've never seen one with the dot in the jing component of the kai.

anyone an idea?


A PM to bgriff99 may well bring enlightenment...

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


I checked the Shanghai Encyclopedia to make sure, but this doesn't look like an original Kai Yuan to begin with.   It's a recasting from an already worn and/or corroded coin, of shima-sen quality.   The dot is symmetrical and centered, and if it was the only one on the coin I'd say it was certainly intentional.   But there are other extra-metal features looking like there were organic bits of stuff in the casting medium, whether clay or dry powder I can't tell.   The metal then burned up and filled the space of the bits of stuff (like worm eggs, chalk, humus, or powdered charcoal flux).   This is not a professionally made coin.  Nor is the dot a part of the original coin.

One intriguing idea, and I've kind of been watching for it, is that the mark is from a small pin used to attach the seed coin to a bit of wooden stick, so it could be lifted back out of a mold it had been pressed into.   Features at that position on the coin would hold a tiny drill bit or awl tip in place, while providing support so it wouldn't knock a big hole through the thin part of the coin.   The reverse might hold some clues.


an fake one is possible, with cash coins always possible. I dont know the origin of the coin anymore.

it's 3.20 gram. and 23,5 mm.

here is an rev pic.


Sorted.   I have NEVER seen a uniface Kai Yuan, even a shima-sen or mass produced Vietnamese one, so I didn't want to make that prediction.    To make uniface coins the seed is pressed into one side of a mold only.    To remove it from a clay mold, if it is lifted by poking something under it, even if in the channel for metal to be poured, it leaves a raised lump on the side of the finished coin.   

Uniface sand casting does not take so much skill.   The tray does not need to be turned upside down, or precisely mated, but getting the seed coin out without disturbing the impression would require an attached handle.   For simple production probably the coin would be made into something like a stamp, and impressions could be made one after another.   Also figured that somewhere sometime the expedient of nailing the seed to its handle would have been used.   I've been watching for it on bita-sen, and this looks like it.    The sprue on the reverse picture shows at the top.  Grinding off the excess would be why the top of the obverse is narrowed.   The direction of the bead-like extra metal drops is downward flowing.

Is the thickness of the coin irregular?   Thicker on the dot side, or top and bottom?   If it is magnetic you can definitely classify it as a bita-sen, and a very neat one.   If not, at least a shima-sen (that is their favorite inscription).   I went through my book of those, and this isn't like any in it, but even more unlike any cataloged "Terui-sen" (Vietnamese private-made).    The metal is richly colored, and the size is normal so this pre-dates the 19th century leaded brass Vietnamese junky forgery era.   My guess is Indonesian, circa 1450-1550, or Japanese a bit later.


I also wasn't ably to find an uniface in my hartill. Years ago i put it in my collection as an 14.x hartill.
on the next 2 pics, there is the same coin with my other kai yuan with an U reverse.

I will futher check the japan hartill and my vietnam coin book about cash coins.

edit: coin is not magnetic. the thickness is the same as the other coin.


In my japan hartill i can find 4 bita sen that are imitating the kai yuan coins. But not my example.
For the vietnam i came also empty handed.

For indonesia i don;t have a good catalog.


Michiel, I would like to ask you to post this coin at ZENO, under Indonesian imitations of China cash.   They are discussing a couple similar ones, except with newly carved mother cash instead of an original coin.   The pin heads are not as clear as yours, and in the character bao.   Your piece is really clear as to what it is. 


Michiel, thanks for the post of this at Zeno.  Their site seems to be locked right now, but I can note here, their coin 7390 is the one of interest, with what seems to be its tiny nail or pin head showing in 'bao'.   If Nijigaoka comes by here and sees I even imagined this could be Japanese, he'll be all over my case.