British Trade Dollar Trial  Strikes  (Specimens)
Rarity: RRRR
Mint officials perform a trial strike in order to test the dies, before the production run begins. The coins obtained from these strikes are sometimes used for presentation purposes, or more often just recycled by the mint. Occasionally, a few of these coins may make their way into the hands of collectors.
The trial strikes are usually made on a metal blank similar to the one which will be used for the production coins. Sometimes trial strikes are made on blanks of a different metal composition. 
The British Trade Dollar features a dramatic standing Britannia design by George William De Saulles. Some 270 million pieces were struck over a forty-year period from the mid 1890s for circulation in the Far East.

It contains a number of specimens of the coin. In Mint collection, it containing many trials and patterns. They have been struck in 925 silver whereas the British dollars issued for circulation were struck with a silver fineness of 900. Precisely why this trial or pattern piece was made is not entirely clear but it acts as a warning that some items may be more unusual than they at first seem.

With the extension of British trading interests in the East, especially after the founding of Singapore in 1819 and Hong Kong in 1842, it became necessary to produce a special Dollar so as to remove the reliance of a British Colony upon the various foreign coins then in circulation.

"China trade silver dollars" were a direct result of the First (1839–1842) and Second Opium War (1856–1860), which broke out when Chinese authorities tried to stop Britain from smuggling opium into the country. The loser, China, had to open up a number of ports to British trade and residence, and cede Hong Kong to Britain. In the decades that followed, merchants and adventurers flocked to these areas, and international trade flourished. Foreign banks were established and large silver coins from all over the world began arriving to pay for tea, silk and Chinese porcelain to be shipped abroad. These .900 fine silver trade dollars were then circulated throughout China, where they were readily accepted as a medium of exchange. The British Trade Dollars, minted exclusively for use in the Far East, depict Britannia standing on shore, holding a trident in one hand and balancing a British shield in the other, with a merchant ship under full sail in the background. On the reverse is an arabesque design with the Chinese symbol for longevity in the center, and the denomination in two languages - Chinese and Jawi Malay.

The British Trade Dollar was designed by George William De Saulles and minted from 1895 for Hong Kong and the Straits Settlements. But after the Straits dollar was introduced to the Straits Settlements in 1903, it became exclusively a Hong Kong coin produced until 1935. Those with the mint mark "B" were produced at the Bombay Mint; others, marked "C", were struck in Calcutta. Those with no mint mark were produced in London. The mint mark "C" can be found in the ground between the left foot of Britannia and the base of the shield, while the mint mark "B" is located in the center prong of the trident. The 1921-B dollar was struck but never released for circulation, and only a limited number of 1934-B and 1935-B coins were released.

In some cases, the date on an already manufactured coin die was altered. As this could not be done without leaving a trace of the former date, some coins show traces of an older date below the clearly visible date. These include 1897-B over 1896-B, 1900-B over 1894-B, 1901-B over 1900-B, 1909-B over 1908-B, 1904-B over 1898-B, 1903-B over 1902-B, 1908-B over 1903-B, 1904-B over 1903-B, 1929-B over 1901-B, 1908-B over 1907-B, and 1910-B over 1900-B.

The British Trade Dollar was demonetized on 1 August 1937.


Siam Merchant Copper Token "Muang Tai" With Lotus 1197 (1835).
Rarity: RRR/SS66

In the 12th year of the Third Reign the King, His Siamese Majesty Pra Nang Klao sent three nobles to visit Singapore and the Malay States, and on their return they reported that a copper coinage was in use in Singapore, one of the merchant, Mr. Hunter was requested to submit several kinds, and if one was approved an order would be given to him. The Phra Klang had two models made. One had "Muang Tai" in Siamese characters and two stars on the obverse side, and on the reverse is a model of an elephant. The other was a design of lotus flowers.

