I have been to Chengdu in December and made a detour by the local coins market during my stay there. The 1908 Chihli dollar is a very common coin, but one specimen I saw there caught my attention, for it had a very uncommon feature: a huge dot just above the back of the dragon.

Since the coin did not look like a forgery, I bought it for the regular market price of the time, about¥2000 CNY. As soon as I went back to the hotel, I started looking for information about this peculiar variety online. Despite scouring many online boards and obscure blogs, I could not find any information about it. I was only able to find a single picture of a coin just like the one I had just purchased, but it was not taken to illustrate the variety: simply for sale.

Peiyang 34th year dollar - with dot

Peiyang 34th year dollar - with dots

I highlighted the differences in red on this picture. One could be tempted to argue that the big dot is the result of some problem with the die or minting process, but looking at the details of the back of the dragon, there is a second, more subtle difference. There is another dot between two spines of its dorsal crest. Here is a regular 1908 Peiyang dollar, for comparison (click on the picture to enlarge it):

Peiyang 34th year dollar

Peiyang 34th year dollar

When I went back to Beijing, I showed my coin to several of my coin dealer friends. All of them confirmed it was indeed genuine, but only one of them had encountered this variety before. He had seen two such coins in his career, but did not knew anything about the history behind this strange variation.

My theory is that since at least four coins exist with the exact same differences, including the smaller dot between the spines, proves it is not the result of a freak minting incident but a bona fide variety. I sent my own coin to NGC this month, and I hope getting my specimen slabbed will be a first step toward recognition of this very scarce variety!

20 Responses to “Chihli 1908 dollar with dots: a new variety?”

  1. ride-with-silver-dragon says:

    it is indeed a variety—”Double Dragon Ball” and is becoming more and more recognized by collector community in China.
    please see the link.
    http://www.coinsky.com/htm/bbs/topic.cgi?id=1074050

  2. Dragon Dollar says:

    Thanks for the link! Here is another thread about this rare variety, from a BBS which allows public viewing: http://bbs.findart.com.cn/1553147.html

  3. Moises Carrillo says:

    I need some help, i have 3 chinese coins and need to know if are fake or not. Are You able to see it?
    Thank you

  4. Dragon Dollar says:

    You can send me pictures of your coins for appraisal using the form here:
    http://www.dragondollar.com/coins/coin-appraisal-what-is-your-chinese-coin-worth/

  5. you can tell me the price of this coin mini?

  6. you can tell me please for the price of this coin mini? tnks

  7. Dragon Dollar says:

    Hello, if you have the exact same coins – the variety with dots – the price will still depends on the condition. Please send pictures via the Appraisal Form: http://www.dragondollar.com/coins/coin-appraisal-what-is-your-chinese-coin-worth/ and I will be able to give you an accurate estimate.

  8. and can you tell me the weith and diametre of my coin exactis how much ?please thanks so much

  9. Daniel says:

    Witam Mam Taką Monetę Mogę Wiedzieć Czy jest Warta ??

  10. Dragon Dollar says:

    Witam, proszę przesłać zdjęcia swojego monetę tutaj:
    http://www.dragondollar.com/coins/coin-appraisal-what-is-your-chinese-coin-worth/
    Pomogę Ci zidentyfikować monetę.

  11. Jeffrey M says:

    I have one of these Double Ball Dragon Coins and I have had it graded by PCGS. It is a VF graded coin. What do you think it is worth?

  12. Dragon Dollar says:

    Hi Jeffrey, this variety has since been acknowledged in China and is already worth a significant premium over common varieties of the 1908 Chihli dollars. While a regular 34th year of Kuang Hsu dollar in VF condition is worth about $250-300 USD, this version can easily be worth double. I suggest you send me pictures of your coin using the free appraisal form so I can have a better idea of its condition and provide you with a more precise figure:
    http://www.dragondollar.com/coins/coin-appraisal-what-is-your-chinese-coin-worth/

  13. Edmund says:

    hello Dragon Dollar, are you willing to buy if i have this kind of coin and i want to sell it to you?.. please reply tnx….

  14. ANAND RAGGOO says:

    i have a yu nan coin province which a specialised chinese office valued at 600000 to 800000 RMB. they wanted me to leave the coin there for sale before chinese new year and i had to pay 10000 RMB for exposing same for one month, i did not leave the coin and returned to my country MAURITIUS. can i have your opinion and comments.i.am on whatsapp on 0230 57839222/0230 58041300 as well as on VIBER please

  15. suryadi says:

    hy dragon dollar I have pei Yang coins in 29 th year of kuang Hsu what price its?

  16. Jasun says:

    I have few coins but dot know how it’s worth . Can u help me to see it ?its dragon coins

  17. Jasun says:

    I have few Chinese dragon coins but don’t know how much its worth. Can someone help me ?

  18. Dragon Dollar says:

    You can send me pictures of your coins using the free appraisal form:
    http://www.dragondollar.com/coins/coin-appraisal-what-is-your-chinese-coin-worth/
    I will be pleased to give you my opinion about their worth.

  19. Dragon Dollar says:

    Sounds like a scam to me, reputable auction houses don’t make you pay upfront, they get paid when the coin is sold.

  20. Mongolia says:

    you can tell me the price of this coin mini? 34th year of khuang hsu

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