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    

Rare China Shansi Fantasy Silver Dollar Coin Yeshi-san Ngc Kann-b62 Au 551914 China Y-322 Pcgs Au58China, Republic Dollar N.d. (1912) Pcgs Ms 61China - Anhwei Dollar (1898) Pcgs Genuine - Au DetailsChinese Silver Saddle Sycee 136.3gms Ingot Bar1910 Pcgs Ms64 China Manchuria 20 Cents Y-2131932 Republic Of China Silver $1 Birds Over Pcgs Ms 62Chinese Silver Boat Sycee 183.3gms 5tael Ingot Bar2000 1 Oz. China Gold Mirrored Panda Ngc Ms691908 China Chihli Silver $1 Y-73.2 Pcgs Ms64Chinese Silver Square Trough Sycee 360gms 10tael Ingot BarChinese Kweichow Province Silver Sycee 34.1gms 1tael Ingot BarChina, Republic Dollar (1921) Pcgs Ms 631913 B Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Au58 Graded Silver World Coin LotChina Unicorn Gold 100 Yuan 1996 Ngc Pf70 Ultra Cameo - 1,250 Minted RareNd(1943-44) French Indo China 1/2 Half Tael Opium Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms62 Km-a1.21911 B Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms64 Graded Silver World Coin LotChina - Kirin Dollar (1905) Pcgs Genuine - Unc DetailsChina 1979 35 Yuan Silver Coin, Proof Unicef Year Of The Child 19.4g Chinese Silver Saddle Sycee 190.4gms Ingot Bar1909 B Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms62 Graded Silver World Coin Lot1992 P China Silver Panda 10yn Ngc Pf 69 Ultra CameoChinese Silver Saddle Sycee 200.4gms Ingot BarNd(1943-44) French Indo China Tael Imperial Coin Ngc Ms63 Bu Lustrous Km-a2a1848 China Medals The Chinese Junk Keying: Brass Coin Ngc Bhm-2324 Unc DetailsChinese Silver Square Trough Sycee 181.8gms 5tael Ingot Bar2000 China Silver Panda 10yn Frosted Ngc Ms 69 1923 Pcgs Ms63 China Fukien 20 Cents Y-381.2Chinese Silver Saddle Sycee 180.3gms Ingot Bar1995 Small Twig-small Date China 1 Oz. Silver Panda * 10 Yuan * Micro DateMbb 1997 China Eagle Ngc-pf69uc1933 China-soviet Szechuan-shensi 200 Cash Ngc Vg-8 *rare~ Second Finest Grade*1930 Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms62 Graded Silver World Coin LotChinese Silver Boat Sycee 37.3gms 1tael Ingot BarVitnam Silver Bar 2pacs 38.3gms 41.5gms 1tael Ingot SyceeChinese Silver Saddle Sycee 172.7gms Ingot Bar1995 Ngc Pf69ucam China 10 Yuan Silver Unicorn Proof1929 B Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms63 Graded Silver World Coin Lot1908 Pcgs Ms64 China Kiangnan Cash Y-7kVery Rare French Indochina 1943 Tael, Larger Version, X#2a, Combined ShippingMbb 1899 China Kiangnan 20c Pcgs-au58China-vitnam Trade Silver Bar 371gms 10tael Ingot SyceeChina-chihli 1898(yr24) 1 Dollar Silver Crown VfChina Hunan 1919 20 Cash Mint Error Double Struck Rotation Ngc Ms-64 RbChina 2000 Year Of The Dragon 1/10oz. Gold Ngc Pf69 Panda Chinese1912-b British Trade Dollar Km#tm5 Ngc Ms-64 Blast White 2nd Finest Known!!1994 P China Silver Panda 10yn Ngc Pf 69 Ultra Cameo2010 China 1 Oz Silver Panda 10y Pcgs Ms70 Fs Sku32501Chinese Silver Saddle Sycee 188.9gms Ingot Bar2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 Ngc Pf69ucam Scallop 10 Yuan Silver Lunar Proofs 4 CoinsChina 1991 Year Of The Goat 150yuan Gold Ngc Pf69 Panda Chinese1980 People's Bank Of China 7 Coin Uncirculated Set Rare1899 B Great Britain China Trade Dollar Pcgs Ms63 Graded Silver World Coin LotChinese Silver Sycee 42.3gms Ingot BarChinese Silver Sycee 42.0gms Ingot BarFrench Cochin China 1879-a 2 Sapeque Ngc Ms-63 Rb Vietnam1922 China Republic Hunan Consititutional Copper 20 Cash Pcgs Au-58 Bn *rare*(5) 2011 China Silver Pandas Pcgs Ms 70 First Strike Winner Takes All!!! 1920 Straits Settlements Silver $1 Ngc Ms64Mbb 1997 China Two Penguins 10 Yuan Ngc-pf69uc