A collector’s selection of world coins and ancient coins among the nearly 1,000 lots on offer can see contemporary Chinese coins as they increase their market share at the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair’s official auctions this spring.
Chinese “Standard Pattern” Kwangtung Dollar (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
The coin show itself has been postponed to December due to the occasional global COVID-19 surge. However, Heritage Auctions is holding its coin and currency auctions as scheduled June 25-27.
“We continue to see strong collector interest in contemporary Chinese coins,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “The market is still drawn to the highest quality vintage coins, but there is no denying that auction prices for contemporary coins continue to rise year after year.”
Among the outstanding selection of early 20th century coins, the state is king this season.
The best-valued example of a Chinese “Standard Pattern” Kwangtung dollar, circa 1890-1908, SP67 PCGS, preserved in such splendid originality that it is the simplest two-point specimen from PCGS. With the added appeal of being in the American Numismatic Society Museum’s collection earlier, this piece is sure to grab the attention of all high-end collectors of vintage Chinese coins.
1911 Chinese Hsüan-t’ung Silver Pattern “Long-Whiskered Dragon” Dollar Year 3 (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
A 1911 Chinese Hsüan-t’ung Silver Pattern “Long-Whiskered Dragon” Dollar Year 3, MS63 NGC, dates from the same period, an exquisite example of extreme rarity and artistic achievement. Luigi Giorgi’s 1911 Long-Whiskered Dragon Pattern is one of the most quickly recognizable and coveted of the late Imperial silver dollars. His MS63 grade is nearing the top of the NGC census.
1900 Chinese Kirin Kuang-Hsü “Flower Basket” dollar (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
A 1900 Chinese Kirin Kuang-Hsü “Flower Basket” Dollar, MS62 PCGS, presents collectors with a rare and striking variety of large characters, a find of a very sophisticated type found in this condition. The 1900 Kirin “Flower Basket” dollar is not often auctioned, and when it is, it is almost always in circulation. The example on offer is a completely mint example of the fewer than 100 that are either PCGS or NGC certified, only a dozen of which are in mint condition.
Four contemporary Chinese coins stand as historical and aesthetic representatives in their respective fields.
1989 200 yuan Dragon & Phoenix gold pattern (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
A near-perfect two-coin dragon and phoenix sample set from 1989, PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, is the very first set of its kind to appear at auction. A set that is sure to stand alongside the greatest rarities of the modern Chinese series, the 1989 dragon and phoenix “patterns” are widely considered to be one of the most difficult editions to get in the People’s Republic, with perhaps only a handful issued; the set in this two-part format is considered unique.
The coin set is a treasure with an eventful past. The contract for the Dragon and Phoenix minting program was signed in Beijing in May 1989, and the coins are due to be issued in September of that year. Due to unplanned delays, the mint announced that the coins would not be available until December, which led to the decision to change the date of the coins to 1990 and issue them earlier this year. In the years that followed, very few pieces from the program that were dated 1989 were discovered.
1989 Proof Pattern “Dragon & Phoenix” 5 Jiao (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
An immensely rare silver 1989 proof pattern “Dragon & Phoenix” 5 Jiao, Ultra Cameo NGC, is one of the rarely encountered smaller denominations from the series and features two of the most famous symbols that adorn the coinage of the People’s Republic. Certified on the verge of perfection with no visual critic to dilute the heavily contrasted “Dragon & Phoenix” motifs for which the series is named, this specimen is unrivaled with no fine-tuning.
1989 People’s Republic of Gold Proof Pattern “Dragon & Phoenix” 10 yuan (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
The dragon & phoenix pattern offered in this auction is rounded off by a gold pattern “Dragon & Phoenix” from 1989, “Dragon & Phoenix” 10 yuan, Proof Details (Removed From Jewelry) NGC, represents a very elusive pattern type, the Very rarely manufactured is available on the market. As proof of the rarity of this pre-production edition, the Heritage numismatists were only able to find a single copy that had previously been sold at auction.
Further highlights are:
A gorgeous 2017 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Britannia 800 pound (30 oz), PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, in great demand as a massive gold issue, whose impressive presentation, limited edition, and sheer weight in gold make the offer at a true price for modern British numismatics.
Uncirculated 1949 K Weichow Republic “Bamboo” Dollar Year 38 (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
An almost uncirculated 1949 Koftow Republic “Bamboo” Dollar Year 38 (1949), AU50 NGC, is a remarkable rarity for this collectible province, whose silver coins are among the most popular in the Republican series. Perhaps even more elusive than the famous Auto Dollar and the first ever Bamboo Dollar offered by Heritage Auctions, it was produced in the midst of the turbulent 1940s and was the last issue before the communist victory in October of that year.
1904 Kuang-hsü “Large Characters” Tael Year 30 (Image from Heritage Auctions, HA.com)
A classic Chinese provincial rarity that enters a state of extreme scarcity as it climbs up the mint state classification scale, a 1904 Kuang-hsü “Large Characters” Tael Year 30, MS62 NGC, is the rarer of the two known varieties for this one-year-old type . The denomination is historically noteworthy as it was originally introduced as part of a planned coin reform based on the traditional Chinese weighting system rather than the relatively recently introduced decimalized dollar system.
Heritage’s official spring auctions for the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair will take place June 24-25, with global bids available on HA.com.
Heritage Auctions (HA.com) is the largest art and collectibles auction house established in the United States and the world’s largest collectibles auction house. Heritage has offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.