20th-century rarities highlight recent Heritage sales

A 1914 Republic Yuan Shih-kai silver “L. Giorgi” pattern Specimen dollar crossed the block for $77,675 USD (about $101,100 Cdn.) in Heritage Auction’s $2.9 million Signature Auction held June 22-23 in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair (HKINF).

The Yuan Shih-kai silver “L. Giorgi” Pattern Specimen Dollar—graded Specimen-65 by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)—is among the finest ever to come to market, according to auctioneers.

“The pristine surface and its exemplary state of technical preservation classified the coin as a masterpiece of Chinese coinage,” reads a press release issued by Heritage earlier this week.

The auction saw bidders vying for a diverse selection of 20th-century rarities in one of the fastest-growing events in world numismatics. The event also included the HKINF World Currency Signature Auction, which was held June 21-23 and brought more than $1.1 million for a total of more than $4 million USD (about $5.2 million Cdn.).

“Our Hong Kong office thanks all of our bidders for participating in this exciting auction,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, executive vice-president of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions. “Each lot was pursued by multiple bidders, which tells us we presented an auction selection that met both collector’s needs and wants.”

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

A 1921 Republic “Pavilion” Year 10 gold dollar—a “near-gem example,” according to auctioneers—sold for $62,737 (about $81,600 Cdn.). The commemorative dollar features a gleaming bust of President Hsu Shih-chang.

Auctioned for $59,750 USD (about $77,750 Cdn.), the 1904 Kuang-hsü “Small Characters” Tael ND in PCGS Mint State-64 offered another near-gem specimen of a coveted issue. This example is tied for the finest-graded example Heritage has ever offered.

A 1910 uniface Hsüan-t’ung silver Proof pattern empire dollar ND in PCGS Proof-64 is likely the only coin of its type known to exist having never been listed as a uniface in all reference books, according to auctioneers. It sold to a Hong Kong bidder for $50,190 USD (about $65,300 Cdn.).

Currency results were highlighted by a 1953 People’s Republic of China 10-yuan note, Pick 870, which was graded Choice Uncirculated-64 by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG). This example is a “notable condition rarity,” according to auctioneers, who added only two other fully uncirculated notes have appeared at auctions in recent years. A bid of $47,800 USD (about $62,200 Cdn.) claimed this lot.

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