Shrouded in mystery... Peking mint 50-cent coin appears for sale in Hong Kong

Alongside an exceptional jewellery ensemble by the family Froment‐Meurice, a China-Empire rarity that's shrouded in mystery is also appearing in Baldwin's Hong Kong Coin Auction 50 on April 7.

This China-Empire General Issue Silver Patter 50-Cent coin, CD1900 is from the Peking mint. Little is known about the Peking mint other than it did function briefly before it became entangled in the Boxer Rebellion, 1900‐1901.

The mint designed steel dies for the production of coins in the denominations $1, 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents. During the hostility the mint was looted and later destroyed completely by the Boxers who were fighting Western Imperialism and Christianity.

A Silver Patter 50-Cent coin from the 'mysterious' Peking mint

An unnamed mint worker managed to save 4 of the dies. These were later sold to a well‐known Chinese numismatist, along with eight sets of the Peking coins all struck at the Peking Mint.

It is believed that the dies were later shattered when workers in a civilian workshop tried to use them.

This lot is a re-strike from the coins' original dies. It bears a weak‐strike on dragon's head, is lightly toned and uncirculated and, considering the coin's rarity and fascinating history, carries a relatively low $8,000‐10,000 estimate.

Watch this space for more news on Baldwin's exciting Hong Kong sale.


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