Heritage Auctions, HK-Hong Kong

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21-06-2017 – 22-06-2017

Asian Coins Signature Auction

Centuries of Asian Coinage & Currency on offer

Heritage Auctions’ Asian Coins Signature Auction is one of the fastest-growing events in world numismatics. Last year’s event saw sales soar by 30 percent, and this year’s sales are expected to substantially exceed that mark. The auction will take place June 22-23 at the Mira Hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. 

China. Chekiang. Kuang-hsü copper Specimen Dollar ND (1902) SP62 Brown PCGS.

Leading the sale is a 1902 Chekiang Kuang-hsü Copper Specimen Dollar. It is one of just two known to exist and is in exceptional condition. PCGS graded the coin SP62, reflective of its sharp details, cordovan toning and relatively unmarked surfaces. With an estimate of $160,000 to $200,000, it could become the most expensive Chinese copper coin to sell at public auction. 

China. Chekiang. Kuang-hsü silver-plated copper Specimen Dollar ND (1902) SP62 PCGS.

Another Chekiang specimen dollar is also one of the featured lots in the event. A 1902 Cheikang Kuang-hsü Specimen Dollar – one of silver-plated copper – will be a unique addition to any collector’s arsenal. The dollar bears the same pattern as the previously mentioned copper coin, but what sets it apart is its composition. This piece of currency is the only silver-plated copper example certified by PCGS, with no other mention of another piece in existence. The coin was graded SP62 by PCGS, and shows a strong strike and mild toning. Like the copper dollar, it is estimated at $160,000 to $200,000. 

A pattern from the early Chinese republic already has generated considerable interest from collectors. The 1929 Sun Yat-sen Matte-Proof “Junk” Dollar is one of six different patterns struck by various countries. Struck in England, the piece is instantly recognizable by its rolling seas reverse pattern and is the only matte-proof specimen of the type. It has been remarkably preserved, with an unequalled grade of PR65 from NGC. Sun Yat-sen is arguably the most important figure in Chinese history behind Mao Zedong. 

People’s Republic gold “Vault Protector” Proof 15 Ounce Medal ND (1989) PR67 Ultra Cameo NGC.

Collectors of modern People’s Republic of China issues will have a plethora of exceptional pieces to choose from. Leading the offering is a 1989 “Vault Protector” 15-Ounce Gold Medal. One of 99 struck, the immense coin mimics the famous holed brass coins of the Tang Dynasty. The coin has deeply mirrored fields reflective of its PR67 Ultra Cameo grade from NGC. The lot includes its original box and documentation, certifying it as the 34th example to be found. A remarkable 32-Piece 1-Ounce Gold Panda Collection will give collectors the chance to own a nearly complete run of one of the world’s most beloved bullion runs. The coins range from 1982 to 2011, and each depicts a panda in its natural habitat. Every coin in the collection is graded MS69 by NGC. 

Other numismatic highlights include, but are not limited to: 

China. Hupeh. Kuang-hsü “Small Characters” Tael ND (1904) MS64 PCGS.

  • Hupeh 1904 Kuang-hsü Small Characters Tael, MS64 PCGS  Tied for the finest example Heritage Auctions has offered 
  • Hsüan-t’ung 1910 Silver Uniface Pattern Dollar, PR64 PCGS Only piece certified by either grading service 
  • 1914 Yuan Shih-kai “L. Giorgi” Pattern Dollar, MS62 NGC  Second-finest certified by NGC 
  • 1921 Hsu Shih-chang Gold Pavilion Dollar, MS64 NGC Outstanding near-gem example 

Currency Offerings Led by Chinese Rarities

An original 1953 10 Yuan note from China – made appealing for its large format and iconic vignette – is expected to lead the Asian currency offerings at $50,000. Despite the fact these notes represented an extraordinary sum of money, in the last few years, only two other fully uncirculated notes have made auction appearances. 

China Peiyang Tientsin Bank 1 Tael ND (circa 1910) Pick S2521r.

Likewise, a circa 1910 Peiyang Tientsin Bank 1 Tael ND marks the first time Heritage Auctions will offer this denomination from this rare, semi-official banking institution that got its start in 1902. The inks are ideal on both sides of this remainder which has two dragons, a portrait of Li Hongzhang and a lovely harbor scene on the face and is expected to sell for $22,000. 

A trophy note graded PMG About Uncirculated 55, a 1907 $50 Deutsch-Asiatische Bank Hankow Pick S265s Specimen is expected to bring $20,000. The highest denomination of this brief issue, the main duties of this bank were trade financing and underwriting Chinese bonds for railroad construction. 

China Chinese Italian Banking Corporation 100 Yuan 15.9.1921 Pick S257r.

A 1921 100 Yuan Chinese Italian Banking Corporation note is one of the few surviving specimens from a bank that only issued notes dated from this year during its brief existence. This example grades PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45 Net and is expected to sell for $22,000. 

Additional Asian bank notes include, but are not limited to: 

  • India Government of India British Administration 1000 Rupees ND (1928) Pick 12c Jhunjhunwalla 3.11.2B. (est. $20,000) 
  • (Thailand) Siam Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation 5 Ticals 1.8.1891 Pick S122. (est. $20,000) 
  • South Vietnam National Bank of Viet Nam 1000 Dong ND 1955-56 Pick 4As Specimen. (est. $15,000)

You can browse all items of the Asian Coins Signature Auction here.

To find out more about Heritage Auctions go to the company’s website.