The Anhwei mint, formerly located in the city of Anking, was originally founded in the 23rd year of Kuang Hsu (1897). Initially this mint was established for the purpose of producing local silver coinage with the intent of replacing the then popular 8 Reales. Clearly this goal was not achieved, as the 8 Reales remained in circulation well into the 20th century. Anhwei mint silver coinage generally remains scarce to rare, suggesting rather small mintages. This short lived mint produced coinage for approximately two years before coining operations ceased and the mint was dismantled. Perhaps the reason for the short tenure of this mint was the lower purity metallic content of its silver emissions. Coinage from this province was not widely accepted by neighboring provinces as it was found to be lower purity silver than the products of other mints. This is perhaps the reason silver issues from this mint are often found with many chop marks. After the mint was dismantled, a new mint in Anhwei was established in the 28th year of Kuang Hsu (1902), however its activities were limited to the production of copper coinage. Production of all Anhwei silver coinage occurred at the first mint in Anking. This extremely rare silver plated pattern is for the first dollar of the Anhwei mint and can best be described as a specimen or essay. It is clearly of special manufacture intended for presentation purposes. It exhibits a bold full strike with all characters and details sharp and fully stuck up.
The English letters "T. A. S. C." are neatly placed in a clockwise manner in the field, Wenchao suggests its meaning as an abbreviation of "TATSING AN-HWEI SILVER COIN", meaning "Anhwei silver coin of the Great Qing". This is one of the rarest dollars in the provincial dragon series with only a few examples known today and missing from many major collections including Eduard Kann, Irving Goodman and Wa She Wong. Of the highest importance and utmost rarity, this is sure to be the centerpiece of its new owner’s collection.
Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming April Hong Kong Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this March at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Auction Schedule/Details link under Current Auctions at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.566.2580.