Firefly: Original Coins of the Verse

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by philippes, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    A friend has allowed me to post photos of screen-used coins from Firefly. Here they are:

    Face
    [​IMG]

    Back
    [​IMG]

    Phil
     
    HEMADEW, Dao2 and wisemonk5421 like this.
  2. belloq

    belloq Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    941
    Shiny. Thanks Phil.
     
  3. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    That is awesome Phil. Thanks for posting that.

    Now I am crossing my fingers that maybe a photo of the screen used bills will be next. ;)
     
  4. SurferGeek

    SurferGeek Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,246
    Shiny... GORAM Shiny. Thanks Phil..


    :thumbsup
     
  5. Guardian Devil

    Guardian Devil Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,486
    Thats really great to see. Will definately help me a lot :D Thanks.
     
  6. Osmotic

    Osmotic Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    117
    IÂ’d like to put out big thanks our mystery benefactor for sharing his good fortune. :thumbsup
     
  7. Mr_Creepy

    Mr_Creepy Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    FANTASTIC---Thanks for posting those, nice to finally see what was only fuzzy little blobs. :thumbsup


    Looks like they even used some of the "chromey" ones I thought looked so bad, and I've even sold off a few (as inaccurate) that now turn out to be the correct models. :lol
     
  8. hollywoodhardware

    hollywoodhardware Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,241
    Wow Phil, that's a nice move. Thanks for sharing.

    Thomas
     
  9. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    511
    Well, I should have looked here sooner. Thanks for the clear pics, Phillipe.

    That's another 3 I've confirmed I can get. Wow. :$
     
  10. IronFist

    IronFist Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    735
    Now, who's going to be the first person to take this photo and identify exactly what each coin is, so those of us with no numismatic skills can just waltz on over to eBay and pick up a set? :)
     
  11. Darth Vindus

    Darth Vindus Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    360

    I know a few of them.
    The funny thing (not funny, "haha") with these coins is that the people that know what they are, want lots of money.
    You need to find the auctions where the people don't know what the coins are.
     
  12. clanger68

    clanger68 Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    716
    Excellent..............thank you Phil and thank you ??? :)

    Shiny stuff,

    Cheers,

    Andy.
     
  13. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    511
    I feel thanks to Phil are due, and Toothtech for his thread as well. :) Between the two I was well-armed when I set out to find some Firefly coins of my own. Having done that with a good degree of success (IMHO) I'd like to continue in the theme of helping everyone recognize these when they see them.

    Here's what I have, Showing both sides of each coin. Didn't want to post pics, just URL's as there are quite a few and they are large (so you get all the detail). I don't have the numismatic skills Iron Fist speaks of. I can't name them to say "go get this...", but I sure can seem to find them. :p

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin1side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin1side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...oin1sizeref.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin2side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin2side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin3side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin3side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin4side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin4side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin5side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin5side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin6side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin6side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin7side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin7side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin8side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin8side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin9side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET.../coin9side2.jpg

    I have a theory that these are showing up as mulptiples in Phil's pictures, seeing the slight differences in letters and province names. Can anyone verify correct provinces?
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...101112side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...101112side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin13side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin13side2.jpg

    Here are two I found with accurate backs, but the fronts don't match up. Maybe I only need one side for a display, anyways. :angel
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin14side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin14side2.jpg

    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin15side1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...coin15side2.jpg

    And a few interesting if not accurate coins...like wrestling a tiger. :confused
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...ncanonside1.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e325/FET...ncanonside2.jpg

    That's about all I've got so far. Still missing a few coins, but I'm keeping my eyes open. I'll have to dirty up some of my tallcards soon, too. Still some of those available ;) .

    Hope this helps everyone spot a few more. I also hope it doesn't spike the cost of accurate ones either. :unsure

    Good luck out there, hunters.
     
  14. Darth Vindus

    Darth Vindus Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    360
    Holy poo.

    I was able to ID another coin from one of your pics and boy are these coins costly.
     
  15. FETTCLONE

    FETTCLONE Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    511
    That's what I like. Results. Good to hear the pics are working out for you.
     
  16. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    bump, to bring this back from the dead

    Has anyone made a visual reference of the accurate coins? I am still looking for a few coins and clearer photos of them would be helpful to say the least.

    The province coins have been proving hard, as is Row 2 #5, and Row 3 #3.
     
  17. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Okay, here's what I was able to pin down after some research online:

    [attachmentid=9133]

    This is not definitive; mostly educated guesses. Most are probably knock-offs, anyway.

    Good luck.


