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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Commemorative Sun Yat-Sen Gold Medals

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Question
I got theses coins in Hong Kong back in '86/'87...just came back across them again the other day. They both weigh 11.2 grams. Are they really gold? They're probably a 120 Yr commemorative set of Sun's birthday. One has Sun's face on it with his name (in English), some Chinese lettering, and 1886-1925, on the back. The other has his wife'said face with Chinese writing, his residence, and English saying that it's his residence...I can email pictures.

Answer
Hi,
Such commemorative medals were indeed made in gold, so it's definitely possible that yours is .900 (22 karat) gold. They were also made in silver and common metals. The best way to determine is to have a jeweler look at it, just make sure they don't do an acid test as this will damage the piece. Most jewelers can perform a specific gravity test, or will have an XRF scanner, both of which will do the job without damaging the medal. I would not be able to tell you from pictures alone, as there is no way to discern a plated versus solid gold piece from photos.
Modern unofficial gold medals in general are worth around 10%-15% above melt value when sold by a dealer.

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Dmitry Livshits

Expertise

My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.

Experience

Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

Education/Credentials
A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

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