The all-new Modern Trade Dollar series will feature innovative reinterpretations of the classic trade dollars which were the global currencies that simplified international trade in the era before the idea of globalisation was commonplace. The series begins with the 2021 Modern Chinese Trade Dollar.
- First release in a new series
- Limited to a low mintage of 1,000
- Struck in 1oz of 999 silver in proof finish
- Comes with presentation case and certficate of authenticity
- Obverse: features the Jody Clark design of QEII along with the issuing authority "St Helena", year and legal tender denomination
- Reverse: a striking reinterpretation of the classic Chinese Trade Dollar featuring a dragon encircling the globe along with a visual geographical representation of modern day China
Trade Dollar History
Trade Dollars were first introduced in the late 15th Century when the ‘Spanish Dollar’ was used to facilitate trade. It went on to inspire the creation of numerous national currencies, including the US Dollar.
By the late 19th Century, Chinese trade was growing both regionally and with the West. At the same time reforms within Chinese life were underway, many of them led by a strong female figure who herself played a key role in the story of the Chinese Trade Dollar. Shortly after the death of Emperor Xian Feng in 1861, his concubine Cixi assumed control and ruled China as The Empress Dowager. Cixi was able to read, a rare skill at that time, and educated herself on domestic and foreign affairs, creating policies that would modernise China’s culture and economy. Recognising the importance of making international trade as easy as possible she instigated changes in customs, weights and measures which paved the way for the creation ofthe Dragon Trade Dollar.
The first Chinese Trade Dollars were produced in 1889 in a purpose-built Mint in Guangdong Province. The coins were machine-struck using equipment bought from the United Kingdom to a precise specification, based on traditional Chinese
weight measurements; seven Mace and two Candareens. One Candareen was 1/10th of one Mace; combined, each Dragon Trade Dollar was equivalent to 27.22 grams. The coin’s design featured a traditional Chinese dragon, leading to
them being popularly known as the ‘Dragon’ Dollar. The last coins were struck in 1911.