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Chinese and Brazilian coins exchanged for $138,000 each

Two rarities with nothing in common but the six-figure price tags have led an Illinois auction

Heritage's rare coin auction in Rosemont, Illinois, concluded last week with two remarkable coin sales.

First, the Lunar Series 10,000 Yuan coin which we reported on, made very recently in the Year of the Horse, 2002. The gold coin is in near perfect condition, preserved in soft plastic and a specially made case brought $138,000 against a $75,000-100,000 estimate.

Gold Year of the Horse coin

Secondly a Pedro II 100 Reis 1844 came under scrutiny, bearing an estimate of $60,000-80,000.

The extremely rare silver coin - one of just three known and the finest of these - came from Brazil's shortest-lived system of coin production, nicknamed Cruzado.

The Cruzado system, the first put in place by Brazil once it was an independent empire, free from European control, was not a success. The population was reluctant to use it, partly due to the unusual denominations involved: 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1200 Reis, and used the old coins instead.

Pedro II 100 Reis Cruzado

Brazilian leaders responded by creating a whole new system in 1849, known as Cruzeiro. As a result, the Cruzado coins because very rare indeed. This example was from great Paulistana collection, and is regarded as the pinnacle of valuable Brazilian coins.

Excited bidders eventually gave the 100 Reis coin the same price as its Chinese polar opposite: $138,000.

This is a good example of the strength of the market showing for collectibles from two of the 'BRIC' countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) simultaneously.

Those interested in collecting rare coins for interest or investment may be interested in this range which is currently available.



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Image: Heritage 

Last updated: 26 April 2010