Coins of the 'Verse...

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Mr_Creepy, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Even though philippes's ENVY thread was about MalÂ’s pistol, it gave us a good look at some of the currency used in the FIREFLY 'Verse.

    Since IÂ’ve always liked old coins, the ones in PhilÂ’s post intrigued me. Just for fun, I enlarged the coin section of the "beauty" shot, did a quick search on eBay, and quickly IDed a coin---#8, the "junk" coin.

    After a couple of hours I had identified 2 or 3 more, so I bid on them and managed to win the auctions; this started a 3 month obsession to compile a complete & accurate set. IÂ’ve been mostly successful; there are a couple of coins that I havenÂ’t been able to find exact matches for, but IÂ’m pretty much satisfied with what I've got.

    Based on scaling the coins with my PAL comm unit, the coins are 1.5" in diameter (+ or- a hair), except for #16, which is 1.75".


    As a bit of general background, the currency used in the world of FIREFLY is very similar to the money used in the American Old West; large-sized bank notes and big metal coins. In most episodes, Mal & Co are paid with bags of coins that usually have a folded wad of bank notes crammed in.

    It appears that the coins used on the show are from the Chinese Republic period, around 1890s-1930s. Very cool coins, about 1.5" diameter, or roughly the size of an American silver dollar. IÂ’ve seen them referred to as "trade dollars", and some are even labeled "ONE DOLLAR".

    This was a period when China was "Westernizing" and many of the coins have a very "American Civil War" look to them---portraits of men in military uniforms, crossed flags, etc. Other coins have more traditional Asian motifs on themÂ…. dragons, bamboo, etc. All in all, a good match to WheadonÂ’s vision of the future.



    NOTE: I want to note that none of these are screen or production used—the coins in my pics are ones that I’ve purchased off eBay based on researching screencaps and the "beauty" pic posted in the ENVY thread. Phil was able to offer some additional info, and graciously gave me permission to use his "beauty" pic—thanks. :)

    I should also point out that although I bought these in good faith as "old coins", it turns out they're counterfeits. I took a few in to a coin dealer, and he went ballistic on me, complaining about how the Chinese are flooding the collecting market with cheap knockoffs and * people out of money, and how I should call the district attorney about prosecuting, etc.

    I would guess that the production team also used replica/counterfeit coins since originals can be expensive; I just hope they didnÂ’t get yelled at for buying themÂ…. :rolleyes



    Anytime I refer to a coinÂ’s "number", itÂ’s from the cropped ENVY pic posted later in this thread--IÂ’ve added numbers to it, along with some info about each coin.

    The one instance I can find where coins were actually seen on-screen (instead of just heard clinking in a pouch), is in the episode SAFE. I was able to pull some caps that show off one coin perfectly, and 2 others, not so good (but I'm 90% sure I've nailed them based on the ENVY pic :D ).

    Here are the screencaps I was able to grab of the coins---the “fatman” (#13) is pretty obvious, but the other two are more questionable. I believe the dark colored one is the #7 copper coin, while the other is the very rare #9.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    This gives a better look at the final set of coins (updated 11/24/05):

    [​IMG]



    This is the cropped ENVY image I mentioned earlier; below that are my coins laid on top of a printout of the ENVY pic:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    UPDATE 10/2/2005:</span> Just got another coin I thought would be better for #14, but in the comparison images, both coins look pretty good.... :unsure

    <img src=\'http://propaholics.wolfchasers.com/maian_uploader/uploads/compare14.jpg\' border=\'0\' alt=\'user posted image\' />



    Of course, it’s nice to have something to keep them in—thanks CC. :)

    <img src=\'http://propaholics.wolfchasers.com/maian_uploader/uploads/SAFEcoinbag.jpg\' border=\'0\' alt=\'user posted image\' />

    <span style=\'color:red\'>A very special thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for hosting all of these big pics.
    :)




    Here are links to the best screencaps I could find of the bank notes--these are from THE TRAIN JOB, SHINDIG, and WAR STORIES. A little different from the movie bills....

    THE TRAIN JOB screencaps

    SHINDIG screencaps

    WAR STORIES screencaps

    [edit by Treadwell to change topic description only]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  2. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Very nice. Nice job too, Captain Carter. :D
     
  3. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Nice paper money there.

