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China Fengtien (Fen-Tien) One Tael (Counterfeit)  1903
China Fengtien (Fen-Tien) One Tael (Counterfeit) 1903

Over the past few centuries China used two monetary systems: the cash system and the dollar system. In the cash system, 1000 cash equals one tael, at least approximately, since actual conversion rates changed with time and location. In the dollar system, 10 cash equals one cent, and 100 cents equals one dollar.

The coin catalogs show that Fengtien Province minted various cash and dollar coins, but no tael coins were produced, except one. The single Fengtien tael was produced as a pattern, that is, a trial coin that never circulated. The Fengtien tael is known by its Krause Mischler designation KM-PnA15 and is dated 1903. There is only one known specimen.

It was major numismatic (coin collecting) news when PCGS, a respected coin service, authenticated, graded, and encapsulated the PnA15. You can read about it, with pictures of the famous coin, on the PCGS site. The coin is insured for $5 million US dollars. It is not over-insured.

Mark, you might have a previously unknown genuine PnA15, but I doubt it. (Wouldn't that be nice?) Instead you have one of the many known counterfeits of the famous coin. You can find these on Internet auction sites and in coin shops around the world. These fake coins are worth zero, or close to zero, so there is no need to insure you coin for $5 million.

If you go to the PCGS page and compare your coin to the genuine one, you will find many small differences. For the fake in our picture at the upper right, there are two obvious differences: (1) the dragon image is mis-aligned, and (2) the annotation Fen-Tien is not hyphenated. Below is an image of a second fake without those discrepancies, but small differences nevertheless:


Coin: 13729 , Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: Mark, Wed, 30-Jan-2013 00:17:29 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Wed, 09-Oct-2013 00:33:18 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Sat, 13-May-2017 18:24:41 GMT
Requester description: Fen - tien province one tael
Tags: china fengtien fen tien one tael counterfeit taiwan chine chinese chineese fentien ones replica forger counterfet fake counterfiet reproductions repro reproduction counterfeits replicas forgery fakes province dragon circle dragons circled encircle circlet ring circles loops circal encircled circuit ringed circumscibed incircled circel circumference encircles encircling rings circling loop circular circumscribed rose rosette floret flower rosettes rossette roses florets blossom fler fleurs lises petals leis lisse flowerettes flur stems trefoils floral lily petels orchid lis posy bouquet flowers flour orcid bud lilly fleur lei petal bloomed trefoil floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals

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Tue, 12-Dec-2017 00:56:58 GMT, unknown: 2149199