Original Chinese Silver ‘Dragon Dollar’
The fascinating story behind the issue of China’s first silver trade dollar coin
The ferocious depiction of a mythical dragon in traditional Chinese style appeared on a new silver Chinese coin in 1889, following the reorganisation of Chinese weights and measures sanctioned by the legendary Empress Dowager Cixi – one of the last empresses of China’s Qing Dynasty – in her quest to modernise China’s economy.
Arising from the surge in western merchants looking to trade with China following the opening of Opium Wars, the Chinese Trade Dollar was minted in the same specification as the trusted and preferred Spanish 8 Reales and became commonly known as ‘silver dragons’ or ‘dragon dollars’.
Condition – Fine/Very Fine
Dates of Issue – 1903 – 1911
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