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By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​The monumental Pinnacle Collection realized unbelievable results, obliterating numerous records. One such record was the number of lots to realize more than $1 million. Prior to The Pinnacle Collection, no single auction presented by Stack's Bowers Galleries (including United States sales) has exceeded four lots that sold for  $1 million or more. Part II of the D. Brent Pogue Collection in September 2015 was the prior record holder with four items that crossed that benchmark.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​As recounted in one of our previous blog posts, the tensions between westerners and their Chinese hosts reached an untenable level by the summer of 1900, with the Empress Dowager Cixi (the real power behind the Qing dynasty) siding with the "boxers" in what would become known as the Boxer Rebellion. Tired of what they viewed as meddlesome invaders from the west, the alliance between imperial forces and the band of boxers declared war and eventually laid siege to the Legation Quarter in Beijing (Peking), where numerous foreign nationals from many western powers were stationed.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

Within the incredible Pinnacle Collection, a featured cabinet in the Stack's Bowers and Ponterio April 2021 Hong Kong auction, a group of massive gold Obans and Kobans certainly stands out. Quite large in size, these fit within the aspect of "odd and curious" money, as they are such a departure from the typically encountered types of coinage. A variety of stampings is present on the obverse and reverse of each, indicating the type and time period of manufacture. Additionally, the obverses display rather skillfully and elegantly inked calligraphy—enhancing their beauty, artistry, and sense of uniqueness. ​

By Kyle Ponterio, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​The last of the imperial silver crowns—the iconic 1911 "Dragon in the Clouds" Dollar—is easily one of China's most recognizable issues. Designed by Luigi Giorgi of the Central Mint at Tientsin (where he served as head designer and chief engraver from 1910-1920), this motif underwent several transformations and modifications before a suitable design was chosen.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​The April Hong Kong auction being presented by legendary rare coin firm Stack's Bowers and Ponterio features countless highlights from the Pinnacle Collection, with a majestic Year 3 (1870) Pattern Set from Japan standing as quite possibly the most impressive. Containing eight denominations ranging from the gold 10 Yen all the way down to the copper-nickel 1/20 Yen, the quality of the set is exemplified by each piece's Gem or Superb Gem designation as well as by the way the surfaces shimmer and glisten when rotated in the light.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​Among the most intriguing areas of numismatics are those that pose the question "what if?" While rarities of famous leaders are coveted and exceptionally desirable, those that shouldn't have been issued in the first place are even more interesting. One such example of a world-class rarity with tremendous historical importance crosses the auction block as part of the incredible Pinnacle Collection in our April Hong Kong sale. Issued for the would-be emperor, Constantine Pavlovich, the fabled pattern ruble is the only coin produced for this reign that never really happened.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​With a form of coinage dating back over two millennia, China has an extensive numismatic history. It is China's modern commemorative program, however, that has become a standard bearer within the market, featuring hotly contested and greatly sought-after coins in a variety of designs, metals, and denominations. In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Mao Zedong's founding of the People's Republic of China, a series of commemorative coins was issued in 1979—an event that would spark a modern commemorative juggernaut.

By Jeremy Bostwick, Senior Numismatist and Cataloger

​During the early 20th century, foreign investment in Mexico increased as the country emerged as a market, with interest in her natural resources chief among the pursuits. Foreign petroleum companies, such as those in the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands sought to maximize profits by taking advantage of low wages paid to the local Mexican workforce. In 1935, tired of their disadvantageous position, the Petroleum Workers Union issued a list of demands that included a 40-hour work week, sick pay in the event of workers' illnesses, and an additional sum to be used for backpay and benefits.

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