The upcoming April 2, 2015 Spink China sale will feature the rarest type of note from the first series renminbi.
The first series renminbi was issued by the newly established People’s Bank of China starting December 1, 1948. It consisted of 12 denominations and 62 different types of note.
As the Communists continued to make inroads into much of China, by the late 1940’s the Nationalist Government’s war effort became more and more laboured. The Gold Yuan certificates already in circulation underwent severe inflation, to the extent that a denomination of five million yuan had to be issued. Within Communist-controlled areas, each region had a different circulating currency with varying exchange rates. This incurred great economic hardships on the populace so something had to be done to bring stability to the currency. The renminbi was issued to unify these local currencies and to simplify day-to-day purchases.
This note, the famous ‘Running Horse’ 10,000 yuan, is the rarest type note of the series. Issued on May 17, 1951 and withdrawn on April 1, 1955, the Running Horse note circulated for only four years. Being essentially an emergency issue, the paper and printing quality were poor and this, combined with the high denomination, accounts for the extremely low survival rate and current rarity.
In fact, it is estimated that only about 100 notes survived, with around 70 serial numbers recorded. There are fewer than five notes in Good, Extremely Fine or higher condition. From this, we estimate that no more than 100 full sets of this historically vital set of banknotes can be completed.
Although our note has been graded ‘Very Good’, it is whole and largely free from damage. Since this note is certainly absent from most collections, it is likely to be fiercely contested amongst collectors who need it to complete their sets of first series renminbi.
Presale estimates range between HK$550,000 and $650,000.
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