One area of collecting that captured me at an early point in my collecting life was Chopmarked Coins that circulated in the Orient. My personal collection consists of approximately 20 different examples with my two most heavily chopped examples illustrated below. The Trade Dollar, 1874 - S, was slabbed by PCGS and listed as Genuine. The Japan Trade Dollar, 1876, is NGC slabbed and has been graded VF Details. Both these coins and several others will be included in my FIRST EVER Coin Show display this coming October.
Chopmarks were placed on coins by merchants, primarily Chinese, to test the fineness of the metal and to place their Character on the coin as a sort of guarantee of its silver content. The silver content of both these coins was higher than the Morgan Dollar, for example, and were designed to mimic the silver content of the Spanish 8 Reales. The 8 Reales being the most preferred silver coin of Chinese merchants.
When I look at these two different Dollars, I imagine the places they must have traveled and the many merchants that held them for a time. That is the beauty of coin collecting, we can travel through time and see history in our very hands.
Standard US Dollar - Weight 26.73 Grams Fineness .900 Silver Weight .7734 Ounce
US Trade Dollar - Weight 27.22 Grams Fineness .900 Silver Weight . 7874 Ounce
Japan Trade Dollar - Weight 27.22 Grams Fineness .900 Silver Weight .7874 Ounce
The United States Trade Dollar - John M. Willem
A Guide Book of United States Coins, 73rd Edition, R.S. Yeoman and many others.