Outstanding Pattern Junk Half Dollar

week’s highlight from our August 13-15 Hong Kong Auction (to be held at the
Mira Hotel in Hong Kong) is an extremely rare pattern half dollar struck in
silver and dated year 25 (1936) of the republic. It was produced at the San
Francisco Mint and struck on a small module about the size of United States
quarter dollar. With the exception of the modified legends and size it bears
the same effigy of Dr. Sun Yat-sen left on the obverse as seen on the 1932-34
issues, and a “Junk” on the reverse flanked by denomination Zhong Yuan (half dollar). 

to Dong Wenchao, in 1935 the Kuomintang government decided not to produce
silver coinage. But the United States government pressured China to expand the
use of silver to increase its silver proportion of the currency reserves and to
mint new coins in the United States. The following year (1936) the Kuomintang
government agreed to mint silver coins to the amount of five million Yuan at
the San Francisco Mint in the denomination of one Yuan and Zhong Yuan (half dollar).
The manufacture of these at the United States mint was more of a symbolic
gesture than one of practicality, as once the coins were shipped to China they
were never released into general circulation.

is interesting to note that when looking through the Annual Report to the
Director of the Mint for fiscal years (June of previous year to June of current
year) 1936 and 1937 there is no mention of the production of these pieces, but there
is mention of bullion bars. For the calendar year it lists 1935 6,590 silver
bars “A” with a fineness of 0.999 and “B” with a fineness of 0.880 with each
containing 1,000 standard silver Yuan (Dollars). For calendar year it shows 1936
3,563 silver bars “B” with a fineness of 0.880 with each containing 1,000
silver Yuan (Dollars). This comes to an astonishing 10,153,000 Yuan worth of
bullion shipped to China from the United States mint.

is surely an area of Chinese numismatics that deserves further research to
fully understand what transpired between the two governments.

are no longer accepting consignments for our August Hong Kong auction. We are
however taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world paper money
for our October Collectors Choice Online (CCO), our January 2018 New York
International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) and our April 2018 Hong Kong
Showcase Auctions. 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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