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Champion’s Nelson Chang Collection Shatters 60 Records

One of a pair of Empire Long Whisker Dragon dollar patterns each of which broke the million dollar mark. This example graded NGC MS64 and realized $1,344,000.

One of a pair of Empire Long Whisker Dragon dollar patterns each of which broke the million dollar mark. This example graded NGC MS64 and realized $1,344,000.

The Nelson Chang Collection of Chinese coinage totaled just 100 pieces, but offered many of the finest known examples of their types. Champion 2021 Macau Auction offered the NC Collection at the Sofitel Macau Ponte to a large group of live bidders, who clashed with online and phone bidders from all regions.

Michael Chou, President of Champion Auctions told me that the, “auction did quite well, with 100 NC Collection lots realizing around USD 18 million, with three lots over USD 1 million.” Chou went on to say that this auction, “was a thrill. The first 20 lots took almost 3 hours” due to the high volume of bidding. Regarding the full auction, Chou said that “100 lots took around 8 hours to sell.”

With such a well-known and highly respected name in the Chinese coin field, Nelson Chang’s collection was bound to attract a massive amount of interest. Given the premium nature of each of the 100 coins, the fierce competition among bidders does not surprise anyone, however, for 100 coins to realize $18 million is quite the accomplishment. It’s a real validation of Nelson Chang’s belief that high grade Chinese coinage of the 19th and early 20th century has long been way undervalued. 

Grading NGC MS63 and selling for $1,104,000, this 1907 Chili Tael pattern was the third coin to surpass a million in the Nelson Chang Collection.

Grading NGC MS63 and selling for $1,104,000, this 1907 Chili Tael pattern was the third coin to surpass a million in the Nelson Chang Collection.

The three coins which sold for over a million were lot 23, a 1911 Empire Long Whisker Dragon Dollar Pattern, grading NGC MS64, which realized $1,344,000; lot 17, another 1911 Empire Long Whisker Dragon Dollar Pattern, graded PCGS SP61, which realized $1,116,000; and lot .

When good auction estimates based on past sales are left in the dust, it’s time to take a very careful look at the rare convergence of circumstances that produced this result.

To gain a better understanding of the current Chinese coin market, consider that the second Long Whisker Dragon Dollar pattern, lot 17, was auctioned in 2011 by Champion, realizing just $175,000 at that time. To gain a sharper perspective, consider that two 1911 Long Whiskers Dragon Dollar patterns sold in a Hong Kong auction last fall for $456,000 and $264,000, with each in high grades. Champion sold an NGC MS64 Empire Long Whiskers Dragon Dollar pattern last year in Macau for $312,000. Finally, the previous record price for a 1911 Empire Long Whisker Dragon Dollar pattern was set just a few weeks before this sale, in a Beijing auction for about $880,000.

 Such is the speed with which Nelson Chang’s vision of the true value of high grade Chinese rarities is unfolding. It’s a strong tribute to his conviction and warrants the fanfare that the NC Collection of Chinese Coins is receiving.

Coming in at just under a million this Kiangnan 1898 Circular Scale Dragon Dollar is the finest graded example at NGC MS65.

Coming in at just under a million this Kiangnan 1898 Circular Scale Dragon Dollar is the finest graded example at NGC MS65.

Continuing with the record breaking highlights of the NC Collection, two coins sold for over USD 900,000; lot 8, an 1898 Kiangnan Circular Scale Dragon Dollar, graded NGC MS65, realized $996,000; and . Champion went on to enumerate that a total of 8 coins exceeded $500,000 each and 18 coins rose up over $300,000.

All in the NC Collection brought in about $18,000,000 with just 100 lots, which broke the record for a single-day auction event for Chinese coins. The previous single-day record was the Giant Collection of modern Chinese coins, with 200 lots which was sold for over $10,000,000 by Champion in 2010 in Hong Kong.

Another amazing point to consider is that of the 100 items in the NC Collection, the prices realized of 60 of those lots broke previous auction records for their type. That is staggering.

One of the main reasons Champion considers that the auction was so successful was that many of the coins were in the finest known condition. Chou expanded on that element saying that, “NGC’s expert certification and the confidence it provides were integral to this record-setting day.”

The second factor which played into this auction’s fantastic success was that the Nelson Chang Collection held many coins from the most famous collections of Chinese coinage. The pedigrees listed in the sale include Eduard Kann, Irving Goodman, and Jess Peters, to name a few. This too instills in bidders both confidence and a real sense of the history they hope to attain in owning a coin.

Champion coin produced this commemorative medal designed by Yu Min, a multiple COTY Award winner, honoring Nelson Chang and the new book produced to record his important collection – A Legacy of Collection: The NC Collection of Chinese Coins.

Champion coin produced this commemorative medal designed by Yu Min, a multiple COTY Award winner, honoring Nelson Chang and the new book produced to record his important collection – A Legacy of Collection: The NC Collection of Chinese Coins.

A Legacy of Collection: The NC Collection of Chinese Coins was released in conjunction with a commemorative medal during the pre-auction festivities.

A Legacy of Collection: The NC Collection of Chinese Coins was released in conjunction with a commemorative medal during the pre-auction festivities.

The day before the auction, Champion held a first release ceremony for their NC Collection book – A Legacy of Collection: The NC Collection of Chinese Coins. Yu Min, the former senior designer of the Shanghai Mint and a winner of the prestigious Coin of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as several category and overall COTY Awards, designed a beautiful medal for the first release ceremony.

Champion Auction President Michael Chou held the ceremony and made a speech for the honored guests. Mateo Zhao, the Market Expansion Director of NGC, delivered a speech on NGC and the Nelson Chang Collection. Senior collector Shen Xueming shared information about the Origin of the 1901 Honan Copper Patterns.

For more detailed information on the relationship between NGC and the NC Collection, read the excellent article on the NGC website at https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/9175/nc-collection-sale/ Too look over the complete 100 lots in Champion Auctions NC Collection sale go to https://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/200043_champion-macau-spring-auction/