Author Topic: What to call the "scallop", "plum blossom", and "flower" coins?  (Read 9609 times)

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Offline badon

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What to call the "scallop", "plum blossom", and "flower" coins?
« on: October 20, 2010, 11:13:27 PM »

The image above is from here:

So, what do you call these unusually shaped coins? NGC calls them "scallop" coins. The Chinese websites call them either "plum blossom" or "flower" coins. I think the correct terminology is "plum blossom", here's why, excerpted from Wikipedia:

Mainland China

One of the most beloved flowers in China, the plum blossoms have been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries. The Chinese sees its blossoms as both as a symbol of winter as well as a harbinger of spring. It is precisely for this reason that the blossoms are so beloved, as they bloom most vibrantly amidst the winter snow, after most other plants have shed their leaves, and before other flowers appear. They are seen as an example of resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity, and more recently have also been used as a metaphor to symbolize revolutionary struggle since the turn of the 20th Century. The Moy Yat lineage of Ving Tsun kung fu uses a red plum flower blossom as its symbol. Because they blossom in winter, the plum blossom is a member of "Three Friends of the Cold" (歲寒三友), along with pine, and bamboo. The plum blossom is also a member of Four Gentlemen of Flowers (花中四君子) in Chinese art (the others being orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo), symbolizing nobility. It is also one of the four seasonal flowers in Chinese art, which includes the other two flowers of the Four Gentleman, and the lotus.

In Mainland China, they are often used as decoration during the [ur=]Chinese New Year[/url]. The plum blossoms are also one of the four flowers that appear on mahjong tile sets, where mei (Chinese: 梅; pinyin: méi) is usually simply translated as "plum" in English.