Author Topic: Western China 1929  (Read 555 times)

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Offline milkshakespeare

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Western China 1929
« on: May 01, 2019, 10:39:02 PM »
Some time ago I was fortunate enough to add the fantastic Numizmatika Belarusi by dr. Valentin Ryabtsevich to my numismatic library.

In this wonderful book, the author tells that the Leningrad Mint of the USSR minted coins for Mongolia and Persia in the 1920's and for "Western China" in 1929. I'm very familiar with the Mongolian and Persian coins minted in Leningrad, but the western Chinese coins are a complete mystery to me. I have gone through several general catalogues which list coins from the western provinces of China, and most of these coins are way too crude to have been minted in Leningrad.

Can anyone help me? Which "Western Chinese" coins were minted in Leningrad?

Online Figleaf

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Re: Western China 1929
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2019, 09:43:47 AM »
To understand the political background in China, read this lemma. It shows that the Soviet government and the ruling cliques of China were not on friendly terms, as the communist party of China (CPC) had been driven out of power. It follows that in 1929, no coins were struck in Leningrad for the official government.

Looking at communist coins for China in this period, there is an obvious candidate for coins struck in Leningrad. Look in KM under the heading "Chinese Soviet Republic", sub-heading "Consolidated Soviet Republic. The 1 cent (Y 506 and 506a) and 2 cents (Y 507 and 507a) look better struck than the provincial issues that follow and the style of the wreath looks Soviet (compare Russia Y 91 and 92); it looks like wheat, not rice. The coins are undated. KM says ca. 1932, probably based on Y 508, which is dated 1932 or 1933. I could imagine that they were struck looking generic and without date in 1929 just in case and were issued only as the CPC needed them, presumably during the long march.

The problem with the above speculation is that KM thinks that the "consolidated Soviet republic" is Kiangsi, which is in South, not West China.

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

Offline Vincent

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Re: Western China 1929
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2019, 10:13:46 AM »
I must admit that I have never heard of any coins being minted in Leningrad for Western China.

In the Standard Catalog of World Coins there are essentially two groups of copper coins listed from the Chinese central soviet base area: the originals (1 and 5 fen) and the restrikes. The restrikes are suggested to have been made in the United States and are unrelated to the historical soviet base areas, other than the design. The originals are of workmanship similar to Chinese provincial coins of the early 20th century. That is, they are sort of OK, but below the standard of the Leningrad mint. Also, the central soviet base area was surrounded by the army of the Republic, so coins couldn't have been supplied to them from the outside.

What occurred in my mind was the Soviet involvement in Xinjiang Province, which bordered the Soviet Union. After the conflict in Xinjiang in the 1930s began (1931), Xinjiang Province became more closely attached to the Soviet Union than to the central government of the Republic of China. I would not be particularly surprised if there had been any discussions about supplying Xinjiang Province with coins or dies made in Leningrad after 1931. I find it more surprising that anything of the sort would have happened before 1931.

I believe I know the coins of Xinjiang Province faily well, and I cannot think of anything that could logically have been minted in Leningrad in 1929. I would suggest two things. It could be a planned production of coins - perhaps involving minting of samples of the planned coins - that never came to fruition. Alternatively, it could be minting of silver coins (e.g. old tsarist roubles) for use as trade coinage in Xinjiang.

Let us know if you have any further details on what may have been minted in Leningrad for Western China in 1929.