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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 43, October 25, 2009, Article 22

CHINA GETS A TASTE OF COUNTERFEITING

An October 19th article in World Coin News by Richard Giedroyc reports that China is getting a taste of its own medicine - coin counterfeiters there are now attacking the country's circulating coinage. -Editor

The Peoples' Republic of China has been in the numismatic hobby news in recent months due to coin replicas originating from China that are being sold elsewhere in the world as genuine coins. This includes coins of Canada, Russia and the United States.

Well, it appears China may be having problems of its own regarding locally produced counterfeit or replica coins. In fact, since China has been one of several countries that in recent years has suffered from a shortage of circulating coinage it appears at least one enterprising organization working outside the government has decided to take advantage of the shortage by making its own coins.

According to the Aug. 6 Guangzhou Daily newspaper, police in Foshan in south China's Guangdong province arrested seven people a day earlier, seizing more than 220,000 counterfeit 1-yuan coins reported to weigh a total of about 1.5 tons.

The 1-yuan denomination, which is the workhorse coin of the Chinese economy, is a nickel-plated steel coin with a diameter of 24.9 millimeters. The obverse depicts the denomination and date, while a chrysanthemum appears on the reverse. The lettered edge repeats RMB three times.

RMB is an abbreviation for renmimbi or "people's currency," which is issued exclusively by the People's Bank of China. The official abbreviation is CNY, but it does not appear on circulating coinage.

According to the Guangzhou Daily newspaper article, "A woman named Liu and her driver were stopped by police when they were seen behaving suspiciously around a Foshan bus station on June 26. The police then seized 18,000 counterfeit 1-yuan coins at the scene and captured a buyer with 1,100 such counterfeit coins. Following the seizure, the police raided Liu's home in Guangzhou and found 200,000 more counterfeit 1-yuan coins wrapped in packages."

The newspaper reported the fake coins originated in Loudi in Hunan province (central China). The counterfeiting operation does not appear to be an isolated incident. According to the newspaper, more than 20 people possessing 1.17 million counterfeit 1-yuan coins were arrested in Loudi in July. In addition "five fake coin plants" were raided in Loudi.

To read the complete article, see: China Battles Domestic Counterfeiters (www.numismaster.com/ta/numis/Article.jsp?ad=article&ArticleId=8038)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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