    -Mike
     
  18. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    Here are some more Firefly coins and tallcards another client allowed me to post. Interestingly, the coins and cards are from firefly, while the plate and baskets are from Serenity:

    <div align="center">[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]</div>

    Phil
     
    HEMADEW likes this.
  19. Tristan71

    Tristan71 Active Member

    Trophy Points:
    360
    <div class='quotetop'>(philippes @ Aug 11 2006, 02:07 PM) [snapback]1298526[/snapback]</div>
    Hello, all...been doing a search on eBay and I've found several of the Chinese coins. I'm sure you all have already thought of this, but I wanted to let you know they are there.

    Thank you, Philippes, for posting this, and thanks to everyone else for adding on.
     
  20. pennausamike

    pennausamike Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,046
    Just my opinion, but when I start to aquire Chinese coins for my Firefly/Serenity display, I'm going to make sure there aren't any easily identifiable dates, people or provinces because these are supposed to be coins from Sihnon and Londinium's Alliance 500 years in the future.

    The coins worked on screen because you can't really examine them, but the ones in my shadowbox display will need to pass closer scrutiny.
    So, I'm looking for coins based on dragons and Chinese writing (which is Greek to me HAHA.) for my display.

    Mike
     
  21. dr_slurpee

    dr_slurpee Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,781
    Phil I must * and thank you for posting those pics...just when I thought I was close to a set of Firefly coins you add more to the mix. LOL
     
  22. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Hi, sorry for necro'ing the thread.

    I'm trying to put together a 'verse money-bag. The larger silver coins aren't much of a problem these days, with quite good replicas sold for very reasonable prices from china. The copper coins are a bit tougher though. Some appear to be cheap "ancient" copies, the type you can buy as "feng shui" coins, but I have problems identifying the larger copper coins (those without holes).Anyone know anything about them?
     
  23. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    There was no rhyme or reason any particular coin was chosen when the prop dept purchased them. They were grabbed by the handful between a couple shops in LA's Chinatown.
     
  24. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    I think I've read as much before. The idea of using the touristy Chinese coins was inspired!

    Fettclone's very through references makes identifying all the silver ones easy. My question is more on the identity of some of the others, if we look at this picture for instance:

    firefly_coins_cards_02.jpg

    The larger silver coins are unmistakeable "Fat man dollars" (Yuan Shih-kai dollar, minted 1914-1021).
    The smaller silver coins appear to be (replica) One Tael coins (the dragon Tael, minted 1903)
    The small bronze coin with a hole in the middle is a cheap knock-offs of a Qing-dynasty coin (these are dime a dozen on-line)

    I haven't been able to identify the large dark bronze coins though, and neither the copper coin in the centre. The latter looks like it could be a contemporary of the larger silver coins (late Victorian/early Edwardian) but I'm hoping anyone would be able to help me ID them.
     
  25. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    I cant really tell which ones youre talking about but are these them?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Friendly flyer likes this.
  26. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Thanks a million, these are great! It's particularly valuable to have them side-by-side to see the size, it helps considerably with IDing them!
     
  27. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    I've taken the liberty of organizing your pictures into a simplified coinage guide. I've made no attempts at ordering obverse/reverse or orienting them right way up, but I have all scaled them to match the Fat Man dollar.

    http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/Friendly_flyer/Coins of the verse_zpssnvx5fvj.jpg

    From a bit of google-fu, the coins are (replicas of):
    1 “Fat Man dollar”, silver 1 Yuan, ca 1915
    2 Large feng-shui coin, 40-42 mm, so far unidentified
    3 Szechuan Sichuan Province 100 cash (1/10 Yuan) copper coin, ca 1900
    4 Unknown silver coin, possibly Korean
    5 50 cash XinHai copper coin
    6 Ca 30 mm copper coin with chrysanthemum symbol, likely Japanese
     
  28. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    I have a question:

    I came across bamboo bowl. It is a smidge below 140 mm (5 1/2 inch) across and about half as deep. It looks like a fair approximation to the screen used prop from Serenity that Philippes posted, though it's a tad smaller. If the replica Fat-Man dollars are correctly sized (28,9 mm), the Serenity bowl should be around 170 mm.

    Here is mine (the replica coins are about 3/4rd of a Fat-Man dollar):

    Bamboo bowl.jpg

    These kinds of bowls are usually bamboo on the inside and a lacquer on the outside. Mine's white lacquer, does anyone know what colour the Serenty ones had?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  29. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    If I recall the bamboo bowls and plates were off the shelf Ikea items. Ive got a small cache of them in a box somewhere from the set.
     
  30. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    LOL, the first thing I thought when I saw those bowl was IKEA! But alas, the local IKEA shop seems to be out of that particular style of bowls. I believe sanding and painting the one I've got in the correct colour should be a straight forward job. If you can find the original colour I'd be really happy!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  31. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    There is no color just bare bamboo but there were some with a green or yellow rim if memory serves.
     
  32. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Thanks mate, you're a gem!

