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Highly Popular Hupeh Province Yuan Shih-kai 20 Cents

By Kyle Ponterio, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Author: Kyle Ponterio / Thursday, May 02, 2019 / Categories: World Coin of the Week

This week we feature an interesting early Chinese Republican silver issue from the Wuchang branch mint that we are excited to offer in our August 2019 Hong Kong auction:

Hupeh. 20 Cent, Year 9 (1920). Wuchang Mint. PCGS AU-55 Secure Holder.  L&M-191; K-765; KM-Y-406; WS-0887; Wenchao-1058(rarity: 2 Stars).

Branch mint issues often bear similar designs to pieces made in the central mint at Tientsin, but are typically inferior in terms of craftmanship. This coin clearly received above-average care. The legend above the obverse design reads from right to left "年九國民華中" (Nián jiǔ guómín huá Zhōng [Ninth Year of the Republic of China]). The reverse displays the standard design with the denomination "贰角" (Èr jiǎo [20 Cents]) within wreath and a legend above that reads right to left "圓一當枚五每" (Měi wǔ méi dāng yīyuán [Every five coins equals 1 Dollar]). The most obvious difference between the central mint issues and the Wuchang branch mint issues is the addition of the characters "造鄂" (È Zào [Made in Hupeh]) flanking the bust of Yuan Shih-kai. During their time of manufacture, the Wuchang mint was under the direction of the Ministry of Finance, but only managed to produce this one issue. Much like the Hunan branch mint, no statistical data is available from the Wuchang mint. Considering how elusive this short-lived issue is on the market, it's obvious that only very limited quantities were struck, making it highly sought today, especially in problem-free quality.

This impressive coin will appear in the Stack's Bowers & Ponterio Annual Summer Hong Kong auction that will take place August 19-22, 2019 in conjunction with the 7th Hong Kong Coin Show (HKCS).

We are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money for our June Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction, as well as for the August ANA World's Fair of Money Auction in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. 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.