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Hundreds of Spanish Silver Dollars Found in Dirt Pile

Spanish silver dollar found in pile of dirt

Spanish silver dollar found in pile of dirt

According to a July 6, 2011 Chinese newspaper article, hundreds of old Spanish silver dollars were recently found in an abandoned pile of dirt.

A villager walking down the street in Longhai Village in Fujian Province noticed something shiny in some dirt that had recently been dumped.  Picking the object up he realized it was an old Spanish silver dollar.

News of the find spread quickly setting off a “digging frenzy”.

Villagers digging for silver dollars

Villagers digging for silver dollars

Soon a hundred villagers appeared with hoes, shovels and basins and began digging in two piles of dirt, measuring about 20 square meters, looking for more silver dollars.

Reportedly, several hundred silver dollars were found.

By the time the police and cultural relics personnel could arrive on scene, however, most of the lucky villagers had already scattered.

According to two experts with the Zhangzhou City Collections Society, the coins are Spanish silver dollars which came into the area as a result of foreign trade during the middle of the Qing Dynasty.  These silver dollars are frequently found here and villagers refer to them as “funny face” coins.

One young man was fortunate enough to find more than 20 of the coins in the dirt pile.

Another villager informed the reporter that the oldest coin found that morning was dated 1775 with the most recent being 1802.

Dirt originally came from this site

Dirt originally came from this site

The dirt, which came from the digging of a foundation for a new house, had been dumped on the vacant lot four days earlier but no one had paid much attention until the villager happened to notice the shiny object.

The “owner” of the dirt, a Mr. Huang, said that his previous house had been more than 200 years old.  Mr. Huang said that until he heard the news, he had no idea of the treasure that he had inadvertently thrown away.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • James Martin December 28, 2013, 12:05 am

    I’d like your permission to send the link of this article to “Chopmark News” published by an American professor in Taiwan. I suspect that most of the coins found were chopmarked and therefore of great interest to the chopped coin community. It will be fully attributed if they get your permission to publish it and lead many to your site. BTW I’m in Sierra Vista AZ.

    • Gary Ashkenazy December 28, 2013, 9:10 pm

      Hi James,
      Colin publishes a great resource for collectors interested in chopmarked coins. He contacted me sometime ago and asked permission to reprint the article in the “Chopmark News”. If you have access to the past issues, you should be able to find it.
      I’m in Tucson so we are practically neighbors!

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