NGC-certified Chinese Pattern Realizes $780K in Stack’s Bowers December Sale

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An extremely rare Chinese pattern certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) has realized $780,000 at a Stack’s Bowers auction. It was the top coin from China’s Republic Era in the December 2021 Hong Kong Collectors Choice Online Auction – Vintage and Modern Chinese Coins, which concluded on December 2, 2021.

China 1912 Silver Founding of the Republic Pattern graded NGC AU 55
China 1912 Silver Founding of the Republic Pattern graded NGC AU 55

The coin, a China 1912 Silver Founding of the Republic Pattern graded NGC AU 55 (lot 42130), is the only known example certified by a major grading service. The $780,000 price realized was more than five times its pre-auction estimate of $75,000 to $125,000.

The coin was struck to commemorate the founding of the Republic, which abruptly ended centuries of imperial rule in 1912. It shows Yuan Shih-kai, who led the Republic from shortly after its founding until his death in 1916. Other coins of the era show Yuan Shih-kai with facial hair, but not to the extent on this example, giving rise to its "Big Beard" nickname.

Very few examples are known and the chance to acquire one has been scarce. This example is pedigreed to Tracey Woodward, a famous collector who traveled to China in the early 20th century.

"When an opportunity arises to purchase a great rarity like this one, collectors want to be sure the coin is genuine and accurately graded," said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Finalizer of World Coins. "The results of this auction demonstrate the value of NGC certification."

Other NGC-certified highlights in the sale included:

  • a China 1921 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 65 (lot 42261) that realized $264,000, far above its pre-auction estimate of $30,000 to $40,000
  • a China Copper 1914 Dollar graded NGC MS 62 BN (lot 42131) that realized $186,000, far above its pre-auction estimate of $60,000 to $80,000
  • a China 1912 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 65 (lot 42098) that realized $120,000, far above its pre-auction estimate of $25,000 to $50,000
  • a China 1914 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 66 (lot 42205) that realized $120,000, far above its pre-auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000
  • a China 1903 5 Fen graded NGC SP 66 (lot 42042) that realized $45,600, far above its pre-auction estimate of $10,000 to $20,000

Prices realized include buyer’s premium. Estimates are provided by the auction house. All dollar amounts are US Dollars.

About Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®)

NGC is the world’s largest and most trusted third-party grading service for coins, tokens and medals, with more than 51 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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