    Then I suppose just sanding off the lacquer layer will do the trick. That yellow or green rim, is it on the lower outside? The edge of the bowl looks very much like it doesn't have any rim in the photo.
     
  33. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    the bowl youre looking at has no color, but, other bowls or plates did.
     
  34. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Great, thanks!
     
  35. 6644Invader

    6644Invader Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    263
    coins.jpg


    For convenience I numbered the coins. I took the pictures down to my local coin shop and they were able to identify some of them for me and are working on the rest. They told me all the coins were fakes/copies of the originals. The identified coins are as follows:

    1. 1912 Chinese Yuan
    2. 1914 Chinese Yuan
    3.
    4.
    5. China "50 Cash" with dragon
    6. 1916 Chinese dragon Yuan
    7.
    8. ~1930's Chinese Yuan
    9.
    10.
    11
    12.
    13. The back side is a 1908 Szechuan Yuan. The side on the numbered picture is a Chinese commemorative coin and is not real currency.
    14.
    15.
    16
    17.
    18.

    I will keep posting as I find out more. Hope this helps!
     
    Friendly flyer likes this.
  36. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Your #3 is a French 'trade dollar' or French Inodchina piastre.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dollar

    Some of the others may be Japanese trade dollars as well.

    I'd swear these have been ID'ed years ago. Ask around on FireflyProps.net. The attached "Guesses" graphic is not mine.


    -MJ
     

    Attached Files:

  37. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    4,325
  38. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Thank you Invader and Mike J.!

    From my understanding of coin history, the thaler became a fairly standardized unit of money in the 17th and 18th century. The great grand dad of all those thalers were the good old Spanish 8 Reales coin (the "piece of 8" of pirate fame). With the colonial trade in Africa and Far East in the late 18th through 19th century, all nations wanting to do trade made similar large, impressive silver coins of proximately similar value. Both the Mexican 8 reales and US Morgan dollar are typical examples, the same are the Austrian Maria Theresa thaler (still being minted btw) and Victorien Crown coins.

    Many were really meant only for the foreign foreign trade and were more or less small coin-shaped silver bullion, different from the domestic currency. Both the US and UK had dedicated trade dollars in addition to their domestic Morgan dollars and silver Crown coin. The French had their "Piastre de commerce" in addition to the domestic Franc and so on. Smaller countries had large silver coins that was both a trade coin and domestic currency, like the Swedish-Norwegian large two Krone.

    The reason these work so well in the Firefly setting is of course the Western frontier theme of the show. Having large coins looking very much like Morgan dollars, but full of obscure symbols and Chinese characters works really well in the setting. They are called "platinums" in the show, so I suppose the metal is supposed to be platinum rather than silver. Off course, being cheap Chinese knock offs rather than the real thing, the actual metal we see on-screen is potmetal, white brass and/or copper-nickel.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  39. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    On Etsy someone is selling a set of 20 "Chinese Copper Coin China Currency Cash Miao Silver" (googling the term will get you there) for a very reasonable price. The set is copies of a wide range of trade dollars, including almost all the "silver" coins from the set. My guess is the prop-maker bought such a set and took out those coins most likely to recognise as historical money (the Mexican 8 reales, the US and British trade dollars and a strange Chinese one with Sau the god of longlivity). The remaining 16 coins are from what I can tell the ones found in Firefly, including the French Piastre de commerce and the silver 1 yen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  40. Brigandia36

    Brigandia36 Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,536
    All the identified coins I can find on ebay, are very expensive because most of theim are silver coins.
     
  41. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Indeed. If you want the actual antique silver coins you'll have to pay a fair bit. I own an original 1907 Piastre de Commerce, and it did cost a pretty penny. Also eBay is next to useless. Not only are the prices often inflated, quite a few if the "ancient Chinese silver coins" you can buy are fakes, so you end up with an extremely overpriced bit of pot-metal.

    Since the screen used coins are fakes anyway, I see no reason to go for real antiques.If you google "replica Chinese silver coins", you'll find a lot of the 'verse coins to a dollar or two a piece. If you do a search for the exact term "Chinese Copper Coin China Currency Cash Miao Silver" you should find a set with enough screen accurate fakes to fill a very convincing money bag as seen in episode 5 "Safe" (and a fake 8 Reales, US and UK trade dollar and an oddball Chinese coin) for less than 20 dollar.

    Personally I've used Aliexpress, which is sort of a Chinese eBay with free shipping for small packages. They are generally dependable, but the packages take a month to actually get here :unsure I started ordering a month ago, and so far I've got these (this is about 4 dollars worth of fake coins):

    IMG_0962_zps0lwytp8c.jpg

    IMG_0962_zps0lwytp8c.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
    Brigandia36 likes this.
  42. Broilermaker

    Broilermaker Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    yes aliexpress isnt to bad, i was having fun passing out Kuggerrands you should have seen the looks on my friends faces
     
    Friendly flyer likes this.
  43. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Philippes, do you know if these were all the coins used in Firefly, or just one of each kind of "dollar"? Thing is, if we believe the story of the prop dept just going down to Chinatown and buying cheap knock-off in the nearest tourist chop, I think I may have found the source for the actual in verse coins!

