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Home made cash

Started by Pellinore, September 30, 2018, 12:17:42 AM

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This coin is a Dutch 1 cent piece of 1827, minted in Utrecht. It ended up in the Netherlands Indies, and someone thought: if I make a square hole in it, maybe it can pass for a Chinese cash coin. Is this an ordinary procedure? Is there more of this?
Was the value of a Dutch cent less than a Chinese cash coin?
23 mm, 3.26 gr.

-- Paul


Fantastic piece! Never seen one before, but they may have been discarded or melted as "usless for sale to collectors". A Netherlands cent was certainly heavier than a cash coin, so there's no point in doing this for the sake of profit.

I would speculate that this was done for religious reasons. In the Chinese tradition, the dead are provided with money. Today, a well-stocked Chinese supermarket will sell "hell banknotes", to be burnt during the funeral. However, in earlier times, the dead were provided with strings of cash coins. These have long been plundered from graves in Indonesia, as they usually remained above ground. I can imagine a situation where genuine cash coins were getting hard to come by and Chinese smiths and jewellers had more profitable things to do than making fake cash coins, so a tradition-minded Chinese family would have trouble getting enough cash coins together to make a string for a funeral. "Modifying" a cent into a cash coin, sitting in the middle of a string would have been a relatively cheap solution.

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


Thanks for your insight. That's quite believable.
-- Paul