Immaculate Chinese strikes command six-figures; rare 1953 10 Yuan note tops currency offerings Dec. 6-8
DALLAS, Texas (Dec. 12, 2017) – Setting a house record as the highest-grossing World Coins and Currency auctions held in Hong Kong, Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 6-8 event realized $5,484,035, as collectors sought out Chinese proof coins and 19th century dollars in superb condition. A record 1,685 bidders participated in the $4.4 million World Coin auction held in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair.
A 1989 People’s Republic gold “Dragon and Phoenix” Proof Pattern 200 Yuan, PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, led the coin auction at $408,000 as several additional lots reached six-figure prices.
“Heritage Auctions’ most valuable World Coins Hong Kong auction proves our commitment to the Asian market is delivering sold results for our clients,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “The coins appealed to collectors worldwide for a variety of reasons, chief among them being condition and scarcity.”
A stunning Plain Edge Proof Pattern, an 1897 Kuang-hsu “Plain Edge” Proof Dollar ND, PR65 NGC, sold for $240,000. The low-mintage specimen was the first example ever offered at Heritage and is one of only two Plain Edge Patterns certified by NGC. A flawless 1897 Kuang-hsu Dollar ND, MS66 NGC, – considered the finest known UNC 1897 example, certified, or uncertified – sold for $192,000.
A 1914 Chinese Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Specimen Pattern “L. Giorgi” Dollar Year 3 attracted interest as one of just a few examples that differentiated from the circulating design by the addition of the “L. Giorgi” signature of the Tiensin Mint’s Chief Engraver Luigi Giorgi behind the President’s shoulder. Struck from polished dies, the rarity sold for $192,000.
The elusive 1907 Kuang-hsu gold Pattern Kuping Tael (Liang) CD, MS63 NGC, ended at $150,000 as one of the finer known examples to exist. Rarely offered in set form, a remarkable 1992 “Inventions & Discoveries” Platinum Proof Set sold for $105,000, more than double expectations. The five-piece set included Ultra Cameo examples from a minting that was limited to just 100 pieces.
Rounding out the auction’s six-figure lots, an 1889 Kuang-hsu silver Specimen Trial 3 Mace and 6-1/2 Candareens (50 Cents) ND, SP67 NGC, offered collectors the finest known example of a Heaton mint Specimen trial issue. Only a very few pieces are known and the coin stands as the finest certified by NGC and PCGS combined. It sold for $102,000.
Additional World Coin highlights include, but are not limited to:
- China: Anhwei. Kuang-hsu Dollar Year 24 (1898), MS66 NGC, sold for $75,000
- China: Hupeh. Kuang-hsu silver “Small Characters” Tael Year 30 (1904), MS65 NGC, sold for $66,000
- China: Chekiang. Kuang-hsu Dollar ND (1898-99) VF Details (ChopMark), PCGS, brought $66,000
- From a mintage of only 99 pieces, a China: People’s Republic gold Unicorn Proof 500 Yuan (5 oz) 1994, PR69 Ultra Cameo NGC, ended at $50,400
WORLD CURRENCY: 1953 10 Yuan note brings $40,800
More than $1 million changed hands Dec. 6-8 in Heritage Auctions’ HKINF World Currency Auction with a record 1,382 bidders participating. The top lot was an Elusive PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 1953 10 Yuan, which realized $40,800. The original 1953 note is in large format and with iconic vignette. Once a common denomination that made up an enormous amount of Chinese currency, most known examples are found in mid-grade ranges.
The Chartered Bank $1000 1.4.1977 Pick 81pm Face and Back Printer’s Models generated multiple bids before hammering at $33,600. Both sides grade PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ and are mounted on card stock within a recessed “window.” The primary colors on both sides are shades of red instead of the issued yellow-orange color. The face has an all-zeroes serial number, and the printer’s annotations on each side includes dates printed in the lower left corner of the card stock.
A Government of Sarawak $25 1.7.1929 Pick 17s Specimen sold for $20,400. The note is a rare specimen graded PMG Choice About Unc 58 with printer’s annotations and previously mounted, and is graded higher than other examples sold recently through Heritage Auctions.
Numerous bidders pursued a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation $1 31.12.1873 Pick 112 until it ultimately brought $19,200. The first of its kind sold through Heritage Auctions since 2015, this note grades PCGS Extremely Fine 45 and is in a comment-free holder.
An exceptional example of this denomination, a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation $500 1.7.1930 Pick 177b sold for $19,200. With a bright multicolor underprint and deeply inked signatures, this note is a rarity that carries a grade of PMG About Uncirculated 55.
Other top lots include, but are not limited to:
- Empire Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan 1368-99 Pick AA10: $18,000
- Board of Commissioners of Currency $1000 1.1.1942 (1945) Pick 16: $15,600
- Government of the Straits Settlements $5 2.1.1914 Pick 3: $15,000
- Russo-Asiatic Bank 10 Gold Fen = 1 Mace 9.8.1917 Pick S481a: $14,400
- Empire Ming Dynasty 1 Kuan 1368-99 Pick AA10: $14,400
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