Author Topic: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?  (Read 20035 times)

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Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 12:28:32 AM »
I actually wouldn't bother trying to get them labeled yet. They have a policy of not labeling varieties until they become important in China. That actually works to our benefit, because while China cares little for varieties, we get to identify the rarer ones and buy them up. Then, when they finally get recognized...profit!

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2011, 12:30:10 PM »
after a second inspection it turns out mine is a connected ribbon, as confirmed by the weak strike of the vertical letters/text.
I am currently going over many of my other historical figueres to see if I can find other coins with varities...

Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2011, 08:50:10 PM »
The strike is good, it's the die polishing. This is a very interesting error, equivalent to the 3 legged buffalo nickel.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2011, 02:18:26 AM »
after a second inspection it turns out mine is a connected ribbon, as confirmed by the weak strike of the vertical letters/text.
I am currently going over many of my other historical figueres to see if I can find other coins with varities...

While there are two distinct set of characteristics: connected-ribbon with faded text and glossy finish vs separated-ribbon with clear text and matte finish, the correlation is not 100%.  I do have one connected-ribbon coin with clear text and matte finish, so maybe it is not two separate varieties, but a gradual change over the entire production period with one variety at the beginning and the other variety at the end of the process?

Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2011, 02:41:40 AM »
If you post your photos of the suspected progression, I can tell you.

Offline dobedo

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2011, 08:53:44 AM »
I agree. They are just in different progressive states of polishing, not distinct varieties.

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2011, 08:58:24 AM »
OK, so we now believe that it is not varities but production caused. meaning that the newest produced would have clear text and what kind of ribbon? and the further the production the weaker text??

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2011, 02:17:53 PM »
If you post your photos of the suspected progression, I can tell you.
I'm photographing these coins by a well-lit bay window, so they show the glossy or matte finish better.  So here are the sequence of coins:
1.  Separated_ribbon with matte finish and relatively clear text, I have 4 of these.
2.  In-between coin: connected_ribbon with matte finish and relatively clear text, I only have one of this.
3.  Connected_ribbon with glossy finish and poorly formed text, I have plenty of these.

If poorly-formed text is the result of polishing which is also associated with glossy finish and clouded background field, then matte finish represents the early production stage and glossy finish represents the late production stage.  Another way of judging the production stage is that design with mirrored background is the early stage and design with clouded background is the later stage of production.  Maybe these matrices can be applied to other Chinese coins being discussed in CCF?

Offline DiggingNorway

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2011, 02:56:00 PM »
this is really interesting! sadly i seem to own a latervstage, although the background seem mirroring, the text is worn...

Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2011, 02:58:51 PM »
OK, so we now believe that it is not varities but production caused.

No, they are still varieties, but we're just trying to figure out some details about them.

I'm photographing these coins by a well-lit bay window, so they show the glossy or matte finish better.  So here are the sequence of coins:
1.  Separated_ribbon with matte finish and relatively clear text, I have 4 of these.
2.  In-between coin: connected_ribbon with matte finish and relatively clear text, I only have one of this.
3.  Connected_ribbon with glossy finish and poorly formed text, I have plenty of these.

At first glance it APPEARS that coins 2 and 3 could be from the same die that was polished to extend its service life, and that coin 1 is from a completely different die. However, if you look at her knees, you see that frosting appears in the later stages of suspected progression, which is not likely. Frosting can wear away, and it can be polished away, but it unlikely to be added later.

Her hand and the cuff of her robe are very similar on 1 and 2, but once again, there is more frosting on 2 than on 1, so it is unlikely they are the same die.

My conclusion is that all 3 coins come from 3 completely different dies, and there is no progression from one variety to the next.

If I examined these under a microscope, I would look for evidence that frosting was added later, but it would probably require some earlier die state specimens to confirm that possibility if it happened. But, I'm already 95% sure that frosting was not added later, and all 3 coins come from 3 different dies, and NOT a progression of the die states of 1 or 2 dies.

Great work, once again SANDAC!

Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2011, 03:02:12 PM »
As a guess, I would say that coin 1 and coin 2 are possible restrikes. I think coin 1 is the most likely candidate for being a restrike. The sandy frosting texture, and the surface finish of the mirror portions look newer, and more like recent minting techniques to me. I'm guessing, of course, since I don't have the coins to examine in person, but I think coin 1 could be a restrike.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2011, 12:29:09 AM »
Her hand and the cuff of her robe are very similar on 1 and 2, but once again, there is more frosting on 2 than on 1, so it is unlikely they are the same die.
Given that frosting can be polish away, but not added in later die stage, I agree that picture 2 has more frosting in places where picture 1 are polished thus they are from two different dies.

I'm still wondering about the relationship between 2 and 3.  The frosting between the right knee and pedstal of the musical instrument is a different kind of frosting.  It was mirrored field in 2, but becomes frosted field in 3 as if the same process that polished away the text also mistakenly polished away the high area that meant to be a mirrored field.  Just asking a question, I simply don't know enough about the minting process.  Gosh, I learned so much from these conversation and I'm grateful that you are willing to share your knowledge with us.

Offline badon

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2011, 01:30:45 AM »
I'm quite sure there's no relationship between 2 and 3. Look at the lamp, the cuff of the robe, etc. They're different dies. Die 2 has much less metal on it than die 3. That means die 3 could not have come from die 2. It would actually be more likely that die 2 came from die 3, but the worn frosting on die 3 and fresh frosting on die 2 shows that to not be possible.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2011, 12:54:13 AM »
A day ago seller kerimo1826 posted a number of historical figure coins on Ebay.  Among them is a 1992 Cai Wenji:

http://cgi.ebay.com/CHINA-1992-5-YUAN-SILVER-COIN-PROOF-COA-/290579698698?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7e6540a

This one is a "separated ribbon" variety, but interestingly the entire poem is clear and readable.  The flaw with the character "not" (third one from the bottom of the first line) is fully repaired.  If there is such thing as a restrike of 1992 Cai Wenji, this one is it.  I think this coin represents yet another variety of the 1992 Cai Wenji.

Offline dobedo

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Re: Two varieties of 5 Yuan 1992 Cai Wenji Historical Figures?
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2011, 08:44:21 AM »
A day ago seller kerimo1826 posted a number of historical figure coins on Ebay.  Among them is a 1992 Cai Wenji:

http://cgi.ebay.com/CHINA-1992-5-YUAN-SILVER-COIN-PROOF-COA-/290579698698?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7e6540a

This one is a "separated ribbon" variety, but interestingly the entire poem is clear and readable.  The flaw with the character "not" (third one from the bottom of the first line) is fully repaired.  If there is such thing as a restrike of 1992 Cai Wenji, this one is it.  I think this coin represents yet another variety of the 1992 Cai Wenji.
It looks good. I'd vote for it being a restrike, or a very good fake. Let's go bid for it.