Collecting old Chinese silver coins can be a daunting task. There are so many counterfeits out there that the values of professionally graded and slabbed coins are being driven through the roof. Collectors are afraid of buying a pig in a poke, so to speak, and would rather pay up for a graded, genuine specimen than risk a smaller sum of money and perhaps end up with a fake coin.
7 mace, 2 candareens in the Chinese weight system is equal to the amount of silver used in one dollar of the time. The denomination was designed with this in mind, and the coins are listed as dollars in some catalogs. Genuine coins weigh 26.8 grams and measure 39 mm in diameter. They are struck in 0.900 pure silver, not sterling, which is 0.925. The Chinese inscriptions read 'Yun-nan Sheng Tsao' and 'Kuang-hsu Yuan-pao'. Kuang-hsu was the ruler at the time.
worn: $50 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $250
well preserved: $600
fully uncirculated: $3000
The coin in our picture comes from Stack's Bowers and Ponterio where it sold for $1200 US dollars in a 2014 auction. CoinQuest thanks Stack's Bowers and Ponterio for use of their coin image. I like the toning!
There are so many counterfeits of these (and similar) coins on the market that one must take extreme care when dealing with these coins. Only buy from dealers you know and trust. Ebay is not a good source for these coins. See for example this entry on ForgeryNetwork which shows a counterfeit 7 mace 2 candareens struck in real silver.
Damaged coins will be worth much less than the values noted above. Please visit our Important Terminology page found at the top left in order to properly interpret these catalog values.