The legendary 1910 Chinese Dragon Dollar, called the Yunnan Spring Dollar in reference to the four Chinese characters that translate to "Spring 1910" on its reverse, could bring in excess of $1,000,000 as part of Heritage Auctions Sept. 8-9 Long Beach Signature® World & Ancient Coins Auction, at the Long Beach Convention Center.
"This enigmatic issue is one of China’s rarest coins, with only two genuine pieces known," said Warren Tucker, Vice President of World Coins at Heritage. "It’s been a coin of mystery and legend since its discovery around 1920. Despite near constant research in Chinese numismatics, time has yielded no definite reason or meaning for the term ‘Spring 1910.’"
The first genuine example of this issue to appear at public auction was sold in Beijing, in April 2002, at the Hua Chen auction. That same piece later sold in a Cheng Xuan sale, also in Beijing, in 2007 where it brought 3,192,000 RMB (US$468,000).
Michael Chou, of Champion Hong Kong Auction, then sold it — now certified AU55 by NGC — for the astounding price of US$1,035,000, in August 2010 in Hong Kong.
The piece that Heritage is offering is the second known example of the Yunnan Spring Dollar and the finest of the two known. The coin has been exhaustively researched, graded and certified AU58 by NGC. The piece is from the exact same dies as the other coin, as both NGC and Michael Chou have attested to.
"We feel, if anything, that the grading by NGC is a bit conservative on this piece as Heritage graders noticed no circulation on the coin," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage. "This coin is truly one of China’s great numismatic treasures and not likely to show up again for possibly a few generations."
This coin will be offered by Heritage along with several hundred other choice and rare Chinese coins, and approximately 5,000 world and ancient coin lots. Bidding on the coins opens online in mid-August.
About Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.