Coinage in China goes back some 2,500 years. The earliest Chinese coins were cast in bronze—by the 1st century BCE, these round coins featured square holes in their centers. This style persisted until about the 13th century, when silver and then brass coins were minted and circulated.

Today, the most collectible Chinese coins are contemporary issues, whose values are closely tied to their platinum, gold, or silver content. But for many collectors, Chinese coins from the late 1800s and first half of the 20th century hold great interest. These coins track the tumultuous history of the populous nation—from the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 to the Republic led by Sun Yat-sen that followed it to Mao Zedong’s declaration of a People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Of the late Empire-era coins, look for copper or brass Hu Poo coins with a dragon that’s enclosed within a circle on the obverse. Even more prized are the provincial coins minted during this period, including the Chekiang and Kwangtung silver dollars, as well as 20-cent pieces bearing the words “Tai-Pan Province.” Republic coins minted in the 1910s and ’20s are fairly common, whereas coins minted in Chinese Turkestan, now called Xinjiang, especially 1- and 2-mace (i.e., pre-yuan) coins bearing the title “Sungarei,”are more rare.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Coins and History of Asia

The Coins and History of Asia

T. K. Mallon-McCorgray really loves Near Eastern, Persian, Indian, Central Asian, and Chinese coins, dating from 60… [read review or visit site]

Chinese Numismatics in Research

Chinese Numismatics in Research

Chinese Numismatics in Research offers a comprehensive look at the history of Chinese coins and paper money, from a… [read review or visit site]

Historia

Historia

PeterD’s Historia goes deep on ancient Roman coins (there are about 400 of them), but he also gives Greek coins t… [read review or visit site]

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Dr. Tom Buggey’s Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators! focuses mainly on coins from Greek and Roman antiquity… [read review or visit site]

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Bi-metallic coins have been around since the 17th century, when a copper wedge was added to the English farthing to… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

China 1896 Li Hung Chang/hamburg Bronze Silvered Medal Ngc Ms62 Extra Rare!Rare 1904 China Kwangtung Fantasy Half Tael Silver Coin 18.3g1980 People's Bank Of China Prc Mint Set Of 7 Coins - Black/blue Folder BuChina 1929-b Great Britain Trade Dollar Ngc Ms-63 Malaya1898 China Fengtien Silver 50 Cent Dragon Coin 1898 (24yr) China Chihli Peiyang Silver 50 Cent Dragon Coin Pcgs Y-64.2 XfNd(1908) Chingkiang Empire Silver Dollar Y#14 Handsome Example No ReserveChina Hung Hsien Y#332 (1915) Silver Dollar XfChihli, China 1897 Dragon 10 Cents L&m#447 Nice Uncirculated Rare In Unc!1905 China Kirin Silver 50 Cent Dragon Coin Pcgs Y-182.a Au 58 China Empire 1908 Dragon Dollar L&m-11 Ngc Vf Details1867 China Hong Kong Dollar Queen Victoria Silver Coin Pcgs Xf Details1911 (year 3) Dragon Dollar ~ "empire Of China" Silver DollarChina 1934 (yr-23) Silver Junk Dollar Ngc Ms-64 Coin #41899 (25yr) China Chihli Peiyang Silver Dollar Dragon Coin Pcgs Y-73 Au Detail1862 German Frankfurt Shooting Thaler Ngc Ms-61China 1934 (yr-23) Silver Junk Dollar Ngc Ms-64 Coin #2Scarce China Mint 1987 5 Oz Silver Vault Protector Da Qing Dynasty/coa/box NoresChina Qing Dynasty Silver One Tael Sycee 36.5g2015 5 Oz China Silver Reverse Proof Panda W/ Mint Box Coa .999 Fine 1500 MintedChina 1934 (yr-23) Silver Junk Dollar Ngc Ms-64 Coin #1 China 1934 (yr-23) Silver Junk Dollar Ngc Ms-64 Coin #4Hupeh, China 1909-1911 Silver Dragon Dollar Ngc Ms62 Extra Rare! Looks 64!China 1934 (yr-23) Silver Junk Dollar Ngc Ms-64 Coin #3Coins. China – Ancient. Qing Dynasty : Brass (xian Feng Yuan Bao) 1000-cash1996 Pcgs Pr69dcam China 10 Yuan Silver Panda Proof Y-10961995 Pcgs Pr68dcam China 10 Yuan Silver Panda Proof Y-7871995 China Gold Panda 1/4 Troy Ounce (oz) 25 Yuan Original Sealed 1987 China Silver Panda 10 Yuan Ngc Pf 69 Ultra Cameo!1980 Ngc Pf69ucam China Silver 20 Yuan Olympics Wrestlers Proof1997 Ngc Ms 70 Chinese 10 Yuan 1/10th Oz Auspicious Matters Gold Coin .999 China2003 China Silver Panda 10 Yuan (frosted Bamboo) Ngc Ms 69!1998 China Silver Panda 10 Yuan (small Date) Ngc Ms-69!2008 China Beijing Olympics 10 Yuan Silver 4 Coin Proof Set Ngc Certified Pf701898 China Kirin Silver 50 Cent Dragon Coin Pcgs Y-182 Xf 40China Sinkiang 1910 5 Miscals L&m 820 Y-6 Ngc Vf-251986 China 25 Yuan 1/4 Oz Gold Panda - Mint Sealed - No Reserve!Chihli Province Silver Dollar 1908 Y-73.2 Ngc Xf Details Lotfeb48912008 China Silver Panda 10 Yuan Ngc Ms 70!!China Kiangnan 1901 Dragon Dollar L&m-244 Y-145a.6 Ngc Fine DetailsVietnam - Annam - Gia Long - 5 Tien Silver Sycee Bar (1802-1820).1979 China Year Of The Child Gold Proof1866 China Hong Kong 50 Cent Queen Victoria Silver Coin Ngc Vg 102002 50 Yuan 1/10 Oz Chinese Panda Coin Rare Key Date .999 Fine GoldChina Kiangnan 1904 Dragon Dollar Hah Ch L&m-257 Ngc Vf Details1915 China Hunan Copper 10 Cent Coin 1911 China Brass 10 Cash Au Y-27a Rare Later Strike In BrassGroup Of 6 Vietnam Souvenir Coin Medal Charm½ Oz Chinese Panda Gold1995 Ngc Pf69ucam China Silver 10 Yuan Unicorn ProofChina Kiangnan Dollar, 1901, "dragon Dollar"2014 Chinese Panda Gold 1/10 Oz. Ngc Er Ms70 Perfect Coin China 100 Yn, Nr!China Kiangnan 1898 1 Dollar Silver Coin 2008 China S10y Silver Panda - Ngc Ms69 - Stunning Coin!China. 2014 1 Oz. Silver Panda. Official Mint Medal. Gem Proof. Ngc.1912 (year-1) China Republic Szechuan 50 Cash *brass* Ngc Ms-62 Unc Scarce2014 Chinese Panda Gold 1/4 Oz. Ngc Er Ms70 Perfect Coin China 100 Yn, Nr!2015 China Silver Panda Reverse Proof Ngc Pf70 Early Releases Fun Show 6k MintedChina Sinkiang Silver Dollar 1949 Ad Catalog No.y-46.2 Extremely Fine Xf1992p China Proof Silver Panda Coin Ngc Pf 68 10yn