Status: research in progress
Currently researching the Gansu 5 and 10 cash coins. Seems that a few patterns were struck at some mint in the early 1920s. Subsequently, a number of cast versions were made, probably using the struck coins as mother coins. Unclear whether this happened immediately or whether it happened much later (c. 1980) and the cast ones are “fake”.
Both versions are listed in Duan. Frank Robinson obtained a hoard from a Shanghai dealer but didn’t give me the name and doesn’t know the provenance beyond that. He said he’s never seen a struck one, only cast ones. Next steps:
(1) Translate Duan’s descriptions about the coins
(2) Look at my own (and all available images) to see if there is any variation or if they seem to be all cast from the same mother coin
Having done this, I’ll write to some noted collectors/dealers, particularly Ricky Watt, ONLY LINDA, and Scott Semans. Depending on what Duan says in his boo, potentially I can try to contact Duan himself as well.
Types of information that would shed light on the history:
– find locations for coins of either type
– provenance / paper trail for a cast coin that traces back earlier than the 1980s (at least to refute Chinasmith’s claim that they are copies made in the 80s)
– contemporary written reference about these coins, ideally mentioning production, but even just circulation or existence would be interesting.