    BTW, is it really necessary to have a picture of your stitches as an avatar? Looks pretty ugly, might scar up even.
     
  4. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks. The mylar isn't as supple as acetate, but it does the trick for me.


    Necessary? No, I wouldn't use the word necessary. It will scar something fierce, unfortunately. Ragged cut from the X-Acto blade netted me seven stitches.

    Edit - I'll play nice. Changed it.
     
  5. Kerr Avon

    Kerr Avon Master Member

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    Ah very nice. Glad I didn't throw in the towel or anything.
     
  6. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Mal's gun changes a little bit too - I was told when it came time to make the film, they used a different prop house for the gun. The original place wanted more to rent out the series pistol than the other place quoted to MAKE new ones.
     
  7. Kylash

    Kylash Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    the only main change on the new pistol is the weird little bit under the barrell in the front, its more of a box now than the thin rounded piece.
     
  8. dkwd

    dkwd Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. The coins look great. Nice score.

    The money looks fantastic.

    Movie money is always keen but these really look great.

    David
     
  9. fried mon calamari

    fried mon calamari Well-Known Member

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    I told you before, but killer job on ID'ing those.

    I know it must have taken a good amount of late night hunting to get those all dialed in.

    They look right shiny in person too. :D
     
  10. dkwd

    dkwd Well-Known Member

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    Great - thanks.

    David
     
  11. Captain Carter

    Captain Carter Well-Known Member

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    Brian hooked me to the series now. I taped the show tonight as well. The coins and the money are beautiful. Great job. ;)
     
  12. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Then my work here is done.... :lol Glad you like the show--the moive is incredible. :)

    Thanks again for the pouch, it makes a nice display for the coins (even grubbied up ;) ).
     
  13. Darkknight0667

    Darkknight0667 Sr Member

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    Brian -

    Do you think that you could post a list of the coins (year, etc.) that you've found to be used? It'll sure help those of us searching to maek a display of these.
     
  14. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    To be honest, I bought a book to try and get "official" IDs on the coins, but haven't sat down and gone over them. Most of the eBay sellers don't use the technical name, and many of these are fantasy coins with no legitimate designation that I know of. I mainly went by what they looked like compared to the ENVY image.

    Sorry, that's not much help is it? :confused I'll try and get some more detailed info up soon.

    This is what my set looks like--if you search eBay in the coins section, and compare them to this pic, you'll find many of them.:
    [​IMG]

    Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  15. Osmotic

    Osmotic Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Pete

    A few of the other auction sites deal with coins too. Unfortunately like ToothTech has mentioned even the sellers are using different names and descriptions. IÂ’ve managed to ascertain about half of the coins needed so far. Watch out for over inflated shipping costs and remember just because a seller might only have one up for sale it doesnÂ’t mean he hasnÂ’t got a bucket of them at home. :unsure

    ToothTech great detective job, very much appreciated. :D
     
  16. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Would it be worth looking into casting sets of these coins? I'd like to have some of the coins but wouldn't have time to search around for each individual one. Or perhaps if someone can collect a bunch of them they could sell some sets?
     
  17. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  18. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    First post updated with this same info ;)

    Found another #14 coin that looks about as good as the others.... :unsure

    [​IMG]
    Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting. :)

    Big news though, is that thanks to help & encouragement from Osmotic and dr_slurpee, I've realized that I was totally off base with the #16 coin. I finally got around to scaling the coins from my PAL comm, and discovered that #16 is only 1.75" in diameter, not the 2" I was using earlier. This led to the accurate coin jumping up and punching me square in the face. :lol

    My apologies to anyone who's bought one of the 2" coins based on this thread... :$
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  19. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Currency split off.

    Thank you for this thread... a friend of mine went to China recently and I sent him some of these pics. He got about a dozen really cool coins for me--some matching the screenused, others just similar. Very cool. :)

    I don't have them yet but here are pics he made for me:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. MattMunson

    MattMunson Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    YO, as someone who is really turned on by deep-research related props, I've gotta say that this is one hell of a thread. Great work to all of the folks who rounded these up, especially the dude who started this thread. I'm truly stunned by all the hard work that went into this.

    now if only I could get a set for myself :)
     
  21. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks--it was an interesting experience. Not sure how some people manage to spend years doing the research--I'd go nuts. ahem... :angel


    Nice looking coins Jay--most of the coins I've seen are actually better looking than the production coins.

