Auction Results

Chinese Kilo coins top $10 million money sale 


2000 yuan seismograph gold coin
Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Two gold coins from the People’s Republic of China have each made $816,000 at auction. Just 10 examples of each coin is known to exist. They starred in a pair of coin and note auctions in Hong Kong that realised over $10 million in total.

The coins went into the sale with $340,000 minimum bids and $700,000 estimates. 

They were 2,000 Yuan pieces, weighing in at a kilo of gold in 80 mm-diameter coins. 

These issues, in tiny mintages of 10, celebrated Chinese innovations in the shape of the first earthquare detectors and compass. 

They sold in Hong Kong during a pair of sales that in total realised $10,629,145 for notes and coins, largely Chinese.

Heriatage Auctions, who hosted the sales, described bidding battles for many of the items up for grabs. 

A PRC gold Proof “Guanyin Bodhisattva” 1500 Yuan from 1993 realised $432,000. It came from a mintage of 30. 

The top end of the coin market is performing well, with records being set in several categories, including British silver coins, recently. 

This beautiful Hupeh dollar showed paper money can sell well in Hong Kong too. Image courtesy Heritage Auctions.

Transparency Market Research recently reported that the “coin collection market, valued at US$ 18.1 billion in 2023, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% to reach US$ 43.9 billion by 2034.” 

In the past decades some big coin buys have been made by banks and investment companies. In 2011 an investment first paid a then record $7.4 million for a Brasher Doubloon, one of the rarest US coins.  

Transparency Market Research pick out the Asia Pacific region as an “emerging and promising” market. Floods of Chinese money moving into collectibles has been the biggest story of the 21st century. Buyers are often repatriating pieces removed from China during imperial occupations. 

Most major numismatic dealers now have a Chinese or Hong Kong branch. 

The most valuable Chinese coin at auction was the 1903 Fengtien Tael that sold for more than $6.9 million at auction in Beijing in August 2022.

Heritage’s sale showed many still exceeding estimates in China. 

A Republic Yuan Shih-kai “Plumed Hat” Dollar ND from 1916 made $180,000. A Republic Sun Yat-sen Specimen Pattern 1/2 Dollar from 1936 hammered at $168,000. 

An early Chinese note from 1899 doubled its estimate to make $50,400. 

Dustin Johnston, Vice President of Numismatics at Heritage Auctions, said: “Because [this note] could be exchanged for a crown-sized silver dollar, the vast majority of them were redeemed long ago, making this an unquestioned prize within its new collection. These notes have long been prized among collectors, and this is the finest problem-free example.”

Coin buyers and sellers will continue to make East Asia a hot market through 2024.

Just Collecting