Soviet issue for China highlights Hong Kong sale

Stack's Bowers and Ponterio stages three auctions in Far East
Published : 03/22/12
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A silver dollar struck in Hunan China by the controlling Soviet government in 1931 is an example of a coin being used as a tool of propaganda.

The obverse of the coin, which highlights Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio’s April 1 to 3 auction in Hong Kong, displays the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol within a large star, both elements within a circle and beaded border. Chinese inscriptions encircle these central design elements, the inscriptions positioned between the beaded inner circle and the coin’s rim.

The 1931 date in Chinese deviated from the traditional presentation, which would have noted the regnal year, in this case the 20th year of the Chinese republic. “This was done intentionally to make the statement that the Hunan Soviet Government was the new governing body,” according to the lot description.

Only a small number of examples are known to exist. This coin can be considered one of the first dollars of the People’s Republic of China, according to Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio.

Evidence of cleaning in the past is toned over today and the coin is in About Uncirculated condition, according to the firm. The coin is encapsulated as Genuine — Cleaning in a Professional Coin Grading Service Secure holder.

The Soviet dollar has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000 in U.S. funds.

The coin is one of many highlights from numerous consignments, including the Dr. John Abner Snell Collection, Part II from the Frank Robinson Collection, the Gen. M.S. Newton/Kenneth Bressett Collection and Part III of the Wa She Wong Collection. In total, the firm offers 1,750 lots in the first of three Hong Kong auctions it is conducting from April 1 to 4.

For more information, write to Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio at 1063 McGaw Ave., Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92614, telephone the firm at 800-458-4646, email the business at or visit its website at

Some additional highlights:

China, undated (circa 1923) gold dollar, President Tsao Kun in civilian clothes, unlisted in Gold Coins of the World by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, cataloged as Lin-Ma 1126 (Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Gold & Silver Coins by Lin Gwo Ming, edited by Ma Tak Wo), Lot 20001, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Mint State 63.

China, Year 8 (1919) gold $20 coin, Yuan Shih-kai, F-4, LM-1029, Lot 20003, NGC MS-63.

Empire of China, undated (1908) silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), LM-11, Lot 20013, NGC MS-65.

China, Year 3 (1911) Long-Whisker Dragon silver dollar pattern, Tientsin Mint, LM-28, NGC Proof 61.

China, Year 3 (1911) silver half dollar pattern, Tientsin Mint, LM-39, this pattern, like so many of the 1911 issues, was never adopted for mass production “due to the outbreak of the 1911 revolution which gave way to the birth of the republic,” Lot 20071, NGC MS-63.

China, Year 16 (1927) silver Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum dollar pattern, LM-85, designed by Richard Placht, mintage of 480 pieces, Lot 20264, NGC MS-61.

China, Yuan Dynasty, Year 14 (1277) Yuan Bao silver sycee 50-tael ingot, Zhi Yuan, 1,894 grams, Kublai Khan, “experts suggest that approximately 10 of these Yuan Bao 50 tael ingots are known to exist, seven of which are accounted for in museums,” Lot 20605, Very Fine.

China, Chihli Province, Year 22 (1896) Pei Yang silver dollar, LM-439, first dollar of the Pei Yang Arsenal, Lot 21053, NGC About Uncirculated Details, Surface Hairlines.

China, Chihli Province, Year 23 (1897) Pei Yang silver 50-cent coin, LM-445, “finest certified Pei Yang Arsenal 50-cent” coin, Lot 21067, Professional Coin Grading Service MS-64 Secure.

China, Chihli Province, Year 24 (1898) Pei Yang Arsenal silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), LM-449, “finest certified by either PCGS or NGC,” Lot 21076, NGC MS-65.

China, Hunan Province, Year 11 (1922) silver dollar, LM-867, Hunan Provincial Constitution, Lot 21231, NGC MS-63.

China, Kiangnan Province, undated (1897) silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), ornamental edge, LM-210a, Lot 21336, NGC MS-63.

China, Kiangnan Province, undated (1897) silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), ornamental edge, cross bar of A’s in KIANG-NAN scarcely visible, LM-210a, Lot 21337, PCGS MS-62 Secure.

China, Kiangnan Province, undated (1897) silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), ornamental edge, cross-strokes in the A’s in KIANG-NAN scarcely visible, LM-210a, Lot 21338, NGC MS-62.

China, Kiangsu Province, Kwan Ping trade coinage, “Chinese-Foreign circulating coin,” undated (circa 1868 silver pattern 1 mace, LM-598, dies and patterns originated in England, Lot 21559, NGC MS-64.

China, Kwangtung Province, undated (1891) silver 7 mace and 2 candareens coin (dollar), LM-113, “first Kwangtung coinage struck with corrected legends,” Lot 21565, NGC Specimen 67.

China, Kwangtung Province, undated (1891) silver 3 mace and 6 candareens coin (50 cents), LM-134, “corrected design,” Lot 21566, NGC Specimen 67.

China, Shanghai, Year 6 (1856) silver tael, LM-589, issued by Wang Yung Sheng and engraved by Wan Chaun, type issued for about six months with monthly mintage of about 3,000 pieces (for a total of 18,000 mintage), Lot 21637, NGC MS-61.

Hong Kong, Queen Victoria, 1867 silver dollar, Lot 22146, “light gold and grey toning,” “finest certified by either PCGS or NGC,” PCGS MS-65. ■

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