Szechuen Silver Dollar
by The Military Government
I post below is an email received from Mr. T.L.Tiffin. of Washington, U.S.A. on 2000 Feb 13. The email is self-explanatory
Mr. Leung, in 1985 I purchased a Chinese silver dollar (with a rim clip at 11:30) at a Taipei flea market. It is about 39 mm in diameter and weighs less than 26.77 grams. Recently, with the help of a Malaysian friend, I was able to translate the characters on this coin. The Obverse: At the top are six characters. The leftmost one represents "year," the next is "yuan," and the last four represent "the Republic of China." Below these characters are 18 small circles arranged in a circular pattern. Inside this circular pattern is another circle containing two elongated characters which represent "Han." The Reverse: At the top, there are four characters which represent "made by the government army." At the bottom, there are two which represent "one dollar." Toward the middle, there are four (one at each of the compass directions) inside a circle.
The north-south ones represent "Sichuan", while the east-west ones represent "silver coin." There is also a flower-like symbol in the very center. Sir, is there any historical information about this coin that you can provide? For example, was it produced in 1912? In addition, the amount of wear is comparable to a U.S. silver dollar in Fine/Very Fine condition. Given this, and the fact that has a mint error, is it possible to ascertain its value? Thank you very much!
Yes, Mr. T.L.Tiffin's silver coin was minted by the Szechuen Military Government in 1912. Thanks for Mr. T.L.Tiffin's email to me and view the images of the coins below please.
Marks of Rareness of the Collected Currencies
Extremely Rare A ~ Very Rare B ~ Rare C ~ Not So Many D ~ Common E
|Diam. 32 mm|
|Wt. 12.6 g.|
|Mint Evolution and Peculiarity|
|The Obverse bears six Chinese characters on the top, means this coin was minted in Szechuan Province in 1912 or the first year of the Republic of China, and a Chinese ideogram "Han" in center meaning that the Chinese have taken the place of the Manchu Government, within a linear circle. Outside are 18 circles representing 18 Provinces of China. The reverse bears a flowery ornament in center, surrounded by four Chinese characters meaning "The Silver Coin of Szechuen" within the beaded circle and two asterisks on the both side. The four Chinese characters on the top means "Made by the Military Government" and the value of this coin is "Five Chiao" in Chinese below the circle.
|Wt. 26.7 g.|
|Mint Evolution and Peculiarity|
|The inscriptions of this silver coin are almost the same as the above one except the coin value is one yuan. Coins of this type has the value of one yuan, five chiao, two chiao and one chiao. They are all minted as the Szechuan Tahan Military Government was founded after the success of the 1911 Revolution. The one yuan and five chiao coins have several editions if classified according to the shapes of the Chinese characters on the both sides. I am afraid that coin of this type even has mint error which would not affect the value much. Five-chiao coin is worth about US$20/US$35 in Fine/Very Fine condition and One-yuan coin is worth about US$15/US$25 in Fine/Very Fine condition. Five-chiao coin is rarer than the One-yuan coin.
- Dong Wenchao : 中國歷代金銀幣貨通覽 (An Overview of China's Gold and Silver Coins of Past Ages - The gold and silver coins and medals of modern China. p.850 ISBN 962-531-001-0)
- A History of Chinese Currency (16th Century BC - 20th Century AD), 1983 Jointly Published by Xinhua (New China) Publishing House N.C.N. Limited M.A.O. Management Group Ltd. ISBN 962 7094 01 3
- Pang Hsin Wei : The Currency History of China, 1988. ISBN7-208-00196-0/K.47
Any additional comment would be much appreciated, you can send it to Y K Leung.