|CHINA-REPUBLIC 1912 Yuan Shi Kai Large Beard One Dollar Silver Pattern, L&M47, K672 Reeded Edge, NGC AU58
Rarest Republic Portrait Dollar Pattern. Finest Known.ex- 1947 H.Chang- Dennis W. Sibert Collection
Yuan Shi Kai Large Beard Dollar is one of the rarest and most important Dollar Pattern of the Chinese Republic. This Pattern issued in the early period of the Republic in 1912 was formerly identified as Chen Te Chuan Dollar, a warlord of Soochow area.
This example for Champion Macau auction on Dec. 6 2015 is from H.Chang - Dennis W. Sibert (Metone, Alabama) specimen from 1947.
NGC AU58, the only one certified by NGC or PCGS. The finest known of known examples.
Sibert and H. Chang were working on a catalog of Chinese dollars which was to be published in 1947, but Sibert was injured in a plane crash and had to sell his collection. The book was never published, but I have the manuscript and photos for the book.
The Yuan Shih-kai Big Beard Dollar
By Bruce W. Smith
Kann lists four varieties of the Yuan Shih-kai Soochow Dollar, all of which were in his collection:
K672 silver with reeded edge, showing veins in the leaves of the plant.
K672a silver with plain edge, without veins in the leaves.
K672b silver (plain edge) with no reverse.
K672x brass (plain edge) reverse type without veins in leaves.
The Kann examples of this coin (K. 672a, 672b and 672x) have strange stretched out denticles at the edge (border) of the coin. Most of the coins which have turned up have normal denticles or else they have dots at the edge. My theory is that Kann's coins were made at the Soochow Mint on new machinery which had been purchased to make dollars. I think Soochow did not have the proper collars or used no collar when they struck a few trial pieces, which resulted in the stretched denticles. In the end, the mint did not produce dollars and the dies were sent to the Nanking Mint. I think a few pieces were struck there with the original dies, but with a proper collar and by experienced workers.
A preliminary comparison of photos in major auctions and coin catalogs shows five to ten different examples of K672; only one example of K672a; five or six examples of K672b; two examples of K672x; and a single example of a previously unknown variety in gilt copper. In addition there have been several fakes in auctions over the years. The fakes are easy to recognize and it seems strange that Kann did not list one in his section on fakes. The most obvious difference is where the wreath is tied at the bottom of the reverse. The genuine coins have two oblong rings where the wreath is tied. These are supposed to be loops of the ribbon but look more like metal clips. The fakes lack these rings. There are several other differences, especially in the Chinese characters on the reverse.
Known Examples of Genuine Big Beard Dollars
A. Kalgan Shih catalog (1949): E3-1 ---- should be in the Shanghai Museum today.
B. Schulman (Kann Duplicates) June 1953: 220
C. Quality Sales Corp. & Schulman Kann Collection Part 1 June 1971: 854
D. Quality Sales Corp. Kann Collection Part 3 March 1972: 2075
Note: In late 1950 Kann bought one of these coins from the Woodward Collection through Hans Schulman. It was a duplicate for Kann, so it was probably one of the two examples in the Kann sales and not the coin sold by Schulman in 1953.
E. Jess Peters COIN sale June 1973: 1490
F. Sotheby’s May 1982: 283
G. Money Company Hong Kong September 1985: 724
H. Spink Taisei #2 February 1987: 135
I. Dong Wenchao catalog (1993): 853
J. Shanghai Museum catalog (1995): 735 --- donated by Wang Kangyuan
Note: Due to the low quality of the photos of many of these coins and the lack of distinguishing features, some examples of K672 listed here may be the same coin.
A. Quality Sales & Schulman Kann I June 1971: 855 ----> Peters Fixed List January 1972: 523 ----> Peters June 1973: 1491
Note: Only one example of this variety has been seen in auctions, but it is possible some examples of this variety have been sold as K672 in error. The Kann coin has a rim ding at 4:00 on the obverse.
K672b Silver No Reverse
A. Schulman (Kann Duplicates) June 1953: 221
B. Quality Sales & Schulman Kann I June 1971: 856 ---- > Peters Fixed List January 1972: 524
Note: This coin has a large rectangular outline on the reverse, apparently traces of a sticker once attached to the coin.
C. Peters COIN sale June 1973: 1492
D. Pacific Coast September 1989: 654 ---- > Dong Wenchao catalog (1993): 1179
Note: This example has on the reverse the Chinese character “hao” (number) and “44”.
E. Superior Galleries Goodman Collection Part I June 1991: 1033 -----> Superior Goodman II May 1995: 1431
F. Taisei February 1998: 332 ----- >Cheng Xuan November 2007: 2069
Note: The coin sold by Schulman in 1953 may be the same as one of the others.
A. Kann Collection ----> Kann I June 1971: 858 ----- > Peters COIN sale June 1973: 1493 -----> Goodman I June 1991: 1034 ----> Goodman II May 1995: 1432
B. Kann Collection ----> Kann I June 1971: 857 ---- > Peters Fixed List January 1972: 525 ----> Money Company HK September 1986: 949 -----> Nelson Chang Collection
Note: Only two examples of this coin have been recorded, both originally from the Kann collection. As of 2014, the second example was still in the Nelson Chang collection.
K --- (672z) Gilt Copper
A. China Guardian (Ma Dingxiang Collection Part 1) Spring 2008: 3749
Note: The gold plated copper version of this coin is not listed in the Kann catalog and was unknown until 2008. Only one example of this version of the coin is known to exist.
Sales Containing Fake Examples
1. James P. Randall pricelist (circa 1957): 662 (probably from the Don Keefer collection)
2. Schulman June 1973: 1403
3. Lepczyk #40 June 1981: 782
4. Christensen December 1981: 174
5. Goodman I June 1991: 1031
6. Goodman I June 1991: 1032 -----> Goodman II May 1995: 1430
7. Spink Taisei Hong Kong sale September 1993: 869