NGC Graded Coins Led Heritage’s December Hong Kong Sale


A rare Chinese gold piece graded by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) won top honors in Heritage Auctions’ December Hong Kong sale of World & Ancient Coins.

1989 Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Gold 200 Yuan
This 1989 Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Gold 200 Yuan brought $408,000 in Heritage Auction’s December Hong Kong sale. Struck in two ounces of .999 fine gold, it features the Great Wall on the obverse and a dragon and a phoenix on the reverse. NGC graded the piece PR69 Ultra Cameo.

The 1989 People’s Republic gold "Dragon and Phoenix" Proof Pattern 200 Yuan, graded NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo, realized $408,000.

"NGC continues to play a critical part in developing the numismatic markets in Asia and adding value to our consignors and bidders worldwide," said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics for Heritage Auctions. "The rare Dragon and Phoenix gold pattern of 1989 is a good example as an identical, uncertified specimen sold recently in Switzerland for $125,000. Our NGC-certified piece realized more than triple that amount."

Produced in only moderate quantities, China issued 1990 Dragon & Phoenix coins in four denominations:

  • a silver 5 Jiao,
  • a gold 10 Yuan,
  • a silver 20 Yuan and
  • a gold 200 Yuan.

The gold 200 Yuan has the lowest mintage at about 2,500 pieces.

Patterns struck with a 1989 date exist for all four coins, and are all extremely rare. Only three are known for the 1989 Gold 200 Yuan, which is considered the most valuable, according to the "Gold & Silver Coins of China Standard Catalogue," by King Chan, Leo Wang and Jerry Lin. (Chan and Wang are NGC consultants, and Lin is an NGC grader.)

The $408,000 price is the highest realized through Heritage Auctions for any modern world coin in recent years except for a 2008 Beijing Olympics 10-kilogram Gold 100,000 Yuan, which sold for $575,000 in 2011.

A 1897 Kiangnan L&M-210 Plain Edge Proof Dollar, graded NGC PF 65, brought $240,000. It was the she second highest price realized in the Hong Kong sale.

1897 Kiangnan L&M Plain Edge Proof Dollar
This 1897 Kiangnan L&M Plain Edge Proof Dollar realized $240,000 in Heritage Auction’s December Hong Kong sale. NGC graded the piece PF65. It is one of only two plain edge patterns certified by NGC. (Imaged by Heritage Auctions,

In all, five of the top six coins in the auction were certified by NGC. The other three included:

  • an 1889 Kwangtung L&M-124, Y-197 50 Cent, graded NGC SP 67, that sold for $102,000;
  • an 1897Anhwei L&M-196, Y-45 Silver Dollar, graded NGC MS 66, which realized $192,000; and
  • a 1907 Gold L&M-1024 Small Clouds Tael, graded NGC MS 63, that sold for $150,000.

The Heritage Auction ( event was held in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair (HKINF), which ended Dec. 10.

For information about NGC and its grading services, visit

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments