Silver Dragon 20 Cents SZECHUAN Emperor Guangxu CHINA 1901-08
Silver Dragon 1/5 Dollar or 20 Cents
Emperor Guangxu CHINA 1 Mace 4.4 Candareens
SZECHUAN Province 1901-1908
Weight: 5.4 grams; Material: Silver; size: 23.4 mm
Emperor Guangxu CHINA 1 Mace 4.4 Candareens Dragon 20 Cents
SZECHUAN province 1901-1908
Obverse: Center: Mint name in Manchu, Boo-Chuan in Sichuan.
Silver Dragon Dollar
Silver Dragon coins, also sometimes known as Dragon dollars, are silver coins issued by China, Japan and later Korea for general circulation in their own countries. Featuring a dragon on the obverse, all were inspired by the silver Spanish dollar which following its introduction into the region in the 16th Century had set the standard for a de facto common currency for trade in the Far East, this specification being a weight of 27.22 grams and a fineness of .900.
Chinese coins of this type are known Kwangtung dollars from the old romanisation of the name of the mint that they were first produced in China, more popularly they are known in Chinese as 龍銀, literally "Dragon Silver" or "Dragon Money", 銀 capable of being read as both silver or money.
Even before the official ending of the Qing dynasty factions and cliques emerged as would be warlords jostled for position and influence. As China headed into the republican and warlord eras, local warlords used the provincial mints to issue their own Silver Dragons, these are of variable quality and value depending on the greed and resources of the warlord in question. These warlord and pre-warlord era coins include high quality coins intended to promote the legitimacy and prestige of the warlord and his faction and are proudly marked as such; there are also low quality coins, the majority, intended to deceive the receiver into believing that they are earlier coins of higher silver content and value, though not fake-in so much that they came from semi-official sources-these were and are of variable value depending on their silver content. With the coming of the Chinese republic China would continue producing silver coins of the same specification updated to bear the image of Yuan Shikai and other politicians. China was forced from the silver standard in 1935, however even after the silver coins became demonetised they remained a highly prized means of preserving wealth in an era of inflation and war.