    Thanks for splitting the thread--hopefully I can get some better updates posted soon ;)
     
  22. Boba Debt

    Boba Debt Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have been watching this thread but didn't want to post when it was congested with other topics, now that it's split I think we can take this research to another level.

    These coins can cost a lot, even through ebay, so I have decided that to only bid on coins that have been identified.

    Once a coin has been discovered I plan on buying a couple for my pouch, since most people don't carry 16 different in their pocket.

    I would like to work on the coin ToothTech has called the Fatman coin which is Number 13 on his pictures.

    [​IMG]




    I can see several matching details between the real coin and TTs.

    I have indicated the details with red lines.

    [​IMG]



    I'm pretty confident TT has identified this coin but when I went to ebay to buy one I discovered the unseen side can have many variations

    [​IMG]

    Can anyone help identify the correct version?
     
  23. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The letters/symbols "inside" the wreath differ on various coins as well--THIS pic is of several fatman coins I recently sold in the JY. Note the different top letter that 4 & 7 have on the back side. Also a good pic to show that even silver colored coins (in this case #5) can photograph very brassy.


    From what I can tell of the cap, I think it has 6 characters over the profile. The fatman can occasionally be found with the "solitary" dragon that I believe is on coin #15. This means that the capped coin could be either 13 or 15 (IMO)--the wreath back is the most common, so I'd guess it's probably 13.

    The fatman is the only coin that I've got a 100% "onscreen" ID of:
    [​IMG]
    Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  24. blubeetle3

    blubeetle3 Well-Known Member

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    I've become very interested in Firefly props recently, and I saw the pic from the "ENVY" thread on another board. A few weeks back, I went to a local flea market, and saw a dealer selling old Chinese coins for a dollar apiece. I remembered seeing Chinese coins from that pic and decided to pick up ten coins.

    After checking the first post in this thread, it turns out that seven outta the ten I picked up are pictured in that very pic.

    So, at a dollar a coin, did I get a good deal?
     
  25. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Much better deal than I got with most of mine. Most of mine were fairly reasonable but the shipping from China is a killer.....

    Welcome to the RPF :)
     
  26. blubeetle3

    blubeetle3 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. If you're interested, I could go back and see if I can find more.
     
  27. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, I appreciate the offer, but since I already have 4 sets..... :lol

    The #9 "general" coin is very rare as far as I've been able to see--if you find one or more of those snag 'em. ;)
     
  28. blubeetle3

    blubeetle3 Well-Known Member

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    The #2 and #12 seemed to be the most common ones of the ones the guy was selling.
     
  29. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The #2 isn't visible in the ENVY pic, so I just used a coin I liked--cool to know that it's fairly common though.

    The #10 coin could easily be the same coin as #12 (or at least very similar), so that would be a cheap & easy way to snag a couple.
     
  30. Boba Debt

    Boba Debt Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Can you post pictures, I'll will be glad to compensate you if you can get coins I don't have.





     
  31. blubeetle3

    blubeetle3 Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, no, I can't post pics. I don't own a digital camera and my flatbed scanner refuses to work with Windows XP (a damned shame too as I loved that scanner.)

    However, I'll do my best to describe them if you want me to.
     
  32. Boba Debt

    Boba Debt Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Descriptions may not be effective in this case.

    These coins have a lot of detail and in some cases many variations.




     
  33. blubeetle3

    blubeetle3 Well-Known Member

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    Boba, I am getting a scanner soon. I'll put up some pics of what I have then.
     
  34. Kaylee

    Kaylee Well-Known Member

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    Very nice.

    You know, I was just thumbing through a Dixie Gunworks catalog when I saw a couple bags that looked just perfect for the coins:

    small - http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info....roducts_id=4110
    large - http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info....roducts_id=4112
    (A medium size at 5x8 is listed in their print catalog, but I don't see it on the website. )

    Anyhow, that led me to remembering these -- they're just a 'titch too little for the 'verse bills, but might be worth a look-see to those interested -
    http://jas-townsend.com/product_info.php?products_id=183

    Very "Firefly-esque" look, bein' historical and all. :)


    I don't know as minting coins would be worthwhile at this point, cheap as the Chinese pieces are on eBay.. though I did find one nifty one on there once upon a time -- Chinese on one side, a British Victoria on the other -- just fairly reeked of Londinium. There may well be more up there now -- I'll post a pic later if anyone is interested.



