I recently got my hands into this coin

coin with characters in it

No idea how it got here, nor where it came from, I've tried to identify the text with some chinese speaking friends but we are unable to fully comprehend.

So far we guess that top left character is likely 畢 And bottom right character is likely 余

The other side of the coin: coin with an image likely to be a student As you can see there's definitely no "value" on the coin which we guess together with the fact that doesn't look like a chinese old coin, it's more like a memorial coin for some kind of finished study.

Thanks everyone!

Edit: Seeing as after over two years we still havent figured out much and this question still drives some attention I've decided to take a high resolution scan of the coin. I'm not fully satisfied with the quality so I'll leave the old images aswell.

High resolution coin with characters in it High resolution coin with an image likely to be a student

  • 1
    As a first impression, I'm not convinced that this is actually Chinese; the extra random unbalanced dot on the top left and bottom right is problematic, and makes it look like Jurchen. Best guess: Bottom left has a structure that looks like 搷, top right has a structure that looks like 老、考、壽. Top left looks like 𣎼/呆/保. I think you should upload the other side.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 21:27
  • Ty for the comment. I uploaded the other side of the coin. I guess I didn't consider the possibility that it's not chinese. But given that it's so hard to know which characters are those and find any kind of meaning to it, maybe I shall start considering so. On the other side I don't think the coin is older than 200 years (I'm not an expert, just my guess given the quality and cleanness compared with other coins) But I don't know whether it makes it more or less likely to be in a different alphabet.
    – Ignasi
    Commented Oct 30, 2018 at 23:52
  • For lack of a better idea, it may be an imitation of khitan or jurchen script. Given the person’s pigtail it may be the latter.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 0:45
  • I'll try to take a better picture of the face since I can't barely see any pigtail. And while there's a chance that it's a fake, I feel it would be surprising. Afaik fake coins are not easy to make and given the "fact" that it's not real money, and the script is hard to understand and identify... Yeah just surprising.
    – Ignasi
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 18:31
  • The face looks like Brad Pitt playing the part of Fu Manchu. :) Commented Jan 25, 2021 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


I can only recognize two of them.


砉 might be

换 definitely


I have a feeling that this coin may come from Vietnam, or those characters are not Chinese. As the clothing of that man is not in a fully traditional Chinese style. There are some types of ancient Chinese characters that are hard to recognize today, but men in those eras didn't wear like this.

  • The text isn't Vietnamese
    – dROOOze
    Commented Aug 23, 2019 at 7:06
  • Not modern Vietnamese, but perhaps the old ones before 20th century?
    – user150245
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 17:22
  • No, the text isn't Vietnamese. Have a peek at what en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%E1%BB%AF_N%C3%B4m looks like - you can recognisably see Chinese character components in all their characters. The writing on this coin doesn't look anything like Vietnamese.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 10:52

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