Highlights in 2013 Champion Winter Online Auction
Posted on 12/3/2013
- Two 1992 Compass and Seismograph gold kilo coins with No.10, NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo.
Part of the China Mint’s popular Inventions and Discoveries Series, the one kilogram gold Compass and Seismograph coins had a maximum mintage of only 10 specimens each and are among the most desirable of all Chinese modern issues. The matching pair have the serial number “10” punched on their edges and are graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo. The number 10 Seismograph has the number stamped on the top of the coin unlike other coins which are stamped on the bottom.
The Compass was struck by Shenyang Mint, with the Great Wall on the obverse side. The reverse side is composed by Sinan, the South Pointing Chariot and Compass designs. Sinan is the oldest direction indicator and the South Pointing Chariot was towed by a horse (which is followed by the march), giving a sense of direction. The compass evolved from Sinan and the South Pointing Chariot, made it much easier to carry and with higher accuracy. The date on this coin was the year of invention of Sinan, so this coin was not to commemorate Sinan, the South Pointing Chariot or the Compass, but to pay homage to the evolvement history of the Compass.
The obverse side of the Seismograph is also the Great Wall while the reverse side features a seismograph and Lingtai which is south of Luoyang. The seismograph looks like a wine bottle with eight driving gears inside. Eight dragons with copper balls in their mouths embrace the bottle with eight toads below with their mouths open. If an earthquake happens, the ball will come out from the dragon’s mouth and fall into the mouth of a toad. The location of the earthquake can be detected by the direction of the falling ball. The seismograph is located in Lingtai. The date on this coin is the year of the invention of the seismograph.
The coins are anticipated to easily break the elusive US $1 million barrier. A 1992 Compass Gold 2,000 Yuan (serial number 6), also graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo, was last sold by Champion Auction on August 28, 2011 for a record US $1.298 million. The sale of a matching pair of Chinese gold one kilo coins is a historic opportunity for collectors. NGC assigned its coveted NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo grade, which ranks these coins among the world’s greatest numismatic rarities.
- The 50th Anniversary of Taiwan's Return to China 2,000 Yuan 1 Kg Gold Coin with No. 15, NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo, Mintage 25.
It is the first Chinese Modern coin with a map in its design and celebrates an important historic event. The authorized mintage is 25 but the actual survival rate may be much lower. There have been only four transactions of NGC-graded specimens in the past five years. In August 2011 Champion Auction sold an NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo for US $590,000, and in an August 2013 Hong Kong auction sold an NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo for US $575,000. This example is one of three graded by NGC as PF 69 Ultra Cameo. Champion Auction was involved in the sale or grading submission of all four examples listed above. As most coins that were sold in Taiwan, it is very rare in the West.
The obverse has superb Ultra Cameo contrast with sharp details of the map design.
For 50 years from 1895, when the Sino-Japanese War ended, to 1945 Taiwan was governed by Japan. In August 1945, when China finally won the Anti-Japanese War, Japan returned Taiwan to China. On October 25 1945, at 10 a.m. a grand rite of Japan’s surrender was held at Zhongshan Hall, Taipei. The date October 25 has been recognized as “Taiwan’s Return Day” since then. On October 25, 1995, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Taiwan’s return to China, a set of gold and silver coins was distributed by the People’s Bank of China. They feature eight designs with a mintage of 17,223. All coins in this set were issued with a Guaranty Certificate by Zhu Rongji, President of People’s Bank of China at that time.
The obverse sides share the image of the Great Wall, while the reverse sides have two different designs. Some were designed with a map of Mainland China and Taiwan, the others were designed with Taipei Zhongshan Hall and the Chinese legends of the “Taipei Zhongshan Tang.” This set of coins is considered of great significance and with elegant designs. It is not only the first Chinese map coin, but engraved with writing from Chiang Kai Shek! Due to its impressive significance and its special historical meaning, the set of coins attracted a great deal of interest from global numismatic enthusiasts and was called “a great treasure.”
Other desirable coins are:
- CHINA 1989 100 Yuan 12 oz .999 Silver Proof, Year of the Snake, Mintage of only 400, NGC PF 68 ULTRA CAMEO. Finest graded by NGC.
- CHINA 2000 Panda 100 Yuan 1 oz .999 Gold, Mirrored Ring, NGC MS 69.
- CHINA 1993 500 Yuan 5 oz .999 Gold Proof, Possessing a piece of Homeland, Tomb of Emperor Huang, Mintage 99.
Highlights on banknotes:
- CHINA 1939 Bank of China with Portrait of Liao Zhong Kai Specimen Set (3): One Yuan Specimen (00000), P81As, S/M#C294, PMG CU 64 NET; 5 Yuan Specimen (00000), P81Bs, S/M#C294, PMG GU 65 EPQ; 10 Yuan Specimen (00000), P81Cs, S/M#C294, PMG GU 66 EPQ. Total 3 Pieces
- CHINA 1949 The People's Bank of China 1st Print 100 Yuan (I II III 7586062), Junk, P835a, S/M #C282, PMG CU 64 EPQ
- CHINA 1960 The People's Bank of China 3rd Print 1 Jiao (10) with consecutive numbers, (IX X III 3310340~3310349) "workers," P873, S/M #C284-1, all PMG GU 66 EPQ
- CHINA 1920 Commercial Bank of China - Shanghai Branch 10 Dollars Specimen (000000), P5s, S/M#C293-44, PMG GU 65 EPQ
- CHINA ND (1910) Russo-Asiatic Bank - Harbin Branch 100 Dollars (A6916), Pick S466, S/M O5-unlisted (overprinted on Pick S553), UNC. Major Rarity, overprinted on Russo-Chinese Bank 100 Tael note of the Tientsin branch; the overprint has changed the name of the bank, the branch and the type of currency. The original note was issued in 1909 but this transitional note was issued a few years later. The back pictures the bank's building, but it is probably the Tientsin branch. Printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company.
This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in this piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.