Rare gold and silver patterns provided many of the highlights as Heritage’s auctions realized over $5.1 million December 5-7 in Hong Kong. After auction sales are continuing and may add even more to the total. All prices include a 20% Buyer’s Premium.
Rare coins sold for over $3.3 million in total, with the vast majority of the highlights representing Chinese coinage. The top spot was claimed by a Kuang-Hsü pattern Kuping Tael minted in Tientsin in 1906. This large gold pattern, graded MS63 by NGC, is one of fewer than 20 certified examples. It sold for $204,000 USD. A similar coin minted the following year and graded MS62 by the same service claimed a hammer price of $132,000, and a second 1907 example graded MS61 sold for $96,000.
A curious and ultra-rare Proof 1995 Dragon Boat 500 Yuan coin raised $186,000 when it crossed the auction block. This enormous five-ounce gold coin grades Proof-69 Ultra Cameo according to NGC, but while the issue as a whole is extremely rare, this is the only example to have been minted without a number on the edge. Possibly a pattern, perhaps an error, this coin may very well be unique and was clearly deserving its premium bid. Underlying this piece’s extreme desirability, an example in the same grade, but with the edge number 85, realized $120,000.
Additional highlights of the coin offerings in this event included coins such as:
- Kwangtung. Kuang-hsü silver Pattern 3 Mace and 6 Candareens (50 Cents) ND (1889) MS63 NGC, KM-Y197.1, L&M-129, Kann-22
- China: Hsüan-t’ung silver Specimen Pattern Dollar Year 3 (1911) SP62+ PCGS, Central Mint at Tientsin, Reversed Dragon, Incuse veins on leaves, KM-Pn308, Kann-225, L&M-32
- Kwangtung. Kuang-hsü 3 Mace and 6-1/2 Candareens (50 Cents) 1889 MS63+ PCGS, KM-Y197, L&M-124
- China: Republic Yuan Shih-kai gold 20 Dollars Year 8 (1919) MS63 NGC, KM-Y331, L&M-1029
- Szechuan. Kuang-hsü 50 Cents ND (1901-1908) MS62 PCGS, KM-Y237.2, L&M-347, Kann-146
- Australia: Elizabeth II gold “Year of the Horse” 3000 Dollars (Kilo) 2002 MS69 NGC, KM709, Fr-L45
- Australia: Elizabeth II gold “Year of the Snake” 3000 Dollars (Kilo) 2001 MS67 NGC, KM706, Fr-L38
- Annam: Tu Duc gold Tien ND (1848-1883) MS61 NGC, cf. KM413
The currency event brought in over $1.8 million, led by a note from Hong Kong, the National Bank of China Limited 5 Dollars 2.5.1894 KNB1a Pick 247a, graded Very Fine 30 by PMG. This bank’s authority to issue banknotes was revoked in 1895, making this 1894 issue the sole available from the bank. With most examples redeemed, a mere two other examples have been certified by the major grading companies, neither as fine as this note. The hammer price of $138,000 only testifies to this note’s rarity.
Just a few of the additional currency highlights included:
- South Korea Bank of Korea 1000 Won ND (1950) Pick 8 Group of 41 Uniface Color Trials
- China Chih Yuan T’ung Hsing Pao Ch’ao 2 Kuan 1264-1341 Pick UNL S/M#C167-1, PMG Choice Fine 15 Net
- China Bank of Taiwan Limited – Shanghai 5 Dollars 1.6.1916 Pick S625, PMG Very Fine 30