    Now, bear with me:

    14 unique "silver dollar" coins with Chinese characters
    1 Japanese Yen coin (last row, coin no 4)
    1 French Piastre de Commerce (1st row, coin no 3, sticking out like a sore thumb).
    1 similar size copper coin, likely not part of the original "silver coin" set.

    If these were just random fakes, you'd expect multiple copies of the same coin (like in the picture with the bowl and the tray, where most of the large silver coins appear to be "Fat Man dollars" (similar to coin no 2, upper row in the first picture). You'd also expect fewer different types of dollars, because the "Fat Man Dollar" and a couple of the dragon dollars by far dominates the Chinese silver dollar faker/replica market.

    All this indicates to me that the coins came from a set of replicas of different turn-of-the-century silver dollar coins used in China, a set that includes the French and Japanese coins. Such sets are sold, and my guess is some shop-owner either sold the propmakers the set directly or had just popped one open and put the coins up when the prop dept came to the shop.

    With me so far?

    Having browsed the internet for the coin designs for a couple of weeks, I'm convinced the set offered here is the set those coins came from:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/174575830/20-pieces-of-chinese-copper-coin-china

    You will notice there are 4 coins in this set that do not show up in the Philippes picture. Those are the Mexican dollar, US and UK trade dollars and a single Chinese coin. The first three makes sense if the prop dept picked them out of the lot to keep in the style of the verse (but missed the French one), and the Chinese coin can simply have been lost (or stolen, or sold before the prop dept people bought the set).

    I have read the community guidelines to see if there's a ban on linking to a commercial seller, but i haven't found any. If I have missed a rule, I apologize.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  44. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    1,341
    I have no idea if these were all of the coins. This was just the material I was given.

    Your theory about how this happened sounds plausible, but there could be numerous other explanations. Yours is as good as any, though.
     
  45. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Sigh.

    Having done a coin-by-coin photoshop comparison, I think I'll have to scratch my theory.

    - The Piastre de Commerce in the set is marked 1905, while the one in your photo is a 1907.

    - Your picture also two Chinese trade dollars (with "one dollar" on them) and a coin with an en face portrait and a Fatman-style wreath on the reverse lacking from the Etsy set.

    - Going by the Chinese writing, only one of the two Fatman dollars from the Etsy set appear in your photo.

    - A double dragon medal (actually not a coin) from the Etsy-set can be seen below a copper coin on the right side of the tray in the photos of your 2nd post, but not on the 1st coin set photo

    There are probably more differences. I have ordered the set, so I'll make a better comparison when it gets here.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  46. robstyle

    robstyle Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,355
    I can guarantee 100% the coins were bought by the handful between a couple shops in LA's Chinatown, same with the Tallcards as there were more of those than seen on camera. To date most coins have been matched to the hero bag of coins used in the pilot episode, yet that wasnt every coin used in the series. On that note there were Tallcards custom created for the theatrical movie Serenity that I dont believe anyone has ever actually seen yet they were in the bar scene. Hopefully to end youre countless hours of searching, there was no theory in the coins in form of style, denomination or "sets". Next time im in Chinatown ill snap a picture so you can see how the FF coins were bought.
     
  47. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Too late, I already did the full comparison. I don't mind, they say nerding is healthy for the noggin :D

    I didn't mean to imply that the coins were brought as a set, more that the various Chinatown tourist shops bought sets, and that's where the large "silver" coins come from (the other coins obviously was bought separately). I'm abandoning the idea though, as the match wasn't as good as I first believed. Here's the comparison (the coins Philippe posted with blue background):

    Etsy-Hero set comparison.jpg


    It's still a decent "in verse" set. 12 of the coins are found in the hero-set (not all with same year), and another 5 looks perfectly at home in a 'verse setting.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  48. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    Edit: Double post
     
  49. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,355
    Hey, ho, whoa, what? Custom Tallcards? Please elaborate :)


    -MJ
     
  50. Friendly flyer

    Friendly flyer Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    536
    I just wanted to copy another of Robstyle's pictures here. A few of the coins are a bit more visible here than in the image he posted in post #18


    1zd0nxk.jpg

    Source of original image here: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=1681&page=17&p=2854681&viewfull=1#post2854681

    I think I've got the large silver coins under reasonable control, but I've searched in vain for the large square holed bronze coins, and I still haven't found any cheap Chinese knockoffs of the smaller (half and quarter dollar/Jiao/Juan) coins.
     

Share This Page