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High grade early issues in demand
By Kerry Rodgers
August 18, 2017

Heritage Auction’s paper money boys and girls have every reason to look content. When the dust settled at their June 21-23 HKINF World Currency Signature Auction the 755 lots sold had realized a total of $1,134,148. Of these 18 had fetched over $10,000.

High-grade early issues of The Peoples’ Republic of China continue to be in demand and it was a large format 10 yuan of 1953, P-870, that topped the sale. It came graded a superb PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 and had little problem in being bid up to $47,800.

The sale was by no means an all-China affair. Second, third and fourth top prices went to issues of other Asian countries.

A 1955-56 National Bank of Viet Nam “Old Man & Temple” 1,000 dong specimen, P-4As, took $35,850. It came graded PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 and its price compares with an April 2015 sale of a second example graded PCGS 64 that realized $32,900.

Just a few thousand dollars back was an undated British India 1,000 rupees, c.1928, P-12c. The grade of PMG EF 45 is highest of any P-12 to come to auction the cataloger could find within the last six years. In the circumstances its price of $31,070 was not unexpected.

Imperial Japan was not to be overlooked. It supplied arguably the rarest issued note of the entire sale: a 1918 Siberian military occupation 10 yen, P-M18a. Japanese records show that of the 450,000 of this denomination issued just 296 were unaccounted for as of 1926. Heritage’s cataloger was unable to find another example having ever appeared at auction.

That on offer was very definitely ex-circulation, described as “PMG Very Fine 20 Net with a foreign substance and edge damage.” Nonetheless it romped away to $28,680.

But China could not be overlooked for long. Other top Chinese paper included:

• Ch’ing Board of Revenue 50 taels, Year 5 (1855) P-A13c, PCGS Very Fine 30: $28,680;

• Peiyang Tientsin Bank one tael remainder, c. 1910, P-S2521r, PMG Uncirculated 62 EPQ: $23,900;

• Peoples Republic 10,000 yuan, face and back specimens, 1951, P-858As: $21,510;

• Ming Dynasty one kuan, (1368-99), P-AA10, PCGS Choice About New 55PPQ: $17,925;

• Deutsch-Asiatische Bank Shanghai $200, 1.7.1914, P-S288r, PMG Choice Uncirculated 63: $17,925;

•  A remarkable,  complete, high-grade, 1938 set of Hua-Hsing Commercial Bank sold for $21,510: 10 cents, 20 cents, one, five, 10 yuan; P-J93a, -J94a, -J96a, -J98a, -J100a. They graded Choice Extremely Fine 45 to Choice Uncirculated 64.

Full lots descriptions and prices realized can be sourced at the Heritage Auctions website:

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