USD 300000 - 400000
CHINA. Gold Kuping Tael Pattern, CD (1907). Tientsin Mint. PCGS SPECIMEN-61.L&M-1024; Fr-2; K-1541; KM-Pn302; Wenchao-pg. 49, #11 (rarity: four stars); Chang Foundation-pg. 26, #7; WS-0009. Among the pantheon of imperial Chinese numismatics, this shimmering, <strong>EXCEEDINGLY RARE</strong> pattern issue offers an enchanting level of eye appeal and crispness to the overall design. The characters side is finely executed, while the dragon presents intricate detail; the accompanying brilliance in the fields allows the dragon to come to life, seemingly leaping from the planchet. Undoubtedly destined for a cabinet among the most advanced and worthy of tremendous competition and intense adoration.
Arguably near or at the pinnacle of Qing dynasty numismatics, one cannot overstate the significance of Kuping Taels due to their status as the first modern Chinese coins ever struck in gold. Two variations exist, those dated 1906 and those dated 1907. Both were produced in extremely limited quantities, though 1907 pieces are definitively scarcer, with Stacks Bowers & Ponterio having offered just four in the last fifteen years. These types were struck on an experimental basis as patterns only and never released into circulation. The plans to issue gold coinage in units of one Tael for circulation, unfortunately, never materialized, with this largely being due to Chinas lack of gold reserve combined along with then-contemporary currency being based upon the silver standard. Hence, a limited number of such 98% pure gold Taels were struck as patterns for the Ministry of Revenue.</em>