|CHINA-FENGTIEN 1898 One Dollar Silver, fireball larger and tail-end wider, Y87, L&M471, K244a, NGC MS65. Highest graded by grading service. H.F.Bowker East Asia Collection
Established on July 8 1897, the Fengtien Mechanic Bureau focused on producing silver dollars and half dollars, since there was not enough minting equipment to make fractional dollars. Surprisingly, no dollars bearing the date 1897 exist today. Instead, the 1898 Fengtien series includes a dollar, 50 cents, 20 cents and 10 cents.
"Fengtien Mechanic Bureau" dragon dollars were innovative in that the Chinese legends and dragon appear on the obverse while the denomination, English legends and Manchu legends appeared on reverse. This was unlike the designs on all other provincial coins. The 1899 Fengtien dollar series inherited this innovative design but only in three denominations of one dollar, 50 cents and 5 cents (which was a new denomination).
A few years later, the Russian army invaded northeast China and destroyed the Fengtien Bureau. In 1903, the Fengtien mint was rebuilt and began making dollars with the same design as Kwangtung coinage and Hupeh coinage. The denomination was also changed to 7 Mace and 2 Candareens.
Both 24th and 25th dollar are scarce in uncirculated condition. The coin offered here is the highest graded coin.