Rare Money Blog

Superb Gem Specimen 5 Cent to be Offered in the Stack's Bowers and Ponterio Hong Kong Auction

By Kyle Ponterio, Senior Numismatist, Consignment Director

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Thursday, February 14, 2019 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

Now that our February Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction is completed, we turn our attention to our Hong Kong auction taking place March 25-28, 2019, at the Mira Hotel, in conjunction with the 6th Hong Kong Coin Show (HKCS) March 29-31, 2019. This auction contains a broad range of exceptional types and interesting varieties; it truly has something for every lover of Asian coins.  This week's featured highlight is a condition census example of a historically important issue from Kiangnan, struck at the Heaton Mint: Lot 60199 – Specimen 3.6 Candareens (5 Cents), ND (1897). 

Commissioned in 1897, the Heaton Mint produced a series of six coins, five silver and one brass, as proposed patterns or trial strikes of the eventual adopted design for the Nanking Mint. A full set of dies and a small number of proofs were sent along with the minting equipment after completion. Upon arrival, the Nanking Mint began production using the supplied dies and other equipment.

The familiar design of the first struck series issued from the Nanking mint consists of an encircled dragon with outer legends "KIANG NAN PROVINCE" and "3.6 CANDAREENS" separated by six-pointed stars as stops. The reverse displays the central inscription "光緖元寶" (Guāngxù yuánbǎo [Valuable Coin {of the} Kuang Hsu {era}]) with Manchu inscription in the very center meaning the same thing, all within a linked "S" border, top inscription "江南省造" (Jiāngnán shěng zào [Made in Jiangnan Province]) and bottom inscription "库平三分六釐" (Kù píng sān fēn liù lí [Indicating value by weight as Ku'ping 3 Cadareens 6 Li]).  Each side displays an interesting curved denticle border near the rim.

This is a highly sought after and collected issue, especially as a specimen with a needle sharp strike, frosted devices and smooth flashy surfaces. Enhancing the appeal is a lovely combination of mottled pale rose and golden patina. Nearly flawless, this piece is tied with two other examples in this grade at either NGC or PCGS, with none finer. The chance to acquire such a magnificent example may not occur again for many years.

Though the consignment deadline for this auction has passed, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our upcoming Collectors Choice Online (CCO) Auction June 12, 2019, and the ANA World's Fair of Money Auction in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago August 13-16, 2019. We are also accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our August 19-22, 2019, Hong Kong Showcase Auction.  If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) contact one of our consignment directors.