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Chinese Cash Sports Four-eyed Dragon
by Ken Potter
Copyright Ken Potter 1999, 2001
Excerpted from May 1999 World Coin News
Visiting Varieties Column
Minor editing changes made September 01, 2001

So far we’ve reported upon double tailed crocodiles, eagles with double feathers; beaks and claws, serpents with double rattlers; lions, cows, and an assortment of other animals with double bellies, legs, etc. Now, compliments of Ken Chylinski of St. Clair, Michigan, we have a four-eyed dragon to report!

Chylinski sent in a Chinese Kiangsu Province 1906 10 cash piece that boasts what is now the strongest doubled die listed in the Variety Coin Register for this country. The entire central design and many of the characters about the rim exhibit extremely strong hub doubling shifted in a counter clockwise direction. Virtually every individual design element of the dragon is strongly doubled making it appear to the naked eye as a blur. There is complete separation noted on most of the fine details including the horns and claws which display both hubbings (impressions) of near equal strength. Most doubled dies exhibit the earlier impressions in a significantly weaker state. This one is comparable to the US 1955 doubled die cent which also exhibits doubled images of near equal strength.

Interestingly, as strong and widespread as the doubling is, it ends abruptly with the word "CHING" and is completely absent from "TI — KUO COPPER CO". Widespread doubling then begins anew midway into the word "COIN". The abruptness of doubling is counter to that typical of rotated-hub or pivoted-hub doubled dies both of which are characterized by rotational spreads that either retain their strength on all elements about the rim or slowly taper to lesser spreads depending on the location of the pivot point. The characteristics on this coin seem suggestive of the use of two different hubs with variations in the position of the design on each. However, the tops of many of the letters of "COPPER" and the "CO" (of"COIN") exhibit "broken tops" due to hub breaks. If two different hubs were used this defect would have undoubtedly been "corrected" by the second hub which probably would not have shared the same identical defects. The entire circle of dots surrounding the central design are also devoid of any doubling which seems to defy "doubled die logic."  The mystery of how the doubling on this coin was created could make an excellent research project for any specialist interested in this area and will undoubtedly unlock the secrets as to how the dies were made. Is was listed in The Variety Coin Register as VCR#1/DDO#1 in March of 1999.

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