Fake coin dealer caught and sentenced
There's a newspaper report that's just hit the press stating that a dealer in Nanjing (China) has just been sentenced to 3 years jail for selling counterfeit coins.The China Daily online newspaper describes the situation as being about a Nanjing citizen surnamed Qin, who sold 110 counterfeit ancient Chinese coins at 400 yuan each, claiming they were unearthed from a construction site. Qin pleaded not guilty, presumably based on the premise that anyone looking to buy coins in China has clearly lost their marbles anyway!
If that description sounds a little outlandish, several experts are quoted in the above article as saying: "as many as half of antiques dealers would face jail terms in China if the country punishes them using current laws for common businesses, and more astonishingly, Professor Yang Jingrong, a pottery expert at the Forbidden City, said during an interview with the Beijing Morning News that 95 percent of all articles on the (Chinese) antiques market were fakes."
Since this case involves coins produced for the domestic Chinese antique market, I don't see any easing up in the number of counterfeit Aussie pre-decimal coins that are made in China and now being offered on eBay - most of the coins in this list will have been recently struck counterfeits from mainland China.
The moral of the story is that if you're in China and someone offers you a 1930 penny, you might want to think twice before getting your McDonald's book out to work out how much you're going to offer him!