World Coins

Taiwanese military ration dollar in Heritage Auction’s sale

Heritage Auction's sale during the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., includes a circa 1853 Taiwan military ration dollar, with chopmarks.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

This year both Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be hosting official auctions throughout the American Numismatic Association World Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., which runs from Aug. 5 to 9.

On Aug. 6 Stack’s Bowers will hold its Rarities Night auction and Heritage has its Platinum Night paper money auction. 

The next night Heritage hosts its U.S. coins Platinum Night sale, and on Aug. 8 Heritage has a third Platinum Night auction, featuring ancient and world coins. Beyond these big auctions, many more auction sessions will be spread out during the convention. 

Although the two firms are offering around 10,000 lots during the ANA show — including multiple seven-figure rarities — here are a few lots that our editors selected to represent the range of diverse world coins and paper money selections the official ANA auctions offer. 

Circa 1853 Taiwan Military Ration dollar, Very Fine Details, Chopmarked, Scratched

Heritage Auctions, Aug. 8

Designs are almost secondary on the circa 1853 silver Ju-I military ration dollar in Heritage Auctions’ sale.

The undated coin was the result of a military uprising in Fung Shan, Taiwan, in 1853. 

To pay troops and meet other expenses, Ju-I and Bi Pao military ration dollars were minted in the city of Tainan. A limited number of issues were struck before the uprising ended. 

The two lotus branches on the reverse give this coin the nickname the “Lotus” dollar. The obverse shows a “treasure pot and tree,” according to the auction description, though Eduard Kann identifies the main design device as a vase and branches in his Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins (Gold, Silver, Nickel & Aluminum)

These coins all feature a few Chinese symbols that were added immediately after production, Kann wrote. But they are also often found heavily marked or “chopped” from a time when circulating silver was tested throughout China by many merchants. 

The example in the Heritage auction is “moderately” chopped, according to the firm, and is graded Very Fine Details, Chopmarked, Scratched, by NGC. It is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

Visit Heritage Auctions online.

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