World Coins

Auto dollar among China's most famous, popular commemorative coins

A 1928 Auto dollar from China’s Kweichow Province realized $6,462.50 in Heritage Auctions’ Chicago International Coin Fair auction April 10 to 12.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The Year 17 (1928) Auto dollar from China’s Kweichow Province is probably the most famous commemorative Chinese coin of the 20th century. 

The coin celebrates an era when road construction wasn’t just another hassle of day-to-day life, but rather something to celebrate. 

The silver dollar was issued by Kweichow Governor Chow Hsi Chien to celebrate the first (paved, presumably) road in the province. The automobile on the obverse of the coin is reportedly the governor’s own automobile. 

Examples are frequently sold in auctions around the world, so it is by no means an unobtainable rarity (it had a mintage of 648,000 pieces, after all). 

An example sold by Heritage during the Chicago International Coin Fair April 10 to 12, 2014, is graded Extremely Fine 40 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. It sold for $6,462.50, in line with recent prices realized for other examples, indicating continued interest in this famous type. 

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