Republic of China. Yuan Shih-kai gold Pattern 10 Dollars 1916 with L. GIORGI MS63 NGC, Tientsin mint, Kann-1515 (unlisted with L. Giorgi), L&M-1028, struck to commemorate the beginning of Yuan Shih-kai's reign as Emperor Hung Hsien. Obv. Bust of Yuan Shih-kai left in military dress. Rev. Winged dragon flying left, legend above in Chinese reading, "The Empire of China," legend below in Chinese reading, "The beginning (of the) Hung Hsien (regime), preceded by 10, and followed by Yuan, at the reverse periphery between 8 and 9 o'clock is L. Giorgi. This exceedingly rare piece is bright, with full luster, superb definition, and matte surfaces. We can find evidence of only one other recent sale of this type: Stacks Bowers & Ponterio sold an AU58 NGC example in their August 2011 Hong Kong auction, Lot 70010, for $170,000 hammer price. Only two pieces have been certified by NGC and PCGS, and this example is by far, the finer of the two.
Eduard Kann, in his masterful work on modern Chinese coins, noted that two types were struck of the 1916 Yuan Shih-kai Ten Dollars. He also noted that few had ever seen both types and he could not confirm the existence of the second type (the L. Giorgi type). This second specimen, that no one had seen, and no one could describe, was, according to Kann, "made in very small quantities only and presented to a privileged few of Yuan Shih-kai's immediate entourage." Supposedly the dies were then destroyed. Luigi Giorgi was an Italian engraver who lived in Tientsin and became an engraver at the mint. He engraved the die for the popular "Fat Man" Dollar and left his name on several very rare Chinese Pattern coins.
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