Our 2016 June 22 – 24 World Coins Signature Auction in Hong Kong features an outstanding Victorian half dollar and dollar From Hong Kong’s period as a British colony, Both of these rarities are marvelous proofs carrying the 1866 date.
The Dollar is graded PR62 by PCGS, and was minted with a Plain Edge, It is an important Proof issue for the specialist in the British Commonwealth and Colonial series, difficult to obtain and enthusiastically pursued when available at auction. This specimen boasts the needle-sharp details expected of a Proof-quality strike, the engraving exactingly struck up from the fully reflective fields. A series of light hairlines visible in the obverse fields, likely from a gentle wipe long in the past, are partially obscured by the soft argent tone, accentuated by purplish highlights and attractively deepening towards the rims.
Prior to the issue of these Dollars by the newly opened branch mint, the official circulating silver Crown of Hong Kong was the Mexican 8 Reales. Quality control issues with the weight of these pieces led to distrust amongst the local money changers and their general rejection led to the eventual closing of the branch mint in 1868. All future minor issues of Hong Kong were produced at either the Royal or Heaton Mints and Mexican 8 Reales continued to fill the role for transactions requiring Crown-sized denominations.
The half dollar, graded PR63 by PCGS, is, like its higher denomination sibling, an issue of the Hong Kong branch mint with a plain edge, rare as a Proof, The reflective fields contrast well with a subtle cameo effect differentiating the devices. The surfaces are awash in a pearl-like tone, with gentle shades of lilac, blue, russet, and gold blending into one another. A few tiny marks that define the grade are visible, primarily with the aid of a glass, but lend little detrimental effect to the overall eye-appeal.
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