Neil S Berman - Expert Numismatist & Silver Coin Dealer
Silver Coins Trade through History
Chinese Trade Dollar
The original Chinese Trade Dollar was an unsuccessful attempt by the Chinese government to offer a locally made alternative to the large foreign silver coins circulating in China during the last part of the eighteenth century. The Chinese mints were simply not up to producing a well-made product at a competitive price. This was replaced around the beginning of the twentieth century by the Yuan Shi Kai Dollar (or “fat man dollar“), which is a very common coin except in very high conditions, where it commands a premium. By 1914 the former mint master of the Central Mint in Tianjin remembered that for the first nine months of production nearly three hundred thousand silver dollars were minted every day. Provincial mints were issued official dies from the central government, and the new dollars were made in mints all over China. This standardization allowed the new coinage for the most part to successfully replace the dragon dollars and foreign trade dollars still circulating at the time. This brought the end of the manufacturing of trade dollars by the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan. We buy and sell all silver trade dollars regardless of where they were manufactured.