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Szechuan-Shensi Soviet Counterstamp on 20 Cash
Szechuan-Shensi Soviet Counterstamp on 20 Cash

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Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,356
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Pedagreed to the Wa She Wong collection of Chinese coins sold by Ponterio (Bowers & Merena sale #156) in Dec. of 2010, Lot #343. This common 20 Cash coin is a Standard Unified General issue of the Chinese Empire (Y#5). These were issued in 1917 but based on unused dies made in 1903, they were struck at the Wuchang mint.
The RARE counterstamp of three Chinese characters meaning "SOVIET" has only appeared on Yuan Shih-kai dollars (Y#329) up to now. Other c/s with Hammer & Sickle within a Star appear elsewhere in this Museum. Examples of authentic and fake YSK dollars with 'Soviet' c/s [蘇維埃] can also be seen here. This coin sold for a total of $546. The Wa She Wong collection also featured a YSK dollar that was struck by Chinese Soviet authorities w/o a counterstamp. These were issued so that Communist forces could purchase needed goods in Nationalist controlled areas without using the outlawed Communist issues. Being caught with Soviet money in those days could cost you your life. That example will also be featured in this Museum. Please comment below!
A great article published in the CHOPMARK NEWS (ed. Colin Gullberg; vol.22, issue 2, Dec 2018) is a fine, and first article on chopmarked and countermarked Chinese coins in copper. The following is a excerpt on 'Countermarks: Coins of Revolution and Propaganda,' by Cedric Cheung [see original and full article or contact me]:
Chopmarks and countermarks can appear very similar. However, we use the term countermark when it is chopped by a government entity with the intent to label the coin as legal tender within their borders as opposed to a chopmark which is made by a private business or person.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the ruling Nationalist (KMT) were not always mortal enemies, in fact they worked together at least twice before the CCP defeated the Nationalists in 1949.3 Five years after its inception in 1921, with the blessing of Sun Yat-sen, the CCP joined forces with the KMT forming the “First United Front” army to root out local warlords and unite China in the Northern Expedition. However, by 1927 the communists were viewed as a growing threat by the new Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek and were purged by the thousands and the CCP was outlawed. The communists fled the cities and reorganized in rural areas focusing their efforts to recruit peasant farmers. By 1929, numerous “soviets” (local areas in control of the communists) were established, mostly in the southern
inland provinces of Kiangsi, Hepeh, Fukien, and Hunan and Shensi in the north.
By 1934, the area the CCP controlled was so large that the KMT could no longer ignore this threat and launched an allout offensive. After suffering several military defeats, the communists had no choice but to retreat, resulting in the so called "Long March" to their rural stronghold in central northern China in Shaanxi province. The party once again reorganized into a rural based guerilla force and were successful in recruiting peasant farmers and recapturing more land. However, when Japan invaded China in 1937, the Nationalists and Communists had a common enemy that neither were able to defeat alone and so they made an uneasy alliance. After Japan was defeated in WW2 the country plunged into civil war with Mao Ze Dong’s CCP emerging victorious in 1949.
For the purposes of studying the Communist coinage of this time, it is important to go back to the first National Conference of the Chinese Soviet Republic of 1931, where it became official policy to countermark existing coinage in all soviets for use as local money.[see Sanrock Part I, below] By this time, there were 231 counties spread out in over a dozen provinces with a population of 3 million under its control. Countermarking was done locally, accounting for the many varieties of Soviet countermarks. The most commonly found host coins are 20, 50, and 200 cash coins.
It must be remembered that to be caught with Communist money, of any kind, meant severe penalty in Nationalist held territory. [JM]
NUMISTA entry uses this photo from the Stack's Auction and the following text:
Four Chinese ideograms read top to bottom, right to left, with Manchu characters above and more ideograms around, all with countermark in field.

ᠪᠠᡩᠠᡵᠠᠩᡤᠠ ᡩᠣᡵᠣ ᡳ ᠶᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠪᠣᠣ

寶 元

Translation: Soviet [CS], Guangxu (Emperor) / Yuanbao (Original currency)
Ministry of Revenue (minting authority) Guangxu (Emperor) / Yuanbao (Original currency)
Currency worth 5 Cash (Wen)
Dragon with pearl at center with English legend above and below.
Translation: Ministry of Revenue

Here are a number of RARE articles on Communist Chinese Soviet coins & notes from the Moneta Library:
Chinese Soviet Coins and Notes - Raeburn (1st research 1937!): [ link ]
Chinese Soviet Coins Intriguing - Hogan: [ link ]
Chinese Communist Armies - Kann (excerpt): [ link ]
Soviet Chinese Copper Coins - Hua Guangpu (Little Brown Book): [ link ]
Chinese Soviet Copper Coins - Duan, Hong Gang: [ link ]
Wa She Wong Soviet coins sale Dec 2010: [ link ]

The premier articles on Early Chinese Soviet issues are the invaluable documents below. It covers the history, coins and notes from 1927-1935 and includes photos and a map: (with color photos; in 3 parts);
Money of Communist China - Sandrock Part I: [ link ]
Money of Communist China - Sandrock Part II: [ link ]
Money of Communist China - Sandrock Part III: [ link ]
· Date: December 5, 2010 · Views: 4,500 · Filesize: 44.3kb, 95.0kb · Dimensions: 880 x 443 ·
Keywords: Soviet 20 Cash counterstamp countermark Szechuan-Shensi
Denomination: 20 Cash (2 Jiao)
Reference #: KM #Y5; countermark undocumented
Date/Mintmark: 1917, basic coin, c/s 1931 - 1934 (?)
Condition: VF w/some encrustation
Weight: 11.37 g; 33mm
Metal: copper

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