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China Double Dragon Fantasy Tael  1907
China Double Dragon Fantasy Tael 1907

Chinese numismatics (coin collecting) is in its adolescent stages. It has been around for a while, but it is not really grown up yet. At the moment there are blurred dividing lines between:

1. Fantasy coins - minted years ago to serve in commerce and for collectors
2. Tourist coins - minted to be sold as novelties and keepsakes
3. Counterfeit coins - minted for ... well, you know

Someday Chinese numismatics will grow up. Today China is, by far, the biggest producer of counterfeit coins in the world.

There are many varieties of Chinese fantasy coins, dollars and taels being the most common denominations. The one here shows a popular 'double dragon' pattern, and there are many varieties of such 'double dragon' fantasy pieces. Genuine fantasy pieces generally date back to the turn of the 20th century (i.e., early 1900s) and can be quite valuable, especially in good condition. As a rough guideline:

LARGE SILVER FANTASY DOLLARS AND TAELS
worn: $50 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $100
well preserved: $250
fully uncirculated: $750

LARGE TOURIST DOLLARS AND TAELS (rarely made of silver)
worn: $3 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $8
well preserved: $15
fully uncirculated: $30

COUNTERFEITS
value = zero

The uncirculated double dragon coin in our picture comes from renowned sellers Stack's Bowers Ponterio where it sold in 2011 at auction for $475 US dollars. This gives an idea of value for a nice-looking coin. Coins with wear or less eye appeal will be worth far less.

Discerning the difference between genuine, tourist, and counterfeit coins is not easy. If you have a nice-looking coin like the one in our picture, bring it to a knowledgeable collector or coin dealer for an in-person inspection.

As an example, click to this CoinQuest page for a side-by-side comparison of a genuine/counterfeit dragon coin.

A similar double dragon design appears at this CoinQuest link (click here).

Coin: 14268 , Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: Alyse Paoletti, Sat, 20-Apr-2013 03:42:08 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sun, 06-Oct-2013 02:21:39 GMT
Last review by CoinQuest: Thu, 09-Apr-2015 15:18:22 GMT
Requester description: 2 badly drawn dragons on front with what appears to be Chinese script, back side has more script with wispy clouds on outside. No hole in center. Larger than an American quarter. Though outer edge is etched like a quarter.
Tags: china double dragon fantasy tael taiwan chine chinese chineese doubling doubled doubles dragons 2 script monogram clouds cloud hole center offcenter american america quarter etched etch inscription letter monograms initial scripts initals calligraphy caligraphy letters inscriptions lettering scrip lettered initials off offset certer centre centers centered amero americas ameria ameri amirica amerique americana amer americans usa quarters quater quatre quarto quarts quartos quattro etching flower circle 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 floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals circled encircle circlet ring circles loops circal encircled circuit ringed circumscibed incircled circel circumference encircles encircling rings circling loop circular circumscribed

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Thu, 19-Oct-2017 23:52:20 GMT, unknown: 350969