By Heritage Auctions ……
In 1889 a new mint was opened in Kwangtung. A series of 5 coins were struck: 3.65 Candareens (5 Cents), 7-3/10 Candareens (10 Cents), 1 Mace 4-3/5 Candareens (20 Cents), 3 Mace 6-1/2 Candareens (50 Cents), and 7 Mace 3 Candareens. These pieces were struck, and entered into circulation, to replace foreign silver coins.
It was determined that these newly produced issues were heavier than the corresponding foreign silver coins, and this first Kwangtung issue was quickly removed from circulation and melted.
Soon thereafter, a second series of Pattern coins was struck, of a slightly reduced weight, and this second series, struck in extremely small quantities, did not gain official approval from Peking. In the following year, the Kwangtung mint struck a re-designed third series of coins and this series was approved and adopted as the standard silver coins.
The 1889 second series is among the rarest and most coveted of all Chinese Provincial coin issues. The example offered in our December 6-7 Hong Kong World Coins auction is one of only two certified examples of the Second Series 3 Mace 6 Candareens (50 Cents). This piece is the only example of the type that we have had the pleasure of offering at auction and is one of the truly classic Chinese numismatic rarities. It was missing from the Kann Collection, Bowker Collection, and the Irving Goodman Collection. This example is the plate coin from the Michael Chou book, “Top Chinese Coins-Silver Coins”, where it is listed as being from the 1996 Singapore Auction, Lot 355.
Graded MS63 by NGC, this coin is sharply struck, with mottled blue and gray toning over lustrous, minimally marked surfaces.