QUERY: VIETNAMESE NGOC HA GOLD WAFERS
The E-Sylum (11/21/2010)
The roll of Vietnamese gold wafers I showed you at the November Nummis Novs dinner was likely made in 1975 before the Republic of Viet Nam (South) went down to Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (North) on April 30, 1975. They are almost double thick/weight than the "normal" gold wafers. I believe it was made not to the standard weight for people buying it to get some of their wealth out of South Viet Nam.
A. J. Jacobs, the owner of Carson Valley Currency & Coin in Gardnerville, Nevada, was contacted by the owner of the roll and asked if he wanted to buy it and several other "normal" Kim Thanh gold wafers. He contacted me because the roll had a previously unknown Ngoc Ha design on it. He wanted one of the Ngoc Ha wafers for his personal collection but not all of the gold. I needed one too, so I mailed him a check for everything and the box arrived a couple of days before I departed on my annual Southeast Asia trip so I only just recently looked at them.
A Vietnamese jeweler in Vienna, Virginia flattened the roll out for me and then cut it apart. The pieces are shown in the below image. After I sent the image to A. J., he asked me to have my jeweler cut one of the incomplete Ngoc Ha wafers to make a complete one by melting them together from the reverse without damaging the obverse so he can have it for his collection. I will see if my jeweler can do this.
If anyone knows more about the Ngoc Ha wafers, or other Vietnamese gold wafers, please contact me at HADaniel3@msn.com so I can include their images and/or information in the next edition of my Republic of Viet Nam Coins & Currency catalog.