|CHINA-KWANGTUNG ND(1889) 50 Cents Silver Pattern, 7.3 Reversed Pattern, Heaton Mint, K17, L&M124A, Y197, NGC SP67. Chinese Family Collection
The Heaton Mint of Birmingham, England set up and equipped the Canton Mint, providing dies engraved by Wyon. The Canton Mint was the largest mint in the world. Its 90 coining presses made it several times larger than the British Royal Mint (which had 16 presses) or the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia (which had 10 presses). Unlike other early mints in China, the Canton Mint was not located in an arsenal, but was an independent facility, designed by British architects, and built from the ground up in the eastern suburbs of the city. The coins of the Canton Mint were so well made and so scrupulously honest in their metallic content that they circulated all over China and were the standard by which other provincial coins were judged. The quality of the coins can be accounted for because the mint received the finest "state-of-the-art" equipment from the Heaton Mints and because Heaton's technicians spent a year at the mint training the Chinese staff in the proper use of the equipment. Samples of the Kwangtung coins had already been struck in England as early as May 1888. On May 30, 1888 the Heaton Mint gave Chinese Ambassador Liu ten Dollar coins, five Half Dollars, five Twenty Cents, five Ten Cents and one hundred struck cash coins. Note that this first set of Kwangtung coins has no rosettes on the obverse (Chinese side). The second and third sets have obverse rosettes on all values except the Twenty Cents. Of all the reversed Kwangtung patterns, the 7 Mace and 2 Candareens is exceedingly rare. A set sold in December, 2010 at Bowers auction for US $718,750.
A PCGS MS62+ sold in HK Apr-14 sale for US $129,800; A PCGS SP64 sold in Champion Nov-14 sale for US $118,000; A Kwangtung 7.3 Mace PCGS SP66 sold in Beijing 2015 Spring sale for RMB 1,897,500 (US $296,484)