Heritage Auctions

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“Spring Dollar” Realizes $660,000

A China 1910 Yunnan Silver Dollar certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) realized an outstanding $660,000 USD at a Heritage Auctions sale June 12, 2020. This is one of the highest prices ever paid for any Chinese coin.

Commonly referred to as a “Spring Dollar”, this is one of the greatest rarities in Chinese numismatics. It contains Chinese characters with a date of Spring 1910, making it the only Chinese coin to feature the season as part of its date. These may have been struck as presentation pieces for the completion of an important rail line connecting the mountainous Yunnan region with neighboring Vietnam.

Lot 30141: Yunnan. Hsüan-t’ung “Spring” Dollar. CD 1910 AU58 NGC, Kunming mint(?), KM-Y260.1 (Rare). Ex. Dr. Norman Jacobs Collection. Price realized: $660,000.

The finest of three known examples, this coin is graded NGC AU 58 and pedigreed to the renowned Norman Jacobs Collection of Asian coins. It previously realized $546,250 at a Heritage sale in 2011.

“We are thrilled that this NGC-certified Spring Dollar set the record for the most valuable Chinese coin ever sold by Heritage Auctions,” said Cris Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics for Heritage Auctions. “The fact that this occurred during a time when many bidders were unable to view the coin in person speaks volumes about the benefits of NGC certification.”

Other recent results underscore the growing demand for NGC-certified vintage Chinese coins. For instance, in December 2019, an NGC-certified 1897 Szechuan Ferracute Pattern Set realized $1,020,000 USD at a Heritage Auctions sale in Hong Kong, China. The 10-coin set shattered the record for a single lot of Asian numismatic rarities offered at a Heritage auction.

“We are honored that bidders trust NGC so much that they will pay $660,000 for an NGC-certified coin based only on its grade, description and images,” said Mark Salzberg, NGC Chairman and Grading Finalizer. “Bidders can rest assured that every coin is graded by a world-class team and backed by a comprehensive guarantee of authenticity and grade.”

Lot 30346: Thailand. Rama V silver Proof Pattern 2 Baht (1/2 Tamlung) ND (1877) PR62 NGC, Paris mint, KM-Pn35. Price realized: $78,000 USD.

Another coin pedigreed to the Norman Jacobs Collection, a Thailand (1877) Silver 2 Baht graded NGC PF 62, realized $78,000 USD. The coin shows Rama V from early in his 42-year reign. The coin far exceeded its pre-auction estimate of $10,000 to $20,000 USD.

Meanwhile, another vintage Chinese coin graded by NGC, a 1904 Hupeh L&M-181 Tael graded NGC MS 63, realized $105,000 USD, surpassing its pre-auction estimate of $50,000 to $60,000 USD.

Lot 30177: Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver Pattern “Plumed Hat – Hat Touches Rim” Dollar ND (1916) MS63 NGC, Tientsin mint, KM-Pn52. Price realized: $78,000.

Other NGC-certified auction highlights included:

  • a China 1916 L&M-945 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 63 that realized $78,000 USD
  • a China 1993 Yin & Yang Philosophy 5 oz Silver 50 Yuan graded NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo and China 1993 Yin & Yang Philosophy 5 oz Gold 500 Yuan graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo (two-piece set) that realized $69,000 USD
  • a China 1914 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 62 that realized $60,000 USD
Lot 30206: People’s Republic brass Proof Pattern “Marco Polo” 100 Yuan 1982 PR68 Ultra Cameo NGC, Shenyang mint, KM-Unl. Price realized: $60,000.
  • a China 1982 Marco Polo 100 Yuan Brass Pattern graded NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo that realized $60,000 USD
  • a China (1916) Bronze Pattern Cent graded NGC MS 63 RB that realized $52,800 USD
  • a China 1920 Anhwei Army 31.5 mm Gold Medal graded NGC MS 62 that realized $52,800 USD
  • a Vietnam – Annam (1841-47) SCH-243 Thieu Tri 5 Tien graded NGC MS 65 that realized $52,800 USD.

Prices realized include buyer’s premium.

All results of the Heritage HKINF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction are available here.