Kuang Hsu aluminum Specimen
Our upcoming December 11-12 Hong Kong World Coins auction features an exceedingly rare Fengtien aluminum dollar pattern, graded Specimen-61 by PCGS.
While the origins of this pattern dollar remain somewhat a mystery, it is generally accepted that the dies were produced in Germany and it was struck in the first several years of the 20th century. For reasons uncertain the type was never adopted, and as time passed its existence was forgotten until it finally reappeared to the numismatic community in a March 1977 Jess Peters auction. Since that time, a few others of this type in aluminum (and a couple in brass) have surfaced.
While its extreme rarity is certain to excite the collectors of pattern dollars, the misspelling of FENG-TIEN as TENG-TIEN perhaps adds even more to its charm. While this unfortunate mistake would have certainly lost a company its bid to produce dies for the local Mukden Mint, for the most serious collectors of Fengtien issues (or Empire dollars in general) it has produced a type that will stand the test of time as a must-have conversation piece. This example, with it sharp design features, even appearance and unusual aluminum composition will undoubtedly enhance any collection it enters.