We often feature United States coins here in the PCGS Coin of the Week, but this time we thought we'd feature something a little different that made international headlines over the past week or two... Stack's Bowers Galleries sold the most valuable Chinese coin to ever trade in a public auction when the California-based firm sold a Year 17 (1928) Chinese silver dollar pattern graded SP64 by Professional Coin Grading Service. The coin crossed the block at the Stack's Bowers Galleries April 2021 Hong Kong Auction.
This magnificent coin, one of the very finest of its kind, took a world-record price of $2,280,000 — some 10 times its pre-sale estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It goes without saying that the specimen blew way past its estimate due to being encapsulated in a PCGS holder and grading a solid SP64. But stopping there looks past the many other outstanding merits this coin also boasts.
The color, originality, and luster of its surfaces are simply amazing... roses, wines, and russets dance softly on satiny, lustrous fields and devices uninhibited by alteration and gracefully patinaed over 10 decades of loving numismatic stewardship. Perhaps equally impressive as the technical and aesthetic attributes of the specimen we see here is the story behind this Chinese silver dollar pattern, which features the bust of Governor Chang Tso-lin, a Chinese military leader who helmed northeastern China. He was assassinated on June 4, 1928, by the Japanese Kwantung Army and is immortalized on this coin for all ages.
The coin belongs to the ever-popular series of Chinese silver dollars, which have long enjoyed a fervent collector following around the world. As the expanding realm of Asian numismatics continues growing, we could see even further demand for similar silver dollars and perhaps more future records dropping on the iconic 1928 China silver dollar pattern.
*Images are courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.