Author Topic: 1989 3.3 oz silver god of war and wealth varieties discovered by reiboy of CCF  (Read 46922 times)

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Offline badon

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Another first for the CCF, the 1989 3.3 oz silver god of war and wealth coins have been discovered by relatively new CCF member "reiboy" to be made up of two varieties: a "clouded claw" and a "clear claw", which is the claw located above the dragon's head, on the upper right of the dragon and phoenix side of the coin.

This coin already has a very low planned mintage of 2000 or 2500 (sources vary, one source says actual mintage is 2430 - certainly many were melted or damaged). Now that we know it is made up of two varieties, each one is going to necessarily be just a fraction of the total mintage.

I have been researching these coins lately, and so far in my opinion, it seems the clouded claw variety is the rarer variety. My very preliminary information on die states for the clouded claw variety seems to support the idea that fewer of them were made with the clouded claw die. But, once again, this is all very preliminary. We may learn more things as this develops, since this discovery is literally just a few minutes old.

I do believe the clouded claw to be a variety, and not an error. It seems from the photos that the clouds are features of the die, and not accidental excess frosting. I have seen both of these coins in person, but I don't have them in front of me now to say this for 100% certainty yet.

Good job reiboy!

Here's the discovery:

One of these Taels is not like the others
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 09:24:06 PM by badon »

Offline reiboy

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Wow, that's pretty cool if it's true!

Please do let us know what you find with further research badon!

I'm loving this hobby more and more! Never thought something so subtle can be so exciting. When I mentioned to my wife how I may have discovered a variety of a silver Chinese coin she looked at me like I had 2 heads  :001_tongue:

Offline badon

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Haha, you're going to have to go to the coin shows wearing a name tag that says:

reiboy
Discoverer of the god of war and wealth varieties

I dare you :) go shake a bunch of hands and tell them how famous you are :)

Offline r3globe

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sorry for the question, but which claw? The top right?

Offline badon

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Yes, right above the dragon's head. The dragon has one arm wrapped behind the square central motif, like he's hold it up or something. The arm is raised, and the claw is exactly above his head. In one variety, the claw is surrounded by clouds. In the other variety, the claw is clear of clouds, with just a bit of mirror field separating the claw from the clouds.

Offline r3globe

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yep i see it! Thanks! So you think that is because of different dies at two different locations possibly?

Offline badon

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Once I get to compare specimens of both varieties side by side, I'll be able to say for sure whether it's a frosting error, or a true variety. It is definitely different dies, but the mintage is so low, I'd be surprised if the coins were minted at two different mints. If it turns out to be a frosting error, then it'll be probably from just one mint. If it turns out to be an actual feature of the coin, then it's possible it was done intentionally to distinguish coins from different mints.

Offline badon

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Right now, I think it's an intentional feature - that means it's probably from different mints. But, once again, I have to verify this with the coins in front of me to be 100% sure. The photos do appear to show it that way though.

Offline badon

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By the way, if it does turn out that the coins are from different mints, then these varieties become more than just varieties - they're both required for a collector to have a complete set. That means prices are likely to be going WAY up, much like the large and small date pandas.

Offline reiboy

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That is just nuts! Wow... interesting to see how this plays out.

The more I study the pics the more differences I see. The spacing between the dragon's head and neck, as well as between the phoenix's head and raised wing - both are narrower in the clouded claw version. Looking less like a frosting error.

Offline badon

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You know, the clear claw dies show evidence of much damage. I suspect it may have simply been replaced after it was worn out, and they just made a new die a bit different, with a clouded claw. I may have a photo of some of the evidence of damage that I've collected. Let me look around a bit.

Offline PandaCollector

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Very cool discovery. Could we see photos that show the entire pouch?

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
http://www.pandacollector.com

Offline badon

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The pouch is plain, with no fancy sealing that identifies the mint. You can see a glimpse of the edge in this photo:

http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/7/4/2/9/9/6/webimg/450175382_o.jpg

Offline Pandora

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I got some photos of the coin from the PF68 eBay seller. From seller's photos, it does not seem to be the clouded claw version. Amazingly, the NGC Cert# is same, and the NGC Cert Verification Website photos show clouded claw version. Also, the photos in the eBay listing seem (they are not very detailed) also seems to be same as NGC version (clouded claw)

NGC Photos

eBay listing

I can not explain it.

Offline Pandora

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Here is another photo...there is 8 MB limit.