In 1910, at the beginning of the short-lived rule of the 宣统 emperor (Xuan Tong), the Central Mint in Tianjin created new designs for general issues. Beautiful pattern coins were struck there in limited quantities, and most of them are rare and coveted nowadays.

One of such pattern coins is the 1910 imperial silver dollar (Kann 219). It features a menacing dragon flying over the sea, with a mountainous shore in the background. This design earned it the nicknames of 水龙 (shui long: water dragon), or more down-to-earth 宣二 (shorthand for 宣统二年, 2nd year of Xuan Tong) amongst chinese collectors. This beautiful coin is pretty hard to find, so I was quite happy when I found the specimen below:

Fake 1910 dragon dollar

Fake 1910 imperial dragon dollar

Just looking at the picture, this coin looks nice. But simply comparing this coin to a picture of a genuine one, sold in a reputable auction house, one can easily see it is actually fake:

Genuine 1910 imperial dragon dollar

Genuine 1910 imperial dragon dollar

The genuine one has so much more relief and details, that the forgery completely pales out in comparison, contrary to the previous example of Yuan Shi Kai republican dollar. The poor reproduction of the nose of the dragon, its scales and the landscape is pretty damning…

It is interesting though to compare the fake dollar coin to a genuine half dollar of the same coins set (KM Y-23):

Genuine 1910 Half Dollar

Genuine 1910 Half Dollar

It turns out the fake One Dollar coin pattern is actually a decent copy of the simplified design from the smaller Half Dollar…

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