Here are copies of two notes that I have had since 1986.
I believe they are from the late 1890s or early 1900s.
Any direction you can give me would be helpful.
Bonita Springs, Fla.
Although the reader refers to “two notes,” the color copies the
reader sent show what appear to be two uniface, individual face and
back designs of a single, vertically oriented, large-format note. One
side of the note depicts two dragons, each holding a coin. One dragon
holds the obverse of a Chinese Hu-peh silver dollar, often referred to
as a “Dragon dollar”; the other dragon holds the reverse of the coin.
The coin also is denominated 7 mace and 2 candareens. The other side
of the note shows several columns of Chinese characters in the center
of the note with the inscription CHINA/NUMBER above and 7 MACE AND 2
CANDAREENS/HU-PEH GOVERNMENT MINT below.
The copies the reader sent to Coin World were scanned and the
scans sent to Joe Boling, an expert in Asian paper money.
According to Boling, the two uniface pieces indicate that they
were printed at the Japanese Finance Ministry Printing Bureau.
However, Boling said he was not aware of the Japanese Finance Ministry
Printing Bureau making uniface pieces that are not marked as specimens.
Boling said, “My conclusion is that it is a replica.” He said if
the note was genuine, it should be intaglio printed, a process that
uses a deeply engraved printing plate and leaves a unique embossed
look and feel on the paper.
Boling said he couldn’t tell from the scan what technology was
used in the printing, “but I don’t believe the note is original.”
A genuine example is on display at the British Museum website, www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/cm/s/silver_dollar_note_issued_by_t.aspx.
The dragons depicted on the note are symbols of the emperor while
the coin denomination of 7 mace and 2 candareens is also the
denomination of the note. According to the museum website, the Chinese
inscription down the center of the face of the note translates to
“With this note collect one silver dollar.”
The museum example was issued by the Hu-peh Government Mint in the
city of Wuchang in an effort to relieve an extreme shortage of
standard cash in this area of China. The notes could be used for all
official payments including taxes.
The notes could be redeemed at the Wuhan Government Monetary
Office, according to the museum website.
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