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Ration Coupons From Prchina

 
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Valued Member
United States
252 Posts
Posted 01/29/2013   10:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add fotofila to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I visit China at least once a year, and often as many as three times a year. I am retired; so, is purely for pleasure. I love antiques and paper collectibles. I always look for old book stores and I do find surprises. Once, in a old book store, I found a big collection of these ration coupons and the price was right, so I bought them. There were hundreds of these tiny coupons resembling small banknotes, for US$20, I couldn't resist, even though I did not really know what I was buying. PRC government used ration system to distribute necessities such as food, oil, cloth, energy, etc by issuing these beautiful coupons to the families. This was the only way citizens get their share. They were issued by the local government with values in Kg (food), meters (cloth), liters oil). The US government also had ration system during WWII.

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United States
4720 Posts
Posted 01/30/2013   08:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice fotofila. Thanks for sharing. I bet you'll be getting requests for larger, higher-resolution scans of these!

Kirk
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Valued Member
United States
252 Posts
Posted 01/30/2013   09:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add fotofila to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Kirk. I am still learning how to upload images with better resolutions. I just use my cameras, which is quicker. I bought an Epson film and photo scanner and have not yet learnt how to use it.
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Pillar Of The Community
Canada
2277 Posts
Posted 01/30/2013   1:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nitrolures to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With the PRC items selling at crazy prices you could have a tidy sum there. I deal with China and talk to my supplier daily (fishing stuff) and would love to visit. Unfortunatly if you google china air pollution and look at the images it seems the whole country is almost under quarantine due to insane pollution. Way worse than LA in rush hour on a humid day.
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New Member
China
4 Posts
Posted 03/08/2014   11:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add filipponotgeld to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I collect these Chinese ration coupons, called "Liangpiao". They were issued from the early 30s to early 2000's, though many provinces stopped issuing them by the mid 90s.

There are ten of thousand of different pieces, but apparently no any comprehensive catalogue, so for those who are not Chinese or can't speak the language it'll be hard to sort them out. I have some partial catalogues limited to few provinces only or to some kinds of Liangpaio issues only (e.g. clothes coupons, or food coupons only). Most of these catalogues come with no pictures, but only the description in Chinese, and they are not updated. The prices reported on them do not reflect anymore the current market prices, and in many cases there might be differences of 400% to 4000% between the old catalogue evaluations and current market prices. To make an example, a set that on a 2004 catalogue was valued at 8 RMB is now sold at 600 RMB.

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New Member
China
4 Posts
Posted 03/08/2014   11:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add filipponotgeld to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The pieces in your scans are extremely common, worth 0.20/0.30 Euro each, those you can always find when you buy these large and cheap lots on eBay or online shops, but they are not complete sets. For example, the one on the top left (I can't see it clearly, but it seems to be from Hubei province or Liaoning) is part of a larger set of 7 pieces.

In general, a standard set usually comprehends the 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Jin (broadely speaking, but there are many different cases or combinations). The "key" pieces are normally the highest denominations, difficult to find in UNC conditions, or the very small denomination (like the 0.05 Jin). I have some sets where the first 5 or 6 pieces are worth just 1 Euro each or less, while the last 2 pieces (the highest denominations) are worth more than 50-100-200 Euro. And until some years ago they were worth peanuts.

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Edited by filipponotgeld - 03/09/2014 10:55 am
New Member
China
4 Posts
Posted 03/08/2014   11:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add filipponotgeld to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
However, for those who collect them, they are divided into different categories:

-Rice, Grains and Food coupons (the most collectible area)
-Cloth and clothes coupons (very collectible because many of these coupons come with Chairman Mao's quotations or depictions of the Red Army)
-Army coupons (used only by army members. They are rather expensive)
-Certificates of Deposit
-Various commodity coupons (to purchase gasoline, bicycles, watches, books, livestock, and whatsoever...)
-Specimen issues (similar to the "normal" issues but with a red overprint in chinese characters specifying they are specimen. They can be freaking expensive, as many pieces were issued ONLY as specimen and never entered into actual circulation)

The liangpiao issued between 1960 and 1970 are now getting madly expensive, especially those from 1967-69, because of the old Red Army's and Mao's nostalgia.

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New Member
China
4 Posts
Posted 03/08/2014   11:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add filipponotgeld to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have about 4000 pieces at home. I used to collect them when they were generally cheap, but as I said now the prices are going up wildly. Until 4 or 5 years ago you could buy them for nothing, but now many sets are going up to 50-100-500 Euro per set because Chinese are investing heavily on them. That's why I decided to stop and sell all at reasonable prices. I just want to get rid of them because it's no fun anymore collecting them. I'd rather invest my money in my German Serienscheine collection which is pretty advanced. The Chinese Liangpiao market is artificially over-estimated and over-inflated, a bubble that -in my opinion- is going to burst soon.

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