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Chinese ‘Spring Dollar’ Nets $660,000 at Heritage Sale

This Chinese ‘Spring Dollar’ realized a whopping $660,00 at auction. (Images courtesy Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.)

A China 1910 Yunnan silver dollar certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) realized a whopping 660,000 USD at a Heritage Auctions sale on June 12, 2020. This is one of the highest prices ever paid for any Chinese coin, the corporation said in its official statement.

Commonly referred to as a “Spring Dollar,” this is one of the greatest rarities in Chinese numismatics. It contains Chinese characters with a date of Spring 1910, making it the only Chinese coin to feature the season as part of its date. These may have been struck as presentation pieces for the completion of an important rail line connecting the mountainous Yunnan region with neighboring Vietnam.

The finest of three known examples, this coin is graded NGC AU-58 and pedigreed to the renowned Norman Jacobs Collection of Asian coins. It previously realized $546,250 at a Heritage sale in 2011.

“We are thrilled that this NGC-certified Spring Dollar set the record for the most valuable Chinese coin ever sold by Heritage Auctions,” said Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics for Heritage Auctions. “The fact that this occurred during a time when many bidders were unable to view the coin in person speaks volumes about the benefits of NGC certification.”

Other recent results underscore the growing demand for vintage Chinese coins. For instance, in December 2019, an NGC-certified 1897 Szechuan Ferracute Pattern Set realized 1,020,000 USD at a Heritage Auctions sale in Hong Kong, China. The 10-coin set broke the record for a single lot of Asian numismatic rarities offered at a Heritage auction.

Another coin pedigreed to the Norman Jacobs Collection, a Thailand (1877) Silver 2 baht graded NGC PF-62, realized 78,000 USD. The coin shows Rama V from early in his 42-year reign. The coin far exceeded its pre-auction estimate of 10,000 to 20,000 USD.

Other NGC-certified auction highlights included:

  • a China 1916 L&M-945 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS-63 that realized 78,000 USD
  • a China 1993 Yin & Yang Philosophy 5 oz Silver 50 yuan graded NGC PF-68 Ultra Cameo and China 1993 Yin & Yang Philosophy 5 oz Gold 500 yuan graded NGC PF-69 Ultra Cameo (two-piece set) that realized 69,000 USD
  • a China 1914 Silver dollar graded NGC MS-62 that realized 60,000 USD
  • a China 1982 Marco Polo 100 yuan Brass Pattern graded NGC PF-68 Ultra Cameo that realized 60,000 USD
  • a China (1916) Bronze Pattern Cent graded NGC MS-63 RB that realized 52,800 USD
  • a China 1920 Anhwei Army 31.5 mm Gold Medal graded NGC MS-62 that realized 52,800 USD
  • a Vietnam – Annam (1841-47) SCH-243 Thieu Tri 5 tien graded NGC MS-65 that realized 52,800 USD.

Prices realized include the buyer’s premium.

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