Not as old as owner thought

Readers Ask
Published : 03/11/14
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My grandparents were world travelers. They have an item that seems to be extremely rare that has a hole in it.

From the description inside the box it came in, the piece seems to be from 50 B.C. However, after doing some research, it doesn’t seem to match up. I think it seems to be from the Shui Nationality.

Phillip Capp

Via email

Mr. Capp provided images of an item that is a Chinese brass charm, likely of the late Qing Dynasty (1800s), according to dealer Scott Semans of

Seman specializes in Asian numismatics and stocks several Chinese language books about charms.

One side of the charm carries a common theme, the 12 animals in the Lunar Zodiac. As for the other side of the charm, the books would be useful tools in research to determine the design interpretation and possibly whether the charm had a particular use, or area of use, though specifics of interpretation and use are generally hard to determine, Semans said.

Condition on the charm is “not good — it’s been cleaned in the past, partly retoned — [and] would retail maybe $15 to $20 or so,” according to Semans.


I recently obtained a Cardinal Richelieu medal. The inscription reads RICHELIEU CARD. ACADEMIAE GALLICAE FUNDATOR with the Roman numerals MDCXXXVI.

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