Author Topic: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993  (Read 97705 times)

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Offline badon

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #105 on: December 04, 2011, 01:26:45 PM »
SANDAC, we can just start giving them numbers in the order that they are recorded in the Coin Compendium. I would call them "die 1", "die 2", etc. If there's no snazzy name we can come up with for them, then they're probably just minor varieties. Maybe later, as they're all discovered, we can organize and name them better.

Put them under the main specific type for the coin, instead of putting them under other variety types. The vanishing spears variety of the 1989 Kublai Khan is the only one I noticed that's organized under another variety. I would have fixed it myself, but I was experimenting on it in some tests yesterday, so I didn't touch it :)

Offline chinesecoinworks

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #106 on: December 04, 2011, 05:18:07 PM »
That's definitely another frosting variation.  The historical figures have such wide range of frosting variation, I'm at lost as to how to catagorize them.  In my own HF variation guide, I just circle the areas where frosting variation are observed and make no attempt to name them.  Some coin, like the 1986 Cai Lun has 5 circles now.

Oh Cai Lun has so many variations? Hmm ... I'll put up my Cai Lun later for your viewing.

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #107 on: December 04, 2011, 05:20:56 PM »
yes please do so... this thread is created to get as many good photos of the series as possible (high resolution) :)

Offline r3globe

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #108 on: December 04, 2011, 06:26:36 PM »
As of yesterday, I saw 2 Kublai Khan varieties. How about the 3rd one with the fewer spears on the right? I have at least a couple of those.

Offline chinesecoinworks

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #109 on: December 04, 2011, 07:12:35 PM »
Alright, here goes ... My 1986 set ...
http://chinesepandacoin.blogspot.com/2011/12/1986-chinese-historical-figures-silver.html

Somehow, it makes me feel that those frosty parts that were supposed to be mirrored are imperfect strikes rather than die variety.  :confused1:

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #110 on: December 04, 2011, 07:21:56 PM »
There are three variety mechanism affecting the Kublai Khan.  The first is the misshapen pyramid which is a real variety difference.  The 2nd is the vanishing spears, and the third, a very minor one, is the frosting difference in the eave of the building.  The "small army" is misshapen pyramid with 3 left-most spears consistently missing and a possible mirrored/frosted field under the eave, but I've also noticed the remaining 7 spears of the small army vanishing.  My sample is too small to draw more definitive sub-varieties.  For the KK where the pyramid is intact, you can generally see 10 spears, but they can fade significantly and not obvious to the naked eyes.  I can reliably see all 10 spears under 10X stereo microscope, until this one showed up:  http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=4585.msg25710#msg25710

Just show you that there are plenty to discover in the HF series.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #111 on: December 04, 2011, 07:42:23 PM »
Every one of the 1986 HF set has one or more frosting variation.  CCF discussed three of them already.  Here is the difference I noted about Zu Chong Zhi.

I tend to see the frosting variation as the difference between pristine die and worn-out die.  But I know so little about the minting process and like to hear other explainations.

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #112 on: December 04, 2011, 07:59:20 PM »
Sandac: your eyes for details are really impressing... I am still contemplating about what would qualify as varieties though... Obviously we find many frosting varieties and I believe much more than normal for such a low montage series.

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #113 on: December 04, 2011, 08:04:53 PM »
One first objective could be to see if we could find years that were more consistent... With less variation, 1984 seems quite consistent? I can't find any variations that are very obvious yet atleast.. bottomline is we need to gather more and more data...

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #114 on: December 04, 2011, 08:12:40 PM »
I felt I've only scratched the surface.  So far I've only concentrated on 3 areas: obvious die variation, vanishing features, and frosting variation.  You no doubt have noticed the general appearance can vary from frosty to shiny and the strike can have deep relief or shallow relief.  It is truly amazing such relatively small mintage coins should have such great variety.  Your original suggestion is good:  let's capture all the differences and try to sort them out later.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #115 on: December 04, 2011, 08:14:55 PM »
One first objective could be to see if we could find years that were more consistent... With less variation, 1984 seems quite consistent? I can't find any variations that are very obvious yet atleast.. bottomline is we need to gather more and more data...
Yes, 1984 seems to have the smallest amount of variation.  I believe it also had the greatest mintage of the HF series.  I'm in the process of taking high-def picture of every 1984 I have and post them in CC.

Offline badon

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #116 on: December 05, 2011, 01:27:19 AM »
Most of these varieties are caused by either a frosting mistake, or an excessive polishing mistake. Most of these kinds of varieties are usually considered unimportant for high mintage coins. But, if the mistake is very noticeable and has a good name, it can become very popular and valuable even in a high mintage series.

A good example of a polishing mistake is the American 3 legged buffalo nickel. I think most Americans have heard of it, even if they don't collect coins. The die was polished too much, and one of the legs of the buffalo disappeared. The Kublai Khan varieties where the army spears were polished away are also very noticeable and have a good name, so they are must-have collector coins, just like the 3 legged buffalo nickel.

The other varieties may not be very noticeable, and in a high mintage series, they would probably be ignored for a very long time. They aren't easy to give a good name, so we may have to just give them die (or die state) numbers. This is what happened for the American Morgan dollars. Millions were minted using thousands of dies, and collectors love that series of coins so much, they are trying to identify all known dies used to make the coins. Once dies get identified, it becomes extremely difficult to make fakes, by the way.

Since all the Historical Figures coins are low mintage, I think all varieties are important, even if they're only die identifications. In fact, all modern Chinese coin varieties are important, no matter how minor.

If you notice, all older coins eventually get their dies identified. The Coin Compendium will make this process happen faster, and since Chinese coins are the first to be entered in, it will probably cause prices to rise, since collectors will try to find all varieties and dies once there is information available to aid them in the new challenge.

Offline badon

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #117 on: December 05, 2011, 02:11:02 AM »
Wow, I just noticed there are FOUR different varieties of the Li Zicheng (CCT24) entered in by SANDAC! This is fantastic research being documented with the Coin Compendium. Great job SANDAC!

Offline badon

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #118 on: December 06, 2011, 03:48:59 AM »
Have we decided which side is the "obverse" for the historical figures series?

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Varieties of silver Historical Figures, 1984 to 1993
« Reply #119 on: December 06, 2011, 10:34:00 AM »
Here is my rationalization:  My bible used to be Krause Standard Cat of World Coins, but since CC does not refer to Krause much, but refer NGC/PCGS regularly.  Furthurmore, NGC has a big presence in modern Chinese coins, so I felt it is reasonable to follow NGC's convention.  NGC's slab front is obverse.  Beside it is easy to change and I don't have my ego wrapped around this issue.