The 2021 Modern Chinese Trade Dollar 1oz Silver Proof Coin


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Shortly after the death of Emperor Xian Feng in 1861, his concubine Cixi assumed control and ruled China as The Empress Dowager. Cixi was able to read, a rare skill at that time, and educated herself on domestic and foreign affairs, creating policies that would modernise China’s culture and economy. Recognising the importance of making international trade as easy as possible she instigated changes in customs, weights and measures that enabled the creation of a standardised ‘Dragon’ Trade Dollar.

Trade Dollars had been used to facilitate international trade since the ‘Spanish Dollars’ of the 15th Century, and the first ‘Dragon’ Trade dollars were struck in 1889 with the coin’s weight in English lettering sitting beneath a traditional Chinese dragon. Now, the Chinese Trade Dollar is reimagined for 2021 by The East India Company, our stunning Proof finish emphasising every detail of a new design that features a mighty dragon encircling the globe.

This limited-edition silver 1oz coin is presented in a luxurious presentation case along with a booklet and numbered certificate of authenticity.


The first Chinese ‘Dragon’ Trade Dollars were produced in 1889 in a purpose-built Mint in Guangdong Province. The coins were machine-struck using equipment bought from the United Kingdom to a precise specification based on traditional Chinese weight measurements; seven Mace and two Candareens. One Candareen was 1/10th of one Mace; combined, each Dragon Trade Dollar was equivalent to 27.22 grams.

They were struck in .900 silver to make them as close as possible to the Spanish Dollar and similar coins were produced in Japan and South Korea, greatly helping regional trade. All three countries named their coins ‘Dollars’, a word derived from a character which represents the coin’s circular shape. The word is also pronounced similarly in all three languages and is evident in the names of the local currencies today; Yuan, Yen and Won.

The last Dragon Trade dollars were struck as the sun set on the Chinese Empire in 1911, shortly before the formation of the Republic of China in 1912.

Coin Name:The 2021 Modern Chinese Trade Dollar 1oz Silver Proof Coin
Alloy: 0.999Ag
Denomination: £1
Weight: 1oz
Issuing Authority: St Helena
Diameter: 38.6mm
Issue Limit: 1000
Total Mintage: 1000


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