Silver Dollars and Taels of China

This is a small sampling of  the silver dollars of China.

     China's "first" silver dollars were the many foreign struck coins which circulated
in trade with the west. Generally, these were accepted strictly on the basis of weight.

      In the course of commerce, they acquired multiple "chop" marks which are
considered stamps of approval by the various merchants.


China Empire    Merchant chop marks:

  1756 Pillar  Dollar     
  This piece features two scarce chops. The first in  circle is  raised chop.  The rectangular chop may be a BANKER'S Chop. The two marks are likely to be related.

  Once a  banker marked a coin,  it was frequently respected by subsequent merchants, thus would tend not to accumulate
additional chops.

Mexico 8 R 1853 ZS OM

  This illustrates a single LARGE chop.

   Japan 1 Yen
 K 212 (1907) UNC
Obv: Tai-ch’ing Yin-pi Rev: Kuang-hsü Nien-tsao

Y14 (1908) Obv: Tai-ch’ing Yin-pi
Rev: Kuang-hsü Nien-tsao

1911 Y31.1 Dollar with dot after $

One Tael Silver Tongue 37.55 g
Cheong Dhun Silversmith ; Pure Silver Bar
Hong Kong l Wynham St. East
ex Goodman #2103 6/3/1991

ex Goodman #1413 6/3/1991

Old Man Dollar Fantasy


Note: "7 Mace and 2 Candareens"
is  a decimal expression of weight denoting 0.72 Tael

CHIHLI  Province
(1898) Year 24 Y 65.2

(1903) Year 29 Y 73 7 Mace and 2 Candareens

(1907) 33th (error)year  Y 73
(1908) 34th year Y 73

Formosa "Old Man Dollar"

Hunan Province
(1922) Yr 11 Y404 - Flags

Hupeh Province
Y 128 Tael

Hupeh Province
Y 128 Tael

Hupeh Province
Y 131 BU 7 Mace and 2 Candareens

Kansu Province
Dollar, Year 3 (1914) Y407

Kiangnan Province
(1898) Y 145.1

Kiangnan Province
(1904) Y 145a.12 7 Mace and 2 Candareens

Kirin Province

Y 183.1 (ND) (No rosettes - very rare) 

Kirin Province
Rev not illustrated in KM (1901) Y 183a

Kwangtung Province
Y 206 7 Mace and 2 Candareens
Kweichow Province    Y 428      ‘Auto’
SINKIANG (Chinese Turkestan)
Sinkiang 1949 Dollar

Kashgar mint  Y 7.3
(1907) 1 Tael  ex Goodman 
Superior Galleries  #1693 6/3/1991 


TIHWA  mint
Sinkiang Tael L&M-839 y45.2 rosette
(1918) 1 Tael  
ex USMC General Miles Stanley Newton/ Ken Bressett
Szechuan - Y 238
7 Mace and 2 candareens

Szechuan -
Y 456 Military Dollar 100 Cash

(1908) Y 258 Dollar

(1908) Y 254 Dollar

ex USMC General Miles Stanley Newton/Ken Bressett


(1912) Y 319 Sun Yat-Sen

(1912) Y 320 Li Yuan-hung

(1912) Y 321 Li Yuan-hung

(1916) KM Y322 Yuan Shi-Kai Flying Dragon

"Fat Man" Dollars Y 329
Yr 3 (1914)

Yr 8 (1919)

Yr 9 (1920)

Yr 10  (1921)
K 676 Pavilion

K678 Tsao Kun

Y 336 Pu Yi
K 683 Tuan Chi-Jui
Y 318 (1927) Memento Sun Yat-Sen

K 609 (1927)   Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum

Y344 - Birds over junk Yr 21

Y345 Yr 22 (1933)

Yr 23 (1934)

WW II  Issues
 - Important issues listed in every major catalog of Chinese coins. 

  "Whether the 3 foregoing coins were sponsored by the Central Government, or by the provincial authorities; or by the commanders in the field,  requires elucidation. Up to now it has not been ascertained where these coins were struck. Perhaps in Kunming, but possibly in Burma."
Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins(1963)E. Kann

   "#210 and #211 issued supposedly to pay troops operating on the  Yunnan-Burma border and circulated in both Yunnan and Burma. Reeded edge."
     Davenport  - Dollars of Africa. Asia and Oceana (1969),

"During the WW II Chinese troops stationed in Burma Border together with a number of British and American soldiers. To cope with these special circumstances, the following Tael was minted" 
H. Chang  The Silver Dollars and Taels of China (1981)

  The specimens in my collection were purchased  in the early 198

1943 Kann 940
Davenport 211
Chang CH 152
Oka: Yunan Burma 2
Obv: Genuine silver 1 Tael
in Burmese and Chinese characters
Rev: "Fu" - large character meaning wealth
Formerly China Yunan Burma Y 496
Formerly Laos KM 2 
Formerly French IndoChina  KM 2
(2006)  French IndoChina  KM A 2

According to Krause (2006),
KM-2 was
"originally struck in Hanoi under official direction of the Colonial Vichy Finance Department  for payments in the flourishing opium trade in Laos  and Tonkien.
The origins of KM-3 remain speculative."

1943 Kann 939
Davenport 210
Chang CH 151
Oka: Yunan Burma 1
Obv: Genuine silver 1 Tael
in Burmese and Chinese characters
Rev: Stag's head
Formerly China Yunan Burma Y 497
Formerly Laos KM  3.1
Formerly French IndoChina  KM 3
(2006)  French IndoChina  KM A 3

1990 - China Freedom Dollar

Links Introduction to some of the basic types.

CHINESE CURRENCY  from "Tales of old China"