Two Rare Provisional Government of China Pattern Coins

The Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction features many spectacular coins from all over Asia. Chinese coins are the backbone of our Hong Kong auctions, and we typically represent all facets of Chinese numismatic history, from ancient bronze spade coinage to modern gold panda coins. For this week’s preview we present two coins from a short period of Chinese history during the Second Sino-Japanese War, which began in 1937 and then merged into the greater conflict of the Pacific Theater of World War II. These two coins represent the so-called “Provisional Government of China,” established in late 1937 by the Japanese North China Expeditionary Army in Peking (Beijing). A year later, the Federal Reserve Bank of China was opened by Japanese military authorities. These two coins are rare patterns struck in silver for the first two denominations (Fen and 5 Fen); the regular issue coins were struck in aluminum.

The obverse for each of these coins displays an identical design, the center of which is the symbol for the Federal Reserve Bank of China. The upper Chinese legend states: “The Federal Reserve Bank of China.” The upper legend is separated from the lower legend with two four point stars on either end. The lower legend reads: “Republic of China, Year 30” with Year 30 of the republic indicating 1941. The reverses of these coins feature the same design as well, the iconic façade of the Temple of Heaven, specifically the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. On either side of the temple appears the denomination, either “One Fen” or “Five Fen”.

These two off metal patterns in silver are each considered very rare and appear to be the only pattern coins of this type graded by NGC or PCGS. The Fen pattern piece received a grade of Specimen-61 from NGC. The 5 Fen Pattern (also graded by NGC) received a grade of Specimen-58. Keep an eye on these rare patterns when they come to auction this August, as they are sure to draw spirited bidding.

Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction and Sale. Preview these impressive coins along with the rest of our auction this July and August at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. Our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is still open for further consignments of Asian coins, and our 2014 August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction and sale is still taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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