Early coin from China's first-ever modern mint is estimated at $60,000

A late-19th century Chinese coin is expected to sell for the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in Hong Kong, tomorrow (December 1), at Champion Hong Kong's auction.

The piece is question is an undated Hina-Kwangtung coin from 1889 from the first set of coins ever made at China's first modern mint.

This fifty cent coin's denomination is given in English, reading "3 MACE AND 6-1/2 CANDAREENS". Its value at the time was based on a US dollar being equal to 7.3 Mace (Mace being the English term for a Chinese measurement of weight, approximately 3.78 grams, also used to determine currency).

Later in 1889, the weight of the dollar was reduced to 7.2 Mace and the half dollar to 3 Mace and 6 Candareens (10 Candareens equal one Mace).

The undated 1889 Hina-Kwangtung coin (catalogued at $40,000)

The coin bears the Chinese inscription around its dragon and an English inscription around the emperor's name. From 1890 onward the English was moved to the other side of the coins, surrounding the dragon.

Graded Specimen-64 by the PCGS, meaning that the coin is uncirculated, it will appear in tomorrow's auction with a catalogue price of US$40,000 and a $30,000-60,000 pre-sale estimate, with bids - including online - opening at the lower end.

Champion's auction will be held in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Watch this space for upcoming news on the sale.


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