I am always very lucky. I was given a chance to view a very rare two Keping Siam (Thailand) " Muang Tai " Copper Token With Lotus dated 1197 (1835) by an numismatist, Mr. JW from down South. It was an ex-Farouk collection and was  graded by NGC as About Uncirculated (AU) in condition with surface hairlines.
This token has no connection with Singapore Merchant Token other than the fact that their design was partly based on the Singapore Merchant Tokens. It was struck at the Soho Mint of Birmingham without denomination but was at the size of two Keping.

Obverse: The Siamese inscription "Muang Tai" (The land of the Free-Siam). A 16 pointed star above and below the inscription.

Reverse:  A Lotus Blossom. In the exergue the date in Siamese numerals "1197" (1835).
Edge: Plain.

Weight: 4.27gm.

Diameter: 23mm.

Composition: Copper.

Happy Niewmismatic!!


Trip To Collectibles Auction Asia No.5/ 2015 Of Singapore On 18-4-2015.(Part 3).Hidden Camera!
For more information on the realized prices of the items listed, please visit :
The Singapore Collectibles Auction Asia Coins & Banknotes Auction 5/2015 was held on Saturday 18-4-2015 at Singapore, Victoria Street, Landmark Village Hotel.
All the 11 lots of  Malay States Sultanate coinage listed for auction were bidded by a same bidder at new high market price.
Lot: 189. Realised At SGD9500.00 (Excluding Buyer's Premium)
Lot: 183. Realised At SGD3,000.00 (Excluding Buyer's Premium)
Lot: 194. Realised At SGD1200.(Excluding Buyer's Premium)
We were ready to start at 9.30am sharp.
CAA Auction 5/2015 Committee Members were ready.
One of them was waiting for the Tapir Gold 500 Ringgit PROOF 69 ULTRA CAMEO.
"Special Meeting" during lunch break!
More discussion during lunch break....
Banknotes Session, I was the Auctioneer.
Auction Hall was crowed with bidders..
Exciting progress....
Queueing up to make payment...
Mr. Lu. He claimed he is my "Qin Ren" !
Mr. George. A very senior numismatist in Singapore.
Surprise visit by Alice Nies. She is my dearest..........
My buddy numismatist in Singapore. He is the master of " Yuan Da Tou" China Silver Dollar!
Mr. Gao.(Penangnite), the Master of Pillar Silver Dollar.
Next to Mr.Gao is Mr.Chong Kee Toh. He is 84 years old. The most senior numismatist in this region. He used to attend every Malaysia Numismatic Society's auction in the 70's and 80's. He used to owned all the rarest coins and banknotes before. To me, he is a  living legend!
My Singapore numismatic friends! Jeffery Wai & Ms Lisa Leong
Dinner after the auction. Celebrating 35% increased of sales!
Special supporters during the auction!
CAA Auction Committee members.
More CAA Auction committee members.


Trip To Collectibles Auction Asia No.5/ 2015 Of Singapore On 18-4-2015.(Part 2).Hidden Camera!
Collectibles Auction Asia, Singapore No.5/2015 Committee Members.
For more information on the realized prices of the items listed, please visit :

"Sorry Sir ! I can't show you through the  phone, is better you come to view your items now!
Huh! This is what I am looking all these years.
"Darling! I am going ahead to bid this item for myself. You just need to pay only!"
Crowded Preview Hall
Picking auction items for bidders to preview.
Watermarks are clear!
This Mr. Tall (Gao) is from China.
Must view carefully and bid happily!
Wao! Another specimen banknote with removed control code !
"How about this....How much do you think I should bid?"....".Mmmmmmm!!"
Ouuuu! He is going to bid these items.....
What the boss say ?
I wonder how much others are going to bid and pay for this lot ?!!
Clashed of the Titan!
I am ready for all the Malay States Sultanate gold coins......
" Not yet finish viewing ah?" " I am done"
Officially registered.
Granted permission to bid ! " Censor Board Director".
Take a second look!
My turn now!!
Boss! Tell me lah, which is the best lot to bid .....I got budget SGD50.!!
I am ready to bid these items! Don't Kacau-kacau!!
"Deal!! You promise don't touch my lots , I will not kacau your lots!!"