Two NGC-certified Chinese Coins Top $1M Each in Champion Auctions’ May Macau Sale

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The finest-known example of a Chinese coin designed by Luigi Giorgi dazzled the coin collecting world, realizing $1.34 million at a Champion Macau auction that ended May 30, 2021. It more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate of $150,000 to $300,000.

1911 YR3 China Silver Dollar Long Whiskered Dragon, graded NGC MS 64
1911 YR3 China Silver Dollar Long Whiskered Dragon, graded NGC MS 64

The China YR 3 (1911) Silver Dollar Long Whiskered Dragon graded NGC MS 64 features a fully struck dragon with stunning detail and rims with sharp, raised leaves. It is possibly one of the first coins struck off a new die design created by Giorgi, an Italian artist, who was Chief Engraver at the Tientsin Central Mint from 1910 to 1917.

The Long Whiskered Dragon and other coins in the sale were from the Nelson Chang (NC) Collection — an outstanding group of vintage Chinese rarities graded by NGC. Distinguished with the NC Collection pedigree on the NGC certification label, many of the coins are the most desirable in Chinese numismatics, carefully collected by one of China’s most famous families.

Another NGC-certified coin from the NC Collection that also surpassed $1 million was a China YR 33 (1907) Tael Chihli graded NGC MS 63. One of the finest known and one of the most coveted of the Chinese dragon Tael series, the coin flew past its estimate of $200,000 to $400,000 to realize $1.15 million.

1907 YR33 China Tael Chihli, graded NGC MS 63
1907 YR33 China Tael Chihli, graded NGC MS 63

A China 1898 Kiangnan Dollar graded NGC MS 65 also impressed, realizing $996,000. The finest known and most popular variety of this type, it is rarely seen with such a high grade. Its estimate was $150,000 to $200,000.

1898 China Kiangnan Dollar, graded NGC MS 65
1898 China Kiangnan Dollar, graded NGC MS 65

Altogether, the NC Collection realized over $18 million — the largest total ever achieved by a Chinese collection. The astonishing average per coin was $180,000.

"The NC Collection sale set over 60 record prices for Chinese coins," commented Michael Chou, President of Champion Auctions. "NGC’s expert certification and the confidence it provides were integral to this record-setting day."

"With some of the rarest and most desirable vintage Chinese coins known, the sale of the NC Collection was a numismatic event that doesn’t happen often," said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. "NGC is proud to be part of this resounding success."

These coins become the ninth and tenth NGC-certified coins to realize a price of more than $1 million so far in 2021. The complete list includes:

  • a 1787 ‘EB’ on Wing Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 65★ and pedigreed to the Partrick Collection that realized $9.36 million on January 21, 2021

  • a 1907 Extremely High Relief Double Eagle graded NGC PF 68 and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $3.6 million on February 24, 2021

  • a Russia 1825 Rouble graded NGC PF 62 and pedigreed to Joseph, Richter and the Pinnacle Collection that realized $2.64 million on April 6, 2021

  • a Great Britain 1937 Gold Pattern Edward VIII 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $2.28 million on March 26, 2021

  • a 1786 Lima-Style Brasher Doubloon graded NGC MS 61 and pedigreed to the Partrick Collection that realized $2.1 million on January 21, 2021

  • an 1880 Coiled Hair Stella graded NGC PF 67 Cameo and pedigreed to the Paramount Collection that realized $1.86 million on February 24, 2021

  • a 1792 Judd-13 Pattern Quarter graded NGC AU 58 that realized $1.26 million an April 25, 2021

  • a 1776 Silver Continental Dollar graded NGC VF 35 and pedigreed to the Romano and Partrick Collections that realized: $1.14 million on April 25, 2021

  • a China YR 3 (1911) Silver Dollar Long Whiskered Dragon graded NGC MS 64 and pedigreed to the NC Collection that realized $1.34 million on May 30, 2021

  • a China YR 33 (1907) Tael Chihli graded NGC MS 63 and pedigreed to the NC Collection that realized $1.15 million on May 30, 2021

Numerous other NGC-certified coins realized premium prices in the sale, including:

  • a China 1904 Hupeh Tael Pattern Set, with three coins graded NGC MS 64, NGC MS 62 BN and NGC AU 50 BN, that realized $912,000

  • a China 1916 Yuan Shih-kai Dollar graded NGC MS 64 that realized $672,000

  • a China 1897 Kiangnan Dollar graded NGC UNC Details that realized $612,000

  • a China YR 3 (1914) Yuan Shih-kai Dollar graded NGC SP 65 that realized $504,000

  • a China ND (1916) Yuan Shi Kai Silver Dollar with Flying Dragon, Hat Touching Rim, graded NGC MS 64 that realized $504,000

  • a China 1906 Gold Large Clouds, Plain Edge Tael graded NGC MS64 that realized $462,000

To see large, high-resolution images of these and other NGC-certified coins in the sale, explore the NC Collection Gallery.

Prices realized include buyer’s premium. All estimates were provided by the auction house in US dollars.

About Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®)

NGC is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals, with more than 49 million collectibles certified. Founded in 1987, NGC provides an accurate, consistent and impartial assessment of authenticity and grade. Every coin that NGC certifies is backed by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of authenticity and grade, which gives buyers greater confidence. This results in higher prices realized and greater liquidity for NGC-certified coins. To learn more, visit NGCcoin.com.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Let it not be said that coin collecting is a dying hobby. Many of the Chinese coins in this auction realized three to four times their pre-auction estimate; that sure doesn’t sound to me like things are going downhill coin wise. Granted this event does represent a niche example, but the above review of the previous auctions’ sky high record coin prices serves as yet more solid evidence of a very healthy and thriving coin market. Happy collecting!

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Last edited 16 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

Nouveau riche spend nouveau quick.

I’ll trade you three reasonably fertile tulip bulbs for:

Your coin collection, precious metals bullion, real estate holdings (no time shares), rights to your memoirs and that funky pointed hat.

Deal?

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Monsewer (as John Wayne so memorably mispronounced that form of address in “North to Alaska”) Mark, I have not had the occasion to ever have been nor am I currently in anyway close to being riche, nouveau or otherwise; possess no bullion whatsoever in whatever shape or form; surrendered all rights to aforementioned timeshares via an ancient divorce; entertain no conscious, unconscious or subconscious (as far as I know) plans to write my memoirs whether new view or old view; my pointed hat as you so ingloriously describe my stately formal headgear of Prussian yore is off the table; and… Read more »

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Last edited 13 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mark D.

My comment was a ham-handed attempt to compare China’s erupting upper middle class population to Nederlandish Tulip Mania.

While my offer of barter was generous and equitable, your Kaisership is, of course, welcome to decline.

I guess I’ll have to pick up a pointy cap on eBay.

What lovely red and white tulips, good colors for a nation’s flag, with or without a mutant eagle.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

I don’t consider your comment to have been a misfire, so to speak, at all; I think you hit the Mandarin right on the pointy head. In the the heyday of tulip frenzy I would have been more than happy to accept your offer of bulbs, especially since back then I would most likely have been as dim as everybody else. Not a good idea to try to pick up a Prussian Soup Pot on ebay especially if their helmets turn out to be are as fake as their coins. You might as well order your reasonable replica directly from… Read more »

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Last edited 13 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm