World Currency Auctions – High Grade Scarce Watermark Type

China People’s Bank of China 5 Yuan 1956 Pick 872a S/M#C283-43 PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ.


A lovely Gem graded example with the scarcer stars and wings watermark which is much scarcer than the open star counterpart. A highly sought after grade with the very desirable “Exceptional Paper Quality” designation.


Heading into the World Paper Money event, it was believed that a couple of notes — one Chinese and one from Hong Kong — each could bring $30,000 or more. But in a result reflecting the surge of demand for Asian currency, eight notes topped that total, led by a China People’s Bank of China 5 Yuan 1956 Pick 872a S/M#C283-43 PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ, which brought a winning bid of $78,000 – nearly 10 times its pre-auction estimate. This is a Gem-graded example with the scarcer stars and wings watermark, a design that is far rarer than the open star counterpart. This beauty also boasts the in-demand “Exceptional Paper Quality” designation.





A Hong Kong Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. 50 Dollars 1.1.1921 Pick 168s KNB56S Specimen PMG Choice Uncirculated 63, an iconic Waterlow & Sons design that seldom is seen in any format, drew a winning bid of $55,200. This high denomination was heavily forged and any extant example is a regarded as a treasure. This example is one of only nine graded in the PMG Population Report, and just the second Heritage Auctions has offered.




A rare China People’s Bank of China 100 Yuan 1949 Pick 835a S/M#C282 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ finished at $51,600. This note was a very short-lived smaller denomination, quickly rendered valueless in contemporary terms; the offered copy is only the sixth example offered at Heritage Auctions in the last decade.



A high-grade China People’s Bank of China 20 Yuan 1949 Pick 822a S/M#C282-27 PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ more than tripled its pre-auction estimate when it brought $49,200.


There are only four different 20 Yuan notes in the extensive 1949 series, and the EPQ status is a welcomed designation that confirms complete originality. This desirable note is rare in any grade, and is nicknamed the “Junk and Train” note because of the junk boat and train seen on the front. This is the finest-graded example ever offered at Heritage Auctions.



Also nearly doubling its pre-auction estimate was a China People’s Bank of China 50 Yuan 1949 Pick 830a S/M#C282-36 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, which closed at $48,000. One of the most iconic notes of the first series, this design was said to have been adapted from an earlier 10 Yuan denomination, which also featured a farmer and worker.




Other top lots included, but were not limited to:


Complete results from the HKINF World Paper Money Signature® Auction can be found at


As always, Heritage Auctions is fully confident that the audience of interested bidders will appreciate the breadth, scale, and quality of the offerings herein. Holding in tandem with the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair, we present on of the top occasions for collector, investors, and enthusiasts alike to see some of the best pieces the market has to offer. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to share a story, discuss a lot, or better target that key issue that will complete your collection. To know more information, please email to hk@ha,com, or simply call +852 2155 1698.