Author Topic: Identifying Chopmarks  (Read 13449 times)

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Offline Birdman

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Identifying Chopmarks
« on: February 26, 2011, 07:56:09 PM »
Can anyone tell me something about the chop marks on these US trade dollars that I have?  I am assuming that some chop marks are rare or historically significant, while others are common and insignificant.  I'd love to be able tell the difference, and to be able to know more about the story of the coin's travel based on the chop marks.  Is there a photographic library of different chop marks out there?  Thanks!  At the moment my sole criterion on whether to buy a chop marked coin is whether it looks cool or not.  Not very sophisticated!

Offline badon

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2011, 12:30:11 AM »
This is fascinating. If you find some resources on your own, please post them here in a followup. I'd be curious what you find out.

Offline dragondollar

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 08:02:29 AM »
I can only tell you that the chopmark on the 2nd photo, 兆, means "million".

I don't know of any book or online resource about chopmarks, and I follow the same rule of thumb than you actually: if it looks cool and is outside of the field, I buy, otherwise I avoid it.

If somebody has some info I'd be very interested.

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 10:00:16 AM »
Thanks a "million" for the translation, dragondollar.

Offline KONDi

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 05:16:34 AM »
Here is a website about chopmarks: http://www.winsociety.org/newsletter/chopmarks/chopmarks.html
This is the only thing which I found till now. Hope it will help.

Those information are on this website above:

Information Sources:

Chopmarks by F.M. Rose, 1978.

Chopmark Collectors Club Newsletter, "Chopmark News", July 1990 through 2008:
- The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, July 1945, "The Trade Coins of the far East" by Arlie Slabaugh.
- The Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, July 1960, "Chopmarks on Chinese Coins" by R.A. Leonard.
- El Duro by Adolfo Herrera, 1914, "Countermarks on Chinese Coins".
- "Sobre los Chap Marks o Contramarcas Chinas", by Manela Gonzalez Fuenteas.
- "Chop Marks Brand Chinese Coins" by Peter F. Hamilton.
- Coins Magazine, September 1970, "The Chop-marked Dollar" by Ray Young.

Best wishes, KONDi
KONDi
cfrost1984@gmail.com
Chopmark Collectors Club member 368 (CCC)
Shanghai Token Society member 3 (STS)

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 03:24:23 PM »
Here is my latest purchase.  Can anyone tell me the meaning of one of its many chopmarks?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 03:32:14 PM by Birdman »

Offline badon

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 03:38:42 PM »
Could you repost that as a regular image, so we can view it on the forum?

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 03:55:26 PM »
Try this .tiff version.  I didn't take the photo myself (the coin is being shipped as we speak). I'm trying to post the image I got from the seller.  I'm struggling a bit in finding the correct format.

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 04:12:13 PM »
Well that didn't seem to work either.  Try this ebay link...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_rdc=1&_trksid=p4340.l2557&item=150610374171&nma=true&rt=nc&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.ebay.com%3A80%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp5197.m570.l1313%26_nkw%3D150610374171%26_sacat%3DSee-All-Categories%26_fvi%3D1&si=gBNuOvrVyGQ8kE7cns4L%252FQdBCn0%253D

For future reference, how would you save the image in this ebay posting as a file that one could post on this forum.  I'm sure other members of this forum could benefit from that information. For some images on ebay, you can just right-click and save the image as a file (?jpg).  For other, like this one, I can only seem to copy it and paste it into a word document, not save it directly as a file...

thanks for the tech advise in advance!

Offline dragondollar

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 04:57:18 PM »
The character near the eagle's neck looks like 百 (one hundred), the one below its claw is a 長 (meaning unclear in that context), and it looks like the tiny incuse chopmark near the wing is a 生 (life - again, meaning unclear...). I cannot read the chopmark on the leg.

On the obverse: behind the head of Liberty: 合, then 三 (3) on the arm, what looks like 利 (profit) below, and I cannot read the one under the olive branch (looks like 其 or 典?).

I think a native reader would be more helpful :)

Offline badon

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 09:30:35 PM »
For future reference, how would you save the image in this ebay posting as a file that one could post on this forum.  I'm sure other members of this forum could benefit from that information. For some images on ebay, you can just right-click and save the image as a file (?jpg).  For other, like this one, I can only seem to copy it and paste it into a word document, not save it directly as a file...

thanks for the tech advise in advance!

The forum will display normal JPEG images with the ".jpg" extension at the end. TIFF files are images files, but they're not suitable for use on websites, so the forum doesn't display them. You can google for an image converter, or just used pixlr to save it as a JPEG:

http://pixlr.com/

Here's the super easy version:

http://pixlr.com/express/

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 09:36:10 PM »
Thanks again, dragondollar.  Chop marks are very interesting.  I wonder how and why each Chinese merchant chose the chop he used.  I also imagine the history of multi-chopped coins like this one.  What was the series of transactions that it was used for (for rice? for spices? for porcelain? for guns?)? Cool stuff!

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 09:38:05 PM »
Badon,

Thanks for the tips on how to convert to the appropriate image file.  I'll use that resource next time.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 09:56:40 PM »
Birdman,

Can you verify mott "In God We Trust" in 1874-CC trade dollar ? Your picture is not clear and looks like misspelled. Many fake trade dollars have incorrect spelling. Usually, chopmark represents the name of money store. For trade dollar, sometimes you can have chopmarks from China and Japan at the same coin. The chopmakrs on you coins are believed to be Chinese.

Offline badon

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 10:09:20 PM »
It looks like it says "IN GOY WE TRUST", but I agree, it's hard to see in the photo.

