Tosa Tsuho 100 Mon

Tosa Tsuho 100 Mon

this fake from Heritage that brought $460...what a shame!

One can buy a decent copy for a few dollars in Japan (and here). Nicer copies cost a little more, as more hand-detailing is involved. They go for $10-20. But when someone pays dearly for a copy thinking it to be genuine, there is something wickedly wrong stop collecting Japanese coins and start collecting river pebbles instead: they are free and can't go wrong. 

The first Tosa coin I illustrate here is from Heritage 2000 auction, where it was described: Piedmont Collection, Japan, Provincial, Tosa Tsuho copper 100 mon ND (1863), Japanese characters (To Sa Tsu Ho)/Japanese characters (Value, a hundred), Munro pg. 170, fig 12, extremely rare, F/VF. (NGC ID# 3D6J, PCGS# 105885). This coin brought $460!

In order to make this copy, someone used a genuine but common Tenpo Tsuho, shaved off the two top characters from the obverse, and then shaved off the signature from the bottom reverse. That is why those areas look funky and uneven. They would then take the impression on the mold, add in the characters of TOSA, and then make a "seed" coin from that mold. Soft lead/tin would have been used. From that seed coin, many coppery pieces could be made. Note how the two top characters differ tremendously in style from the bottom two characters with this type of creation.

 the above and below illustrate genuine coins (below from Munro's book)

Nobody should be fooled with this junk, but such junk fools collectors all the time. Collectors are fooled because they lack knowledge. They have no idea what a genuine example looks like. So, if they buy a reproduction, it is their own fault. If you collect Japanese cash coins, you would need to understanding the language. By knowing the language, I was quickly able to find out quite a few details on another example below.

above: fake on ebay that brought $247.50
 above and two photos below show how that same fake appeared in yahoo Japan auction bringing $50 for the pair

I illustrate another copy above that sold for $247.50 on ebay recently. If you had some command of the language, you could have found this copy on the net. It appeared on Yahoo auction in Japan. The lot of two pieces brought $50 with only one bidder, probably the seller's own bid. This copy was also made by the process described above, and it looks nothing like the real McCoy. I hope someone who paid $247.50 is happy with this purchase! At least he as something to show