1660 - 1691 - Dutch Ceilon

Colombo CounterMark - Chinese Cash

The Colombo City VOC/C Countermark on the Cash coin cast in China for the last Ming dynasty, Emperor Chuang Lieh Ti(1628-1644) authorized it to continue circulation after 1660 as 1 Doit in Dutch Ceilon.

Diameter25. mm
Thickness~1.2 mm
Weight mean_.__ gms
Weight3.96 gms
cash_cm_VOC-C_obverse cash_cm_VOC-C_reverse
Scholten unlisted ; KM unlisted
Obverse :Countermark VOC/C (Colombo) to left towards left-down
Reverse : Dot above, representing the Sun

By the placard of 1660 October 23rd, No silver or copper coins, were allowed in circulate after 1660 November 8th except those marked by the Company. Accordingly all foreign coins like this copper chinese cash were countermarked at Colombo. Eight Doits equaled a Stuiver.

The Dutch bought Chinese Cash for use in their possessions as pitjis or kasjes (small cash).

Codrington (XII-I:4,p.169) mentions one found countermarked with the GALL monogram used by Dutch in 1655. Another without Countermark was found at Kalutaveli in the Kalmunai division of the Batticaloa District (C. F. E. 719; Schjoth 1229/1232)

The coin shown above is from the Spink Taisei 1992, catalog#13 : lot 95.
Also illustrated in the Taisei-Baldwin-Gillio 1995, catalog#19 : lots 52 & 53.
Says Countermark VOC/C at one time mis-read for GALL.
The Baldwin's Auction 2001 catalog#27 : lot 996 comments
Few specimens are known. There is one in the Royal Coin Cabinet, Leiden (ex Shulman Auction 1980). That coin was found with this and others in a large bowl of unstamped coins in Galle, Ceylon.

The Ch'ung-Chen T'ung-Pao in written style calligraphy (Schjoth 1229) with Dot (Sun) on reverse like in (Schjoth 1232), are similar and all have Two dot T'ung which according to Scott Semans is an important determiner but beyond that there are many differences which are too large for them to have come from a single mint production.

This Emperor's coinage is quite extensive and long articles (in Chinese) have been written about it. It seems to me interesting that although there are over 50 reverse types of coins of this Emperor all of these VOC/C countermarked cash all have the Sun represented by a filled circle on top of reverse side.

Text from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Chapter XII Miscellaneous Page 169
* The Coins of the Dutch Overseas Territories- 1601-1948
  C. Scholten, 1953, Amsterdam: Jacques Schulman. page xxx-xxx
* Moedas Portuguesas 1128-1988, by Alberto Gomes. Lisbon 1987
* Collection Henry Thomas Grogan, J. Schulman, Auction 23-02-1914.
* Non-Islamic and Western Colonies since 600 AD by by Michael Mitchiner.

I thank Jan Lingen who kindly sent me the 300 dpi scans of these rare coin from his collection and are displayed at 300 dpi.