10 antique Chinese coins donated to World Fuzhou Heritage Gallery are fakes

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SIBU: The 10 antique Chinese coins donated to the World Fuzhou Heritage Gallery at the Centennial Building For Sibu Foochow Settlement (CBSFS) are fakes.

This description of the coins — in denominations of one Chinese dollar and silver, dated 1912 and 1924, used during the Chin dynasty — came from none other than the president of the Numismatic Society (Asia), Wong Hon Sum.

Wong, a Singaporean, donated two genuine coins of similar types to the gallery yesterday. They were received by Teng Wang Chiew who is in charge of the heritage gallery. Chairman of Sarawak Philatelic & Numismatic Society, John Goh was also present.

Wong, 72, who took up the numismatic hobby 60 years ago, pointed out that the fake coins were lighter than the genuine ones.

They also had rough surfaces while the genuine ones were smooth and flat.

Wong also pointed out that the fake one could be made by embossing with a 10-tonne weight while the genuine one, 180-tonne.

He said fake ones were sometimes available in the market, selling at 30 to 40 Singapore dollars each, whereas the genuine one could fetch up to 300 Singapore dollars.

Most fakes were made in Thailand, so buyers should be careful when approached by certain sellers.

“Most probably, the contributor of the 10 fake Chinese coins to the gallery was unaware that they were counterfeit,” Wong said.

Wong intends to contribute banana notes issued during the Japanese Occupation to the gallery the next time around.