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Lot #:203 Title:CHINA-KWEICHOW Auto Dollar, 3 blades, PCGS MS61
Estimate(US $):30000-60000 Realized (US $):115000 add to my favorite
CHINA-KWEICHOW 1928 Auto Dollar Silver, with 3 blades of grass, L&M610, PCGS MS61. Highest graded coin by PCGS

Though made in a remote province, this coin was eagerly sought by collectors shortly after it was issued. As a result, a large percentage of those struck survive today in collectors hands. Nearly all, however, circulated for a time and today less than half a dozen uncirculated examples are known to exist.

The coin was struck in 1928 for Governor Chou His-cheng who had just completed a motor road through his province. As I pointed out in my 1977 World Coin News article on this coin, the road was actually built as part of a famine relief operation, and was financed in part by the International Famine Relief Commission. An American engineer, O.J.Todd, who was in charge of the project, wrote a book about his work in China which included photographs of Governor Chou and his car. The car, an American model, was purchased in Canton, taken apart and carried by foot to Kweichow, where it was reassembled. It was the only car in the province. The road went north and west from Kweiyang, but did not connect with any other road. It has long been believed that the Auto Dollar was struck in Szechuan province because Kweichow did not have a mint in those days. In my article I speculated that the coin might have been struck in Kweichow on machinery looted from the Chungking Mint by Chou's soldiers. Recently an article published in China claimed that this is in fact what happened. There exists a scarce example with a dot on the door which seemed to struck from recut dies, which is very rare in high grade.

A PCGS AU58 (door with dot variety) sold for USD 74,750 in HA April 2011 sale. A PCGS VF35 sold for 28,320 in Champion 2012 April sale. A PCGS AU55 sold for US $74,688 in August 2012 Hong Kong auction. A NGC MS63 (2 blades) sold for 135,700 in Champion 2016 August sale.

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