Legendary 1910 Chinese Dragon Dollar Could Bring More Than $1 Million at Heritage Auctions

Posted on 8/15/2011

Dr. Norman Jacobs' Chinese Yunnan 1910 Spring Dollar, finest of only two known, is up for auction Sept. 8 in Heritage Long Beach, CA, World & Ancient Coins event.

[Beverly Hills, CA] — The legendary 1910 Chinese Dragon Dollar, called the Yunnan Spring Dollar in reference to the four Chinese characters that translate to “Spring 1910” on its reverse, could bring in excess of $1,000,000 as part of Heritage Auctions Sept. 8-9 Long Beach Signature® World & Ancient Coins Auction, at the Long Beach Convention Center.

"This enigmatic issue is one of China's rarest coins, with only two genuine pieces known," said Warren Tucker, Vice President of World Coins at Heritage. “It's been a coin of mystery and legend since its discovery around 1920. Despite near constant research in Chinese numismatics, time has yielded no definite reason or meaning for the term ‘Spring 1910.’”

The first genuine example of this issue to appear at public auction was sold in Beijing, in April 2002, at the Hua Chen auction. That same piece later sold in a Cheng Xuan sale, also in Beijing, in 2007 where it brought 3,192,000 RMB (US $468,000).

Michael Chou, of Champion Hong Kong Auction, then sold it — now certified AU 55 by NGC — for the astounding price of US $1,035,000, in August 2010 in Hong Kong.

The piece that Heritage is offering is the second known example of the Yunnan Spring Dollar and the finest of the two known. The coin has been exhaustively researched, graded and certified AU 58 by NGC. The piece is from the exact same dies as the other coin, as both NGC and Michael Chou have attested to.

"We feel, if anything, that the grading by NGC is a bit conservative on this piece as Heritage graders noticed no circulation on the coin,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage. “This coin is truly one of China’s great numismatic treasures and not likely to show up again for possibly a few generations.”

This coin will be offered by Heritage along with several hundred other choice and rare Chinese coins, and approximately 5,000 world and ancient coin lots. Bidding on the coins opens online in mid-August.

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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