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]

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]

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]

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]

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]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

2012 1 Oz Silver Panda Merchants Bank 25th Annvi China Ngc Ms69 Proof Like RareChina Lunar Series Silver Proof 30 Yuan 1981 Rooster Ngc Pf-69 Ucam1982 Ngc Pf69ucam China Silver 20 Yuan Dog Lunar Series Proof1984 Silver Panda Pcgs Pr69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan Dcam 1 Oz1987 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / OzHong Kong Silver 20 Cents 1902 (scarce As Is!) Unc!1996 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / OzChina Province Yunnan 1865-1908 Sycee 5 Tael Silver Coin Xf Rare1985 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1993 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1992 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1905 China Kirin Silver Dollar Dragon Coin Ngc Y-183a.3 Vg Details1990 Ngc Pf68 China Silver 10 Yuan Dragon & Phoenix Proof [#2/2]China 1 Yuan 1934 Silver Junk Dollar Y#345 Ngc Ms63 / Blazing1905 China Kiangnan Silver 10 Cent Dragon Coin Ngc Y-142a.15 Au 50Yunnan China Half Tale 1943-4 Anacs Ms621994 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1995 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / OzChina Kiangnan 1898 10 Cents Y#142a, Nice Detail, Combined Shipping, C121985 China S10y Panda Ngc Pf 69 Ultra Cameo China 1991 10th Anniversary Panda 4 Piece Collection, Silver & Gold W/box & CoaVery Rare! Pcgs Ms70 China 2001 1oz Silver Panda Coin D Mark (small D Variety)China Gold 1 Ounce Panda 1997 Large Date Ngc Ms-691929b China Great Britain Trade Dollar Ngc Ms63 Luster!(1909-1911) China Hupeh Dragon Silver Dollar S$1 Chopmarked2000 China Panda Silver 1oz Bu Coin -- Dbl.sealed - GorgeousChina Chihli Province Dollar Year 34 (1908) Y#73.2, *high Grade!*, C1523 China Sycee Silver Boat Ingots (246 Grams) No Reserve 1991-p China Gold Panda Proof Coin (1 Oz) 100 Yuan - Pcgs Pr68 Dcam1990 Ngc Pf68 China Silver 10 Yuan Dragon & Phoenix Proof [#1/2]1991 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1899 Straits Settlements 50 Cent Silver Victoria Coin Ngc Vf 251933 (22 Yr) China Sun Yat Sen 'junk Dollar' Silver Coin Ngc Y-345 Au DetailsChina 2013 10 Yuan Chinese Panda Premium Silver Proof Coin Set 3 Oz Coin + BarMbb 1994 Magpies, 10 Yuan China Ngc-pf69ucChina Kiangnan 1899 10 Cents Y#142a.2, Scary Dragon, Combined Shipping, C1241914 China Republic Silver 10 Cent Coin Yuan Shih Kai Ngc Y-326 Au 581908 China 10 Cash Overstruck On Korea 5 FunChina 1994 1oz Gold 100y Unicorn - Ngc Pf69 Ultra Cameo Rare 1966 China Taiwan Silver 2000 Dollar Coin Chiang Kai Shek Ngc Ms 631991 China Bi-metallic Panda H.k. Expo Coin 2pc Coins Set With Coa & Box China Taiwan Fantasy Tael Dragon And Horse Silver Coin (kann B37) Ngc Unc Pcgs 1989 China Panda 10China 35 Yuan Proof Silver Coin 1979 Year Of The Child + Certificate And CapsuleRare! 1994 Chinese 1oz Unicorn .999 Gold Proof Coin-limited Edition 151 Of 1,000Mbb 1997 Penguins, 10 Yuan China Ngc-pf69uc3 China Sycee Silver Boat Ingots (292 Grams) No Reserve 1983 China Lunar Animal 8g Gold Pig Coin With Coa And BoxMexico Silver 8 Reales 1806 (chopmarked) Nice Toning!China 2012 Qiu Niu 60 Mm Silver Nine Sons Of The Dragon Ngc Ms69 Mintage Only 99All 1/4 Oz Silver Pandas Proofs Coa & Box / Ngc Pcgs Pr69 Pf70 Worthy/ 1982-071989 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / OzMbb 1995 Eagle, 10 Yuan China Ngc-pf69ucChina 2012 Bi Xi 60 Mm Silver Nine Sons Of The Dragon Ngc Ms69 Mintage Only 991990 Silver Panda Ngc Pf69 W/ Coa & Box China / Chinese 10 Yuan 1 Ounce / Oz1932 China 3 Birds Over Junk Dollar Ngc Au Details3 China Sycee Silver Boat Ingots (228 Grams) No Reserve 2012 1oz Silver Panda Bank Of China 10 Yn Ngc Ms70 100th Anniversary Very Scarce1998 China Gold Panda (1/2 Oz) 50 Yuan - Pcgs Ms65 Panda Au Small Date 1909 Kiau-chau Chinese German Enclave 10 Cents