Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fake coins in the news

This week, they're many news relating to coins and Malaysia old currency reported by The Star, Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Daily. Sadly, almost all the news used fake coins in their article. Look like they don't listen when I already told them to make a research first before they release their article about coins in 2012; Reporter-Please Do Research First.

Johor Numismatic Treasure

The Lost Treasure of Johor reported by The Star tell a story about artefacts and treasures from Johor that are sold at lucrative prices in a thriving black market trade. They continued with another report the next day about The Heritage Act 2005 and how lack of officials from the National Heritage Department is one of the main reason for not enforcing the Heritage Act. They also share finder keepers policy does not apply especially to treasure that were found after 2005.

The next day, Nanyang Siang Pau, one of Malaysia Chinese Daily also released an article about Johor Numismatic Treasure that are sold online. In the report they said that some of the tin animal currency are sold at least USD$59.90 and some can goes to USD$1,374 depend on the item. For a set of 6 gold coin of Johor Sultan Ala'uddin Riayat Shah I, Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayat Shah II, Sultan Abdullah Ma'ayat Shah, Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah III, Sultan Mahmud Shah II and Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah the asking price is USD$9,800. Source: Nanyang.

Sadly, all the tin currency shown in the articles are fakes or just a replica. The information is given to me by several sifu's who are expert in tin coins. Some of the tin coins in the article doesn't exist in our history. Many people don't know that fake tin currency has been exist for so long. Until today, our numismatic friends from other country who visit Melaka Museum are laughing at what has been displayed in the museum tin animal currency section. It is a shame that the rare currency are used in our country but we ourselves cannot recognize a replica tin animal coins in our own museum.

If you cannot find an expert in tin animal currency, you can always goes to Sasana Kijang Bank Negara. In the animal currency section, you can make reference to almost all the tin animal currency that had been used in Malaya.

If Sasana Kijang is far away from you reporter, you can always find a copy of Saran Singh book, The Encyclopedia of the coins of Malaysia Singapore & Brunei 1400-1967 in library or any coin dealer near you. In this book you can find information about Perak animal currency.

You can also see some of the tin animal currency pictures from Sasana Kijang collection in my Facebook page; Galeri Numismatik.

fake animal money

To make matter worst, the news in Nanyang Siang Pau also show a certificate from Maritime Archaeology Museum for a fish animal tin money circa 15th Century with a description about it in hand writing. Looking at the fish tin coin, I think everyone in Malaysia Numismatic community can guess where are this certificate came from.

3/4 cent

Sin Chew Daily on 12 December 2013 reported about a 189 years of British coins. Sadly, the article is showing a Straits Settlement 3 quarters cent Queen Victoria coin. The coin is a replica coin since Straits Settlements Queen Victoria coins only start from 1845. I think the reporter who wrote the article should know that since she already read information in Wikipedia about Straits Settlements that only established in 1826. Source: Sin Chew.

Normal people don't care if the news give a wrong pictures about our own currency since they don't have any knowledge about them but to us collectors, it is a shame that Malaysian who should learn about their culture & heritage were giving a false information in the local news.

I don't think any reporter will be listening since the most important thing in Malaysian Journalism nowadays is news that can sell thousands copies of their newspaper, reporting a wrong story is not their concern.