Fakes -1 

wpe1.jpg (88319 個位元組)No. F/1


Weight: 181 grams/5 taels


Date: 1910 A.D. 


Inscriptions: 庚戌柒月/福盛匯紋


Year Gan Shu, 7th Month

Fu Shen (Silver shop) Huei Wen*


Assaying chops: 公估童佘段看

Public Assayer Tong, Ser, Duan Looked



Imitated type-Saddle (Yunnan)


匯紋 "Huei Wen": Abbreviation of  匯號紋銀 "Huei Hao Wen Yin", i.e., Remittance Bank Fine Silver 


Collection of the webmaster


More information... 

wpe1.jpg (108772 個位元組)No. F/2


Weight: 180 grams/5 taels


Date: 1726 A.D. 




Yong Zhen (Reign, 1723-1735)

Sze Nien (4th Year)




A genuine silver sycee with imitation stamps 


Drum silver in 5 taels are very rare, whether they are inscribed or not.  The forger ruined this piece by adding an inscription.                


The forged inscriptions "Yong Zhen" and "Sze Nien" were written in a type of ancient character now no longer in use. This was the strategy used by the forger to confuse collectors and make them believe the sycee is authentic. 


No genuine specimen dated  in a year of Yong Zhen have yet been found. 


Collection of the webmaster     

wpe3.jpg (18183 個位元組)No. F/3


Weight: 10 taels


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 連城縣/三年五月/林敦和


Liang Cheng County (Fujien Province) 

3rd Year 5th Month

Lin Dun Ho (The smith)




This piece took me 3 days to observe, compare and analyze before I concluded  that it is fake. This finding was a real shock to me. I have never been suspicious of a piece just because it is TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!


The major weaknesses of this piece were residues left on its edge and bottom, and many tiny bubbles on its surface. All of these can be considered abnormal, however, they can't be noticed easily.  As a result, the touch on this piece was somewhat sharp and sticky.


When I returned this piece to the seller, he complained I was too picky, since this was one of the rarest kind of sycee and in the best condition that he ever seen. After reiterated my concerns, the seller admitted that he sold more than a dozen pieces of this to different customers, but no one had any questions about them. 


6 months later, in December, 2000, the seller told me that he had recalled all the sycee he had sold, because some of the buyers found that the rust on the surface was easily removed by washing, and the whole piece lost all  its original toning and turned pale. 


All of these pieces  have been returned the up-stream dealer in China who claimed to have "excavated" them.                                    


I respect the honest seller who also gave me this picture as souvenir.


Compared with genuine Fujien Round (Steamed Bun) 

wpe1.jpg (98360 個位元組)No. F/4


Weight: 177 grams/5 taels


Date: N/A 


Inscriptions: 珍寶陳記/匯號紋銀


Bao Jen Chen Firm

Remittance Bank Fine Silver


Assaying chops: 珍寶陳記/匯號紋銀


Bao Jen Chen Firm

Remittance Bank Fine Silver



Recently, many readers asked me the same question on the authenticity of a Saddle they found at an e-commerce auction site. Instead of answering the questions one by one, I went to our night market to buy a similar piece. I show it here for readers' own judgment. I paid less than US $10 for this piece; the silver content alone in a genuine 5 tael piece makes it's worth at least twice this amount. 

          wpe6.jpg (3319 個位元組)No. F/5


Weight: 27 grams/7.5 maces


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 貴州官錢局

Kueichow Official Monetary Bureau



Also found at the night market are many Round or Half Ball with inscriptions as above shown. They are also frequently seen in the trade and at internet auction sites. I bought two identical ones to test.  I cut one open to show that there is not even a small amount of silver inside.

A genuine piece like that should weigh 1 tael in the Gu scale (Kueichow provincial weighing scale) which equals about 36 grams. These pieces weigh far less than the standard. 

wpe3.jpg (6623 個位元組)          wpe9.jpg (5637 個位元組)No. F/6


Weight: 382 grams/10 taels


Date: 1909-1911 A.D.


Inscriptions: 陽谷縣/宣統年月/恆源銀爐


Yang Guo County

Hsuan Tung Year Month

Heng Yuan Silver Furnace




This is an imitation of the Shandong Boat, on which we can find many flaws: 


Its inscribed characters are all in the modern "Kai Su" (the Regular Script) and each of them seems to be in printed font, not hand-written.  

Artificial rust covers all its surface to create an aged look. 

A genuine piece of this type does not have evident waves on its face as this piece does.

There is a lot of residue left on its surface. 

Low silver fineness 


Image provided by Hu Chun Chung

wpe1.jpg (4225 個位元組)No. F/7


Weight: 90 grams/2.3 taels


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 扶風地丁


Fu Feng (County)  


Land and Poll Tax




This piece is a modern counterfeited Shaansi Groove. It was cast from a mold taken from a genuine piece. 

The maker did not use silver of sufficient fineness for the reproduction since this piece is in a mixture of low silver and base metals. Therefore, its weight is relatively light when compared with a piece of sycee of the same size. 


A genuine specimen of Fu Feng Land and Poll Tax (Sas4-6/1).

wpe1.jpg (103373 個位元組)No. F/8


Weight: 151 grams/4+ taels


Date: N/A


Inscriptions: 任恆泰號/足色條丁


Zen Hen Tai Firm

Pure Fineness Land and Poll Tax Silver




This is a modern imitation of an Yunnan Triple Groove. The following      weakness can be easily identified

      - There is a significant amount of  residue on its crude surface.
      In order to hide this, the piece has been thoroughly hammered.

      - Its surface has turned unnaturally pale,. rather than becoming
      darker as it tarnished.

      - The space within each stamp has been chemically darkened to make
      it look aged


      - The silver fineness is low 

wpe1.jpg (36280 個位元組)No. F/9


Weight: 5 taels


Date: 1885 A.D.


Inscriptions: 新關/光緒十一年七月


New Customs (Gio Jiang in Jiangsi Province)


The 7th Month, 11th Year of Kuang Hsu




An imitation made by casting


Seen in trade



Weight: N/A


Date: N/A.


Inscriptions: 華俄銀行/庫平一兩/十足


The Sino-Russo Asiatic Bank

1 Tael in the Treasury Scale

Sufficiently Pure




An imitation made of low silver and coated with artificial patina


Seen in trade


Listed below are images of a genuine example for comparison:





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