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Mint State Large Characters Hupel Tael

By Kent Ponterio, Senior Numismatist and Consignment Director

Author: Kent Ponterio / Friday, April 27, 2012 / Categories: World Coin of the Week
Mint State Large Characters Hupel Tael to be Offered at Stack’s Bowers Ponterio August ANA auction.

Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is pleased to offer a choice Mint State Hupeh tael with large characters as part of our August 20-22, 2012 auction in Hong Kong. The Year 30 (1904) tael is graded MS-64 by PCGS and is rare in this condition. It features lustrous, very attractive surfaces with light russet gray tone.

China. Hupeh Tael. Year. 30 (1904). L&M-181, K-933, Y-128.1, Hsu-189. Large characters. PCGS MS64.Originally 648,000 Hupeh taels were minted, this includes both large and small character type. It is unknown exactly how many of each were struck, however it is clear that the large character type is by far the rarer of the two. In the initial proposal to produce these coins it was also suggested to produce smaller denominations in the values of 5, 2 and 1 mace. However no such pieces have surfaced (even in pattern form) and it is unlikely they were ever produced. It is interesting to note that the Hupeh taels were struck in 0.877 fine silver as opposed to the 0.960 fine silver set forth by the currency regulations of 1905. This short lived series circulated for only a brief period of time and was soon after replaced by the unified Tai Ching Ti Kuo silver coinage. Although the Hupeh tael coinage has a fairly large mintage it is most likely that much of this was melted down to be made into later coinage.
Tags: Tael