Hong Kong’s coin bull market continues apace. Heritage Auctions’ June 22-23 sale realized a total of $2,942,310 of which 76 lots went for over $10,000. Six of these sold for more than $50,000.
Top seller was a rare silver pattern dollar of 1914 depicting the first president of the Republic, Yuan Shi-kai. Struck at the Tientsin Mint it came signed by L. Giorgi, the mint’s engraver (KM-Pn28, Kann-642A). It went to the block in an exceptional state of preservation: highly reflective fields and a soft satin-frost texture on raised surfaces, such as might be expected from a specimen striking. Graded SP65 PCGS, it raced away to score a very comfortable $77,675.
A second Tientsin Republic pattern but from 1921 was not all that far behind. In this case it was a gold Hsu Shih-chang “Pavilion” dollar (KM-Pn62, Kann-1570) struck to commemorate General Hsu Shih-chang’s succession to the presidency – three years after the event. In near gem condition it took a comfortable $62,737.50 graded MS6-4 by NGC.
Modern China was well represented by a near-complete 32-piece set of One-ounce Pandas. It commenced with the scarce 1982 medallic issue and ended with the 2011-100 yuan currency issue. Both 1987 examples were included: Y (Shenyang Mint) and S (Shanghai Mint), as well as the two from 2001, one with D and one without. The set came with a single MS-69 NGC grade and was bid up to $59,750.
Two Hupeh undated, “small characters” taels from 1904 were up for grabs, KM-Y128.2. That in MS-64 PCGS took $59,750. The second graded MS-63 PCGS made $50,190.
A probably unique silver, uniface, proof pattern Hsüan-t’ung (Xuan-tong) dollar of 1910, struck at the Tientsin Mint, attracted considerable attention (cf. Kann-219). It is unlisted in all sources available to the Heritage cataloger. The sole reference is to the same, or perhaps a similar piece, that featured in the 1995 Superior Galleries sale of the Irving Goodman Collection of Chinese Coins. In PR-64 PCGS it had no problems finding a new home for $50,190.
Top priced lots were not all Chinese. A choice Japanese Manen gold Oban (1860-1862) in Unc took $17,925 while a Netherlands East Indies rupee of 1797 realized $10,755 in AU-58 NGC.
A Hong Kong George VI 1941 bronze cent, KM-24, the single finest example graded, fetched $17,925. Fewer than 100 survive of a 5 million mintage.
Hong Kong’s 1941-H 5 cents struck at Birmingham’s Heaton Mint (KM-22) took $13,145 graded MS-62 by NGC.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.
• Any coin collector can tell you that a close look is necessary for accurate grading. Check out this USB microscope today!