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Hong Kong Proof Discovery
December 17, 2007

Unique 1868 Proof Set Sells Through Spink's

In their September 27th auction Spink's offered a unique Hong Kong proof set from 1868. A discovery in set form, the lovely shaped case included the silver 5, 10, 20 cents, a Half Dollar, plus the Dollar all proof, all dated 1868.

Prior to this set surfacing, there had been no record of 5 or 10 cent silver proofs for this date. These two pieces are the greatest excitement of this set! The 20 cent had been reported by Pridmore years ago, but I had never seen one for sale in the market, so this too is a real treat. The May 1995 Irving Goodman sale, which I recommend obtaining as a reference for Chinese and Hong Kong coinage, contained a choice proof 1868 Half Dollar, which sold for $109,250. The Dollar had been listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins for many years, though I had never observed one for sale in the market.

After some hearty bidding, which drove these coins up well over thier pre-sale estimate range, the set (lot 236) finally closed for $183,897.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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