Posted 12 years ago
Found at an estate sale, these chinese coin objects caught my eye! What are they?
I asked what they were made of, the gal thought soapstone, a gem/mineral show guy thought serpentine or molded glass, and a pawn shop person felt they're 'quartz' gaming chips? I secretly was hoping for jade personally!
Whatever the material, they vary in translucency and coloration, the symbols are worn a bit, and originally there was a fair amount of yellowish brown inky like substance on them, almost like tobacco stains...maybe these are like old 'dies or stamps' of sorts?
I was able to find actual coins of similar imagery stating the following periods for the symbols (re: 2nd two photos):
Top Left: Emporer Mu T'sung, T'ung-Chih Tung Pao, 1862-1874, Boo Su/Kiangsu Provincial mint
Top right: Emporer Shih T'sung, Yung-cheng, AD 1723-1735, Boo Je/ Chekiang mint
Bottom: Emporer Shih Tsu, Shun Chih, Ad 1644-1661, Boo Ciowan/board of Revenue mint (4th series)
Each 'coin' is about 2 1/4" in diameter, 3/8" thick.
I collect vintage buttons as a hobby and will use these as added decor for a display I'm sure...haven't found anything like them online - probably just tourist trinkets, but felt they were cool enough to 'show and tell' -enjoy!