A Collection of Chinese Copper Coins is going to be offered by Stack’s Bowers from 2nd to 4th April in Hong Kong. Kiangsu-Chingkiang “Huai” Pattern 20 Cash from this collection is the only known example in private hands. Another such example is showcased at the Shanghai Museum. It has a raised mintmark in the center of the reverse and was struck at the Chingkiang Mint. Initially, the plan was to strike 10 cash size coins. More equipment was required for larger denomination coins. After testing the equipment, it was discovered that more pressure was required to strike these larger-size pieces. The equipment was later disassembled and transported to the Nanjing Mint.
The standard Imperial dragon in the clouds with a flame ball is featured on the obverse. Legends include the text “TAI CHING-TI-KUO COPPER COIN” along with a Chinese inscription “Guangxu nian zao” which translates to Guangxu era.
Chinese and Manchu script is used on the reverse as well. The central legend reads “Da qing tong bi” which means Qing copper coin. The raised mintmark reads “Huai” and is surrounded by a beaded border. Chinese and Manchu inscriptions are included in the outer legend too. The Manchu inscription means the same as the central Chinese inscription. The cyclical date reads “Bing wu” which means 1906. Other legends include “Hu bu” meaning Board of Revenue and “Dang zhi qian er shi wen” meaning Value of 20 Cash.
The coin’s life was short but the strike is brilliant. Such an example would not be offered at auctions too often.
Image Courtesy Stack’s Bowers Galleries