Chinese Phoenix and Dragon gold coin could rise at Long Beach, this week
This 1990 piece is likely to sell for six figures, as is a remarkable Japanese Oban from 400 years earlier
Last week we described the wonderful Una and the Lion coin which Heritage is offering as part of their sales in Long Beach, California that conclude at the end of this week.
As we've mentioned, there's a great range of coins on offer, including an extremely rare Ides of March coin from Ancient Rome and three Korean coins - unique on the private markets - worth up to $1.5m, not to mention a $1m value Chinese Yunnan dollar, once part of the Tracey Woodward collection.
One of the choice offerings from China is a Dragon and Phoenix gold 1,500 Yuan 20oz coin from 1990. As indicated, it shows a dragon battling a phoenix on the obverse and a section of the Great Wall of China on the reverse.
Rated as a Gem Proof in its original box and case, the coin had a mintage of 250 and is rarely seen at auction. The mesmerising piece carries an estimate of $100,000-$125,000 (bids already stand at $75,000).
China's neighbour Japan offers an extremely rare early Tensho Naga Oban from over four centuries earlier.
The appearance of an Oban of any type is an uncommon event, but this example is one of the rarest of all Oban varieties and perhaps the first time this variety has been auctioned in the United States.
The Tensho Oban weight was fixed at about 165 grams and was hammered into three different sizes. This example is the 'NAGA' (or long type) and the largest physical size of all the Obans minted.
Furthermore this is an extremely rare variety of the Tensho Naga Oban due to the different upper stamp of the two stamps on the reverse: the Omodaka stamp.
The Mori family was given permission by Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the great uniter of Japan) to make this official Oban and stamp the symbol of their family on the reverse, which was the Omodaka plant leaf and flower.
It's not known how many were minted, (in 73% gold and 27% silver) but very few exist today. The ink is original and a vibrant black colour. There is scuffing on the high points of the obverse with a small amount of ink missing.
Repairs are apparent on both sides at 8 o'clock on the obverse and at the matching area on the reverse at 4 o'clock, as evidenced by the disturbance of the original texture of the surfaces near the edge.
The repair seems to have been done over a hundred years ago and carefully hammered after perhaps being dropped. It is one of only a handful in existence and excessively rare, and therefore carries an estimate of $300,000 - $350,000.
Absentee bidding is about to close in Heritage's auctions (September 7 or 8 depending on the exact coin), so get bidding! Watch this space for the results of the auctions which conclude this weekend, September 11-12.
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