Kwangtung Mint started its operations in 1889 and struck a series of 5 coins which were circulated to replace silver coins from other countries. The five coins introduced bore the denomination 3.65 Candareens, 7-3/10 Candareens, 1 Mace 4-3/5 Candareens, 3 Mace 6-1/2 Candareens, and 7 Mace 3 Candareens. When it was discovered that these new coins were heavier than the foreign silver coins of the same denomination, they were taken out of circulation and melted.
Pattern coins of lesser weight were struck again but in very limited numbers. However, they were disapproved by Peking. A re-designed third series was introduced by Kwangtung mint in 1890 which was approved as the standard silver coins.
Coins issued in the second series are very rare. One such coin is going to be offered by Heritage Auctions on 6th and 7th December at Hong Kong World Coins auction. Just two Second Series 3 Mace 6 Candareens (50 Cents) have been certified so far.
Famous collections like Kann Collection, Bowker Collection, and the Irving Goodman Collection failed to acquire this piece which is graded NGC MS63. The offered coin is the plate coin from a book named “Top Chinese Coins-Silver Coins” by Michael Chou and was sold at Singapore Auction in 1996. The coin features mottled blue and grey toning and its designs are very sharp. The lustrous surfaces have very few marks.
Image Courtesy: Heritage Auctions