     
  35. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm hoping to get this thread updated soon, but for now, here's a quick beauty shot of all of the coins I've gathered for my personal collection.....SERENTIY bank notes are Boba Debt prototypes.

    [​IMG]
    Thanks to Fried Mon Calamari for pic hosting. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  36. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Me coins:

    (contrast adjusted on all)

    heads
    [​IMG]

    tails
    [​IMG]
    I rotated them all along their vertical axis--note how the abverse is not always aligned with the front.

    Those I got in the States seem to be aluminum and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were counterfeit, which is fine for Firefly purposes. I think at least some of the ones my buddy brought back from China are authentic--I think there's even silver content in a couple of them.

    I really like the two on the bottom: both sides. I wish I had dupes of them.

    Here are all my unique ones on some bills:
    [​IMG]

    And here they all are, including dupes (with a couple from another 'verse just for fun):
    [​IMG]

    Thanks wackychimp.
     
  37. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A buddy calls me up this morning & says: "You know those coins you showed me on that prop site you're always going to? I'm at the flea market, & this lady here has a bunch of them."

    So I got dressed & drove over there post haste. And I am now happier than a pig in fei hua:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And I couldn't care less if they are counterfeit or not. :D :D :D :D :D

    FYI, the photos are laid out to show the coins front/back, front/back.
     
  38. JediLip

    JediLip Well-Known Member

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    What a score Nexus. :eek

    You plan on selling any? :love
     
  39. Darkknight0667

    Darkknight0667 Sr Member

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    What about to share with folks that will gladly tout what a good looking man you are and who will tell you how it's very obvious to see why the ladies all talk about you in such glowing terms? Why just this afternoon, my wife told me of how she read on the ladies room wall that if a woman wants to feel truly satisfied she has only to call on Nexus 6.

    :D :D :D :D :D

    Seriously, sweet score. You truly are the envy of many.
     
  40. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fantastic score. :thumbsup

    You did real good--the coins with the single dragon (#15 according to my numbering system) have 2 letters on the top, which Boba Debt and I both think is more accurate than the 4 letter coin I have.

    Looks like you probably have most if not all of the ENVY coins...plus 1 or 2 extra.... :lol
     
  41. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    LMK if you want to trade dupes. :)
     
  42. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I may indeed. :D

    I'll try & sort through what I have & then PM you with pix of my duplicates. If I don't get back with you in a couple of days, PM me. I'm forgetful imo.
     
  43. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Picked these up today. No idea if they're screen accurate in any way, I just thought they "fit in" (pictured front/front, back/back):

    [​IMG]
     
  44. Nexus6

    Nexus6 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Anyone have any new acquisitions?


    And *bump*.
     
  45. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Picked these up today. and some tallcards (see other thread). :D They were even in the first place I looked. I'll scour a few more shops next weekend, and grab any duplicates I can if someone is interested. Are any particularly hard to find?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks to WC for hosting pics.
     
  46. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    My stocks have increased:
    [​IMG]
    I now have 5 accurate different coins and one that seems pretty close. I haven't had much trouble finding the other four in the picture, and may have leads on a couple more. I can also find a good number that aren't screen-accurate, but have the right look. If anyone is interested, PM me. :D
     
  47. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Yep, definitely saw a few more out there tonight. I'll try to pick them up and update tomorrow. I love having a prop to chase down. :angel
     
  48. Darth Vindus

    Darth Vindus Active Member

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    How much are you guys paying for your coins?
     
  49. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Guys, I've just seen two more coins on the other thread that I know I can get. :confused This is all happening so quickly it's crazy... crazy good. :lol

    I'm way closer to having a full set, and some of you will be soon, too. This is the best weekend I've spent hunting for things all year.
     
  50. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

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    Another day, another few "Verse dollars...

    I found more accurate coins available today, some of them earmarked for people already. I've got a few sets of eight available, as well as duplicate coins and the cards, too. Check the JY for info. Here's what I've got so far:

    [​IMG]
     

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