|CHINA-REPUBLIC ND(1914-17) 10 Cash Copper Pattern, with L.GIORGI, KM PnA13, W1065, CCC686, NGC PF63BN. Ex Ecklund Collection. H.F.Bowker East Asia Collection
The most famous engraver of Chinese coinage dies was an Italian named Luigi Giorgi. Giorgi was an excellent artist and produced some beautiful coins, but his fame is due to the fact that he was the only engraver ever to place his name on a Chinese coin in a western language. Many Chinese and western engravers produced dies for Chinese coins, but most of them are unknown to us. Only one Chinese die engraver, Huang Wei-ts'un (Huang Weicun), is known to have placed his name or initials on a Chinese coin. Almost everything we know about Giorgi comes from two sources: Coins of the Republic of China by Giuseppe Ros, published in the Royal Asiatic Society (Shanghai branch) Journal for 1917; and the Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins by Eduard Kann, published in Hong Kong in 1954. From these sources, we know that Giorgi was the Chief Engraver at the Tientsin Central Mint from 1910 to about 1920. Our other source of information on Giorgi's career are the coins which bear his signature, all of them rare patterns, not intended for circulation (except for the 1912 Governor Chang medal). Giorgi must have been born around 1880, and was still living in retirement in Italy in 1953, according to Kann, who was probably corresponding with him.
Chinese Coins With the Signature of Luigi Giorgi
10 Cash Undated Founding of Republic Commemorative with crossed flags. KM Y309 type. Reverse lower right inscribed: L. GIORGI. (Woodward 1065; dies AM/36; CCC 686; Duan 1948)