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Phoenix and Dragon Subsidiary Coins
For Pu-Yi's Wedding or not ?


These two subsidiary coins were minted in Tientsin Mint by the order of 褚玉樸 Chu Yu-Po, Governor-General of Chihli in 1926. The reverse side bearing the nice struck of dragon and phoenix design which is the Chinese tranditional auspicious sign of luck and prosperity. The design originally came from a new silver coin which was alleged making to commemorate the wedding of the last emperor of Qing Dynasty, Pu-Yi in 1923, but the coin had never put into circulation. If you know anything about these two coins or you want to share your knowledge and enthusiasm in the topic, feel free to contact me, thanks in advance. YKL

I have just received an e-mail of more update informations about these two dragon and phoenix coins from Mr. H. Sun. I am very impressed to know that Mr. H. Sun prepare these informations during his trip to Taiwan. Thanks indeed to Mr. H. Sun for his generosity and enthusiasm in this circle !!!

The Dragon and Phoenix Dollar

The so-called "The Last Emperor Pu-Yi Wedding Commemorative Coin"

In 1923, a new silver dollar was minted at Tientsin Mint, but soon rejected and never put into circulation. In most of the non-Chinese numismatic references, including Kann's and K&M World Coins, this coin was described as "Pu-Yi Wedding Commemorative Coin, struck to commemorate the wedding of the last Emperor". Said to have been struck by the monarchists as a show of support for the last Emperor of the Ching Dynasty. So this coin could not be put into circulation as the Republic had overthrown the Ching Dynasty.
It's true that the wedding did take place in December 1922. However, the coin wasn't made for his wedding. And he was driven out from the Forbidden City in November 1924.

During the period from 1914 to early 1920s, the standard general issue (national coin) of China was the Yuan Shih-Kai Dollar. Yuan was the President of the Republic from 1912 to 1916. But since Yuan attempted to re-establish a monarchy, and made himself emperor in December 1915, the public turned against him. Even before the coronation could take place, rebellions were initiated in Yunnan Province. Yuan was forced to cancel his action in March 1916. He later died on June 6 in the same year. He was crowned as emperor for only 83 days.

After his death, the public demanded to withdraw the YSK dollar. In order to replace Yuan's portrait on the coins, the Central Government selected a new design -- the Dragon and Phoenix -- the (unpublicized) national emblem of the Republic adopted in 1912. The Dragon-Phoenix together with the Wreath of Grain was official national emblems of the Republic at the time until 1928, which was later replaced by Kuomin-tang's Sun emblem after KMT had taken control of China.

When the new-type silver coin was made, it was pointed out by someone that the design still carried the symbol of imperialism. As a result, this coin was never put into circulation.

Thus, if the dragon-phoenix dollar was struck to commemorate Pu-Yi's wedding, it would not appeared on the coins of 1926’s 10-, 20-cent, and Shangtung Province's 10-, 20-dollar gold coins and again in 1927 on Chang Tso-Lin dollar -- one of the rarest portrait coins of China. This design continuously appeared on all those mentioned coins were because it was the national emblem at the time. All the confusions were perhaps caused by wrong timing for the wrong person and the wrong place.

Explanation of Dragon-Phoenix Design
The detail of this design was based on Twelve-Symbol (十二章), it was recorded in Song Su (尚書) of Spring-Autumn Period (770~476 BC), the twelve symbols are sun, moon, stars, mountain, dragon, phoenix, grail, seaweed, fire, rice, axe and fu.

Sun ()----------- at the top over and between dragon and phoenix
Moon ()--------- at dragon's horn
Stars (星辰)------- three stars above phoenix's crest
Mountain ()---- at the bottom of the axe
Dragon ()------- on the left-hand side
Phoenix (華蟲)*- on the right-hand side
Grail (宗彝)------- in the claws of both dragon and phoenix
Seaweed ()----- in phoenix's beak
Fire ()----------- around dragon's body
Rice (粉米)------- small circles on axe
Axe ()----------- in the center between dragon and phoenix
Fu ()------------- under axe

*In Chinese literature, the original meaning of the symbol is pheasant ().

In the center of the axe, a shield-like design, is a simplified symbol of another national emblem -- the Wreath of Grain.

The Twelve-Symbol also can be found on emperor's "dragon robe". As for other royalties and noblemen's court dress, they were designed for only up to Nine-Symbol.

* * * * * *

The Wreath Grain design was first seen on 1912 "Memento Dollar"(開國紀念幣). It was by the order of the President Sun Yat-Sen to signify good harvest. It can be found on most Republic coins until 1933, when "Junk Dollar" was made. After Chinese Communist have taken control of mainland China, a different wreath grain design was put into the new Peoples Republic's national emblem, of which Tienanmen surrounded by wreath of grain. Said under request by Madam Soong Ching-Ling, Dr. Sun's widow. It appeared on most PRC's currencies. (Not on the first series of Renminbi, 1948~1953 issues)






Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E


ObverseReverseDescription
No. 312
Diam.
18mm
Wt. 2.7g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution and Peculiarity
This is a 10 cents silver coin. On the obverse shows the face value enclosed in an open wreath of grain, encircled with the issuing year in Chinese characters (The fifteenth year of the Republic of China (1926)) above, six Chinese characters (Every ten equivalent to one dollar) below. On the reverse bears the dragon and phoenix design.

ObverseReverseDescription
No. 313
Diam.
22mm
Wt. 5.2g.
Rareness D
Mint Evolution & Peculiarity
The design of this silver coin is similar to the previous coin except the face value is 20 cents.










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Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.









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