A growing number of international currency collectors have focused their attention on rare items from the Republic of China. Hundreds of these rare specimens highlight Heritage Auctions’ upcoming currency and coin auctions held in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair Dec. 6-8 in Kowloon. Offerings represent the history of China’s artful development of paper money and coinage. Numismatist Kenneth Young, from Heritage’s Hong Kong office presents his Hot Lots to Watch.
Most likely finest known Ming note, graded “PCGS Currency Choice About New 58PPQ.” It is almost impossible to imagine that such an impressively sized note from more than six centuries ago has survived in this superb condition. All features are excellent on this gem, printed on soft, mulberry bark-based paper and colored with charcoal as a security device. Perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Estimate: $25,000 – 30,000.
Representing an excellent opportunity to obtain this key note from the People’s Republic of China, this is the highest denomination of the second RMB series: the “Big Black ten.” This classic piece is the most important note of this series and seldom offered in such a high grade (PMG Choice Uncirculated 64). Hard to believe, yes, but this note represented an enormous sum of money for the time and most surviving pieces are found in mid-grade ranges. Don’t overlook the chance to own this classic piece! Estimate: $35,000 – 45,000.
Issued, yes, issued! Of the most extreme rarity, this issued $1,000 note is from the Frank Goon and Dr. Chan Chin Cheung collections. This piece is the only example we ever have seen and there just are not enough words to describe this note, which features large size, QE II, delicate colors, excellent engraving and embossing. The note is graded “PMG Very Fine 30 Net” with “rust, paper pull, minor discoloration” – insignificant details when considering its rarity. This attractive, mid-grade piece, without a doubt, is destined for another great collection. Let it be yours! Estimate: $45,000-50,000
This very rare color trial, graded “PMG About Uncirculated 53 EPQ,” is for the highest denomination of the series: Malaya $10,000 Pick 17. Printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co., this “color trial specimen” radiates with its originality, including a majestic, colonial design enhanced by its impressive embossing and the use of purple and printing on white paper. No issued notes of this denomination are known. Dated 1942, the note had an extremely short life: the capture of Singapore by Japanese forces in February 1942 most likely led to a total suspension of issuance for this design. Don’t miss out on this piece of history! Estimate: $40,000-50,000
This issued Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation $100 note dated April 1, 1948 surprises and delights with its high grade (PMG Superb Gem Unc 67 EPQ), pristine appearance, spot-on centering and vibrant colors. From The Ma Tak Wo Collection, this “E” prefix note is an affordable and popular piece for collectors of all levels, and a spectacular piece that easily can be yours. Estimate: $4,000-6,000
This extremely rare, premium gem 1897 Anhwei dollar is graded “NGC MS 66” – by far the finest example known. From the W&B Capital Collection, it is a truly breathtaking coin on which the strike is superb and the brilliant, lustrous surfaces display a touch of golden patina. With no mentionable flaws, the overall appearance is stunning, and with a total of only seven pieces certified in mint condition by NGC and PCGS combined, this provincial Chinese dollar is an absolute must for the advanced collector. Do not let this unique opportunity to add this rarity to your collection pass by! Estimate: $80,000-100,000
This 1987 Kiangnan Kuang-hsu “plain edge” proof dollar from the W&B Capital Collection is graded “NGC PF65.” This dollar’s quality is superb, with a razor-sharp strike and mirrored fields. The surfaces exhibit attractive bluish-gray and golden patina and no flaws are worthy of mention. This is the first example we have offered and it is one of only two plain edge patterns certified by NGC. This history of this piece fascinates. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to acquire this magnificent coin! Estimate: $200,000-250,000
The “fat man” pattern dollars are extremely popular and sought after. This iconic and impressive L. Giorgi-signed “fat man” pattern dollar is graded “PCGS SP64.” Very scarce with only a handful of this type in existence, this example is among the finest known. Struck from polished dies, this coin possesses appealing reflectivity in the fields and tone that is indicative of long-time cabinet storage. It simply delights with a veil of mauve and golden tone in the centers and instances of more vivid blue and purple color at the rims. Fit for the finest of Chinese collections, this coin can become the highlight of your Republic of China collection! Estimate: $120,000-180,000
The eye-catching dragon on this extremely rare, second variety “Reversed Legends” silver pattern 50 cents (3 mace and 6 candareens) from 1889 has its eye on you! Graded “NGC MS 63,” this classic Chinese numismatic rarity from the W&B Capital Collection was missing from the Kann Collection, the Bowker Collection and the Irving Goodman Collection. This sharply struck example shows mottled blue and gray toning over lustrous, minimally marked surfaces. The 1889 second series is among the rarest and most coveted of all Chinese provincial coin issues. This piece is one of only two certified examples of the second series 3 mace 6 candareens (50 cents) denominations. A true classic coin that can easily be yours: don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity! Estimate: $200,000-$250,000
A Hupeh Kuang-hsu silver “small characters” tael from year 30 (1904) is the finest ever offered through Heritage Auctions. Graded “NGC MS 65,” the specimen remains popular among collectors. Coming from the R.L. Lissner Collection, its strike is bold with full mint brilliance. This incredible coin is another classic Chinese issue, having circulated for only a brief period of time and most were withdrawn and melted down. This example is the finest we ever have offered; none has been certified finer by either NGC or PCGS. This numismatic masterpiece is missing from most Chinese collections. Time for you to remedy that! Estimate: $60,000-80,000
Written by: Eric Bradley