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 10:16:41 PM »
Poconopenn,

You have an attention to detail, which is an excellent trait in this field.  I'll be sure to take a close look for any misspellings or other red flags of a fake when the coin arrives in the mail.  Before I made the purchase, however, I did verify the PCGS number and things seemed OK (chopmarked trade dollar of the correct year).  I now even found a link to a prior sale of the coin at Heritage, which has detailed photos.  

http://coins.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=67125&lotNo=23623

A quick glance shows that the chopmarks match up pretty well...but I will definitely scrutinize things later, when I have the coin in hand...

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2011, 11:29:34 PM »
Birdman,

The Heritage coin is 1877-S. I was refereing to 1874-CC, the second picture in your first post. 

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 07:42:13 PM »
Poconopenn,

Tonight I took a close look at the 1874-CC trade dollar under a magnifying glass.  It is a quite clear, and properly spelled, "In God We Trust" motto.  There is also nothing irregular-looking about the PCGS slab that it is in. 

I will definitely now keep a lookout for the misspellings of fakes in the future.  Keep posting your questions, we are all learning as we go along. 

Cheers,
Birdman

Offline ColinG

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2011, 09:21:03 PM »
I'm the editor of the Chopmark News, the newsletter of the Chopmark Collectors Club. Why don't you join us? It's free. Email me at chopmarknews@gmail.com

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2011, 09:22:41 PM »
Here's my latest acquisition.  I welcome any additional information on this type to supplement what is written on the label.

Offline ColinG

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2011, 09:53:39 PM »
Congratulations are in order as I was bidding on the same coin on eBay.

The 'chop' is not actually a chop in the normal meaning of the word. It's known as a wedding chop, the character is a double of the character 'hsi' [happiness] which is commonly used in weddings. In the 1930s wedding guests would give a dollar sized coin [Chinese Yuan Shih-kai's, or 'fatman' dollars, being the most popular] as a gift [money is most commonly given to couples at weddings in China].

If you're interested in chopmarks why don't you join the Chopmark Collectors Club [CCC]. I'm the editor of the newsletter. It's free to join and the e-newsletter is free too. Email me at: chopmarknews@gmail.com and I'll send you the last issue.
 

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2011, 10:01:46 PM »
Congratulations are in order as I was bidding on the same coin on eBay.

The 'chop' is not actually a chop in the normal meaning of the word. It's known as a wedding chop, the character is a double of the character 'hsi' [happiness] which is commonly used in weddings. In the 1930s wedding guests would give a dollar sized coin [Chinese Yuan Shih-kai's, or 'fatman' dollars, being the most popular] as a gift [money is most commonly given to couples at weddings in China].

If you're interested in chopmarks why don't you join the Chopmark Collectors Club [CCC]. I'm the editor of the newsletter. It's free to join and the e-newsletter is free too. Email me at: chopmarknews@gmail.com and I'll send you the last issue.
 

Thanks, Colin.  I am already a member.  Indeed, it was membership in this group that alerted me to the auctioning of this batch of coins.  Sorry we were competing on this piece.  I was outbid on a few of the others (perhaps by you).  I liked the ink chopped coin too.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2011, 01:46:35 AM »
 :001_smile:Finally, a seldom talked about topic " chopmarks"
Colin, I would appreciate a copy of your e-newsletter (already sent you an email).

What I know is, in general,
Type I Chopmarks (the small ones) were used on coins which circulated in Shanghai and its vicinity, and Type II Chopmarks (the big ones) were applied from the 1800's in the Kuangtung and Fujien regions. 

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2011, 01:50:56 AM »
American Trade Dollars - Unlike the two varieties of Mexican Dollars which circulated throughout China and were accepted by Chinese of all levels, many of the new coins were circulated within limited areas such as the southern coastal cities or in the areas under the issuer's authority.

Offline Panda Halves

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2011, 09:23:47 PM »
Picked up this 1783 8 Raeles coin with a couple of chop marks on it.
There is a small "o" chopmark next to a sideways Chinese character for 10,000 or "万".
Together it makes an OK chopmark!
 :biggrin:

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2011, 07:47:25 PM »
I picked up this 1875-S Trade dollar this weekend.  It has chops on the front and back.  I've zoomed in on a particularly clear chop on the front.  Can anyone translate it?  Thanks.

Offline dragondollar

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2011, 11:58:29 PM »
Hi, your chopmark looks like a variation of the character 贯 (with a little 宀 added on top). 贯 means a string of 1000 cash coins, which would be the value of a silver dollar at the time. The other chopmark, at the right, looks like 公.

Offline Panda Halves

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2011, 12:08:53 AM »
shí
True, real, actual, or genuine in this case.

Offline dragondollar

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2011, 12:19:13 AM »
Thanks for the correction Panda Halves, I didn't know the traditional form of 实!
Can you confirm the meaning of other chopmarks on this coin?

Offline Birdman

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 03:55:04 PM »
I made a new purchase this week, so I thought I'd revive this thread on Chopmarks.  I admit limited knowledge on the topic, but I find it interesting.  Here's my latest question/challenge for those who know about chopmarks.

This Kwangtung dollar has what appears to be a "J" chopmark on the reverse. Or maybe if you turn it upside down it is a crude version of the symbol for the English Pound Sterling (£)?  I don't know.  Does anyone recognize this chop as having a particular meaning?  Thanks.


Offline EU-HUN-BP

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Re: Identifying Chopmarks
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2016, 12:42:44 PM »
Hi!

What is the meaning of this chopmark?

Thanks,