Exceedingly Rare Pattern Shanghai Tael 1867Shanghai. Ching Dynasty Pattern Silver Tael 1867 PR64 NGC, Hong Kong mint, Kann-912, L&M-601, Pridmore-315. Obv. The crowned Great Britain Royal arms, within a garter, encircled by the legend ONE TAEL SHANGHAI-HONG KONG-1867. Rev. A facing dragon within a garter with, SHANG HAI 1 LIANG around. This is the variety with rays issuing from the garter encircling the dragon, which seems to be marginally rarer than the other variety without the rays, although both are exceedingly rare, with no more than 2-3 examples known of each. This is the only example of either variety certified by NGC, and PCGS has certified one example of the variety with no rays, and none of the one with rays. This Choice example is superbly struck, with golden toning over reflective fields and only a few minor contact marks. CNG (Classical Numismatic Group) sold the Dr. Patrick Tan PCGS Proof 64 specimen of L&M-600 (Kann-911a), the variety with no rays around the dragon, in their January 2011 Triton XIV New York sale, for $300,000 hammer price.
Hong Kong had recently opened a new mint, much too large for what was needed to strike the Hong Kong coins. As a proposed means to make use of the extra space available, Pattern coins were designed, and struck to solicit business from the Chinese Central Government in Peking. During this time there were no modern minting facilities available in Shanghai, therefore the Hong Kong mint struck the pattern coins to the Shanghai Tael standard. For a number of reasons, the design was rejected by the Chinese authorities and very few pieces survived the melting pot.
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