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Original Message:   The Chinese mentality
Well, you see, it's a cultural difference, all a matter of viewpoint, you know. It's part of the tradition of venerating the past, including old cultural objects. Entire blocks in China are filled with factories cranking out nothing but fakes - metal, glass, paper, you name it. Its not illegal. I guess the Chinese venerate old Venetian glass, American silver dollars, and rare Hollywood movie posters. Very broadminded of them. The coin hobby has divided into three camps, those who cross their fingers and hope the dealers they buy from are both knowledgeable and honest, those who buy only professionally certified coins, entombed in plastic slabs that add considerably to the cost of the item, and those who try to skate down the middle by buying provenanced coins. That means you can identify it from a picture in an old auction catalog, or it comes in a distinctive envelope in the style of a known collector. And by the way, as one of those supposedly honest and knowledgeable dealers in Chinese coins, I freely admit that the quality of the fakes has gotten way beyond my abilities.

How many beads or strands are provenancable? What you see at a site like Picard? That's .01% of what's out there. Rough times ahead for collectors. There's already one African Trader, Md. Dr., who "specializes" in Chinese knockoffs.

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