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    Finest Certified Mint State 1889 Kwangtung Dragon Dollar 

    Kwangtung. Kuang-hsü Dollar (7 Mace 3 Candareens) ND (1889) MS64+ NGC,  Kwangtung mint, KM-Y198.1, L&M-123, Kann-16, WS-0931, Wenchao-522 (rarity 4 stars). With denomination written as 7 MACE AND 3 CANDAREENS. A fitting cap to this splendid Kwangtung set, this incredible dragon dollar impresses not only in terms of its palpable visual countenance, but also its enormous historical significance. Speaking purely on aesthetic grounds, it seems almost inadequate to merely call this specimen gorgeously struck, as the fields, bathed in mint luster and yet keeping the appearance of a coin struck for circulation, appear tinged with every shade of tone: russet argent fields well up to a breathtaking marbling of gold, topaz, and goldfish orange at the characters while capturing glints of emerald green and lilac. Like the other pieces in this set, turning to the reverse reveals a slightly more mottled texture, central gunmetal color brightened to a near salt-gray by mint radiance, while darkened peripheral accents are simultaneously lightened to champagne by cartwheel whirls.

    Despite being outranked on a purely technical level by a group of just three specimens certified SP66 by PCGS, this piece finds space even here to boast of its impressive singularity. Standing as the first milled coinage produced in Imperial China, the mint located at Kwangtung then being the largest in the world, the emissions of 1889 were originally intended to supplant the circulation of various foreign silver coins within the country, most particularly the Spanish Dollar and its latter-day successor, the Mexican 8 Reales. Struck to a higher silver content that its rivals, 7 Mace and 3 Candareens, the 1889 Dollar unfortunately succeeded in the opposite of its intended goal, these heavier and more valuable coins being hoarded and melted down to retrieve the extra Candareen of silver, very much in keeping with the principles of Gresham's Law. Whereas the specimen issues of this year were not intended for general circulation--and may very likely have been the patterns they are considered to be by the Standard Catalog of World Coins--issues such as the present piece, ranking as the single finest Mint State representative to-date across both of the major grading services, represent the very rare circulation survivors from this rampant period of melting. Despite the failure of this initial experiment, the design of the 1889 Dollar and its fractions served as the standard type for the coinage of all the Chinese provinces from Chihli to Fukien to Yunnan during the period from 1890 to 1907, creating an iconic legacy for these fabled forerunners.

    With few other examples approaching this level of preservation, we note to prospective bidders that a NGC-graded MS62 example hammered for $80,000 in Stack's Bowers' December 2015 Hong Kong Auction (lot 60164), and it goes without saying that the specimen at hand, grading a full two and half points higher, will not go overlooked as it crosses the auction block.
    From the Henderson Lincoln Collection


    最高分MS級廣東省造「七三反版」 壹圓樣幣

    1889年廣東省造光緒元寶七錢三分銀幣。MS64+ NGC。 廣東錢局鑄(珍罕度四星級別)。七三反版系列。幣上英文面值為「7 MACE AND 3 CANDAREENS」。此枚的品相不僅令人贊嘆,而且在其巨大的歷史意義上給人留下深刻印象。可看到整體壓印深邃、原廠亮光、有淡淡的淺色包漿。中央部分呈金橙色包漿,令人嘆為觀止。同時銀幣上捕捉到翠綠色和淡紫色的閃光。轉向反面呈稍微斑駁的紋理。

    同款只有三枚經由PCGS認證的SP66在評級上有細微優勢。但此枚更具有令人印象深刻的獨特性。此枚銀幣產于中國首家鑄幣厰 - 廣東錢局乃是當時世界上最大的造幣廠。廣東當局最初在發行這種含銀較多的新幣時,是希望藉以抵制當時在中國境內流通的外國銀元,特別是西班牙元和墨西哥8 雷亞爾。認為將標準的七錢二分加重為七錢三分,可促使公眾接受並替代最通行的墨西哥鷹洋。發行後卻因含銀量稍多而被熔毀以提取更多的銀子。

    這是中國第一種以現代造幣機器製作的銀幣,故極富歷史意義。蟠龍是第一次出現在中國錢幣上,因後來各省造幣廠皆仿傚此形式而成為「標準設計」。這套不僅僅是廣東錢局的標準樣本,也是全中國各造幣廠龍銀的範本。

    經PCGS及NGC評得最高分,非常罕見獲得高評分的倖存者,儘管初次鑄造失敗,但1889年的設計及特質成為1890 至1907年間從北洋、福建到雲南的所有中國省份錢幣的標準款式,成為先軀者。要注意的是,在評級相近的其他幾枚中,另一枚NGC評級為MS62的一枚於2015年以80,000美元成交,此枚評分更高,品相更佳,稀有度極高,收藏家們不容忽視。



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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2019
    27th-28th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
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