does a Mexican coin struck in the United States have to do with China?
may sound like the makings of a horrible numismatic joke, but a
highlight in Stephen Album Rare Coins’ Sept. 15 to 17 auction
illustrates a real connection between the three countries.
the Chinese Civil War that followed World War II, American support of
the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Shek (Kuomintang) included
several billion dollars’ worth of aid and military hardware, and even
the dispatch of some 55,000 U.S. troops for a time.
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addition, the San Francisco Mint struck two million 1898-dated Mexican
silver peso coins for use in China.
example of one of these coins, graded Mint State 65 by Professional
Coin Grading Service, is offered in the Album auction.
original reverse of the 1898 silver peso has 139 dentils, while the
restrike has 134, a diagnostic used in attributing the coins. The
original coins have the tops of the Mexico City Mint mark (Mo) lined
up, while on the restrikes the o in Mo is higher than the M.
coins were made for the Nationalist government, which had introduced a
new silver-based currency. The Nationalists were losing to Mao
Tse-Tung’s Communists and inflation was rampant in areas still
controlled by the Nationalists.
piece offered exhibits “lovely golden toning,” according to the
auction house, and has an estimate of $220 to $300.
the auction includes 2,242 lots of ancient, Islamic, Chinese, Indian
and world coins, and numismatic literature. The sale catalog is
accessible online at www.stevealbum.com.