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General put name on auto dollar

I’m told that the Chinese general who had the automobile dollar minted secretly put his name on the coin. Is this correct?

Several authorities agree that Gen. Chow, who was governor of Kweichow Province from 1926-1929, did order that the Chinese characters for Hsi-ch’eng be hidden among the grass blades, which cover the ground in the foreground of the obverse. Hsi-ch’eng was the general’s given name. If the coin is turned 90 degrees, so that the grass is at the left, the two characters can be seen, one above the other.

Are airline promotion buttons collectible?

Yes. One of the most interesting is the Wien Air Alaska with a goose in flying helmet. Western was also among the hardest, what with mergers, so some are now scarce to rare.

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

A newsletter I received claims the 1916 nickel has machine doubling damage (MDD). Who is right?

The information quoted is third-hand, out of context, and incorrect. The specific coin has valuable hub doubling. MDD does occur on 1916, and all other dates, but it has a different appearance than hub doubling.

Is there any interest in the pointed- and blunt-tail 9 1964 dimes?

The two varieties were heavily promoted at the time of issue, but they were never a major item and now go mostly unnoticed. Although at the time they were assumed to be abrasion varieties, they were later determined to have come from different master dies. Eventually, they may join other similar die changes such as the 1864 and 1886 Indian Head cents as recognized varieties, but for now they are pretty much a dead issue.

I’m familiar with the common Chinese cash coins, but do they come in large denominations as well?

Multiple cash coins are known – the product of inflation. The five and 10 cash were often used. Less often were the 10 on up to 1,000 cash denominations.

Is cisalieen a minting term of some kind?

It’s the Dutch word for scissel, the web scrap remaining after planchets have been punched from the coin metal strip.

What do you know about the Silly Head or Booby Head cents?

The engraving department at the U.S. Mint in the late 1700s and early 1800s was not particularly noted for artistic talent. The result were numerous nicknamed dies, ranging down the scale through the “Blowsy Barmaid” to the “Drunken Die Cutter.” Two of those nicknames for Liberty were the Silly and Booby Heads, which are varieties of the 1839 cent. You need a photo to tell which is which.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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