20 Cents Republic China Silver Memento Dollar Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Birth Republic 1912

Chinese Silver Dollar 20 Cents

Republic of China (1912)

Sun Yat-sen Birth of the Republic Memento Dollar 20 Cents

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5.4 grams; Silver 900; size: 23.7 mm

Chinese Silver Sun Yat-sen Founding of the Republic 1912 AD

Obverse: Sun Yat-sen facing left

Lettering: 國民華中 幣念紀國開


Edge: Reeded


This coin was minted in 1912 or the 16th year of the Republic of China by the mints in Nanjing, Tianjin, Zhejiang and Sichuan. The side-view portrait of Sun Yat-sen is in the center of the obverse side, surrounded by the Chinese characters "Zhong Hua Min Guo" and "Kai Guo Ji Nian Bi" which are separated by the symbol of asterisk. The value of coin was carved in the center of the reverse side, with the design of good harvest, surrounded by the English words: "Memento" and "Birth of the Republic of China" separated on the right and the left by two asterisks of 6-points rosettes, which vary in their positions in different editions. ( for those bearing with 5-pointed stars are more rare ) There is also an edition in which the English words are misspelled.


the Republic of China displays the profile of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the first president, with the English inscription “Memento Birth of Republic of China” on the reverse side. An earlier version of the coin had been struck in 1912 to commemorate the establishment of the Republic of China but production ceased when Yuan Shikai became president in 1913.

These “one yuan” (“one dollar”) coins later resumed production and the specimen displayed here was struck in Nanjing in 1927.

Also, at both the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, are five-petal flowers representing the plum blossom. The plum flower is a traditional symbol of courage and hope and also refers to the “five blessings”. While it would later become the national flower, here it symbolizes the “Five-Power Constitution” advocated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The five powers or branches of government included the legislative yuan, executive yuan, judicial yuan, examination yuan and censorate (control) yuan.

The reverse side of the coin has the denomination “one yuan” (壹圓) written vertically in the middle.

Representations of grains, such as the ears of wheat, are on both sides. Dr. Sun Yat-sen wanted the new coin to display the “five cereals” or “five grains” (wugu 五谷) to signify the importance of agriculture and the hope that the Chinese people would have enough to eat.

Below the ears of wheat are rice plants signifying a bountiful harvest. Above the rice are three leaves. The three leaves are meant to represent the Three People’s Principles” (Nationalism, Democracy and the People’s Livelihood) as advocated by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

Finally, at the 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock positions are six-sided stars. Previously struck Chinese coins often displayed stars of various shapes but they were usually placed on the obverse side. On this coin, the stars were placed on the reverse side in order to distinguish it as a “new” type of coin for the newly established government.



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20 Cents Republic China Silver Memento Dollar Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Birth Republic 19



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