Proof or Pattern 1 Mil, Issued by Hong Kong, 1866
Minted by Royal Mint, London
"Wen" character to left of square, the 1866 issue should have "Ch'ien"
At centre, line square around circular central hole dividing the date 1866; above, crown; below, VR; around, HONG - KONG ONE MIL
Four Chinese characters about sides of line square around circular hole, character to left of square the Chinese "Wen"
This coin was supplied to the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint by the Royal Mint, London for inclusion in the Melbourne Mint's display at the 1880 International Exhibition. It was used again in the 1888 International Exhibition.The reverse of the coin has an incorrect Chinese character "Wen" instead of "Ch'ien". "Wen" was used from 1863 until 1865, "Ch'ien" in 1866. The Royal Mint catalogue is not clear as to which form of reverse die is retained "2499. Mil. Die. Rev. as punch No. 2489" but 2489 refers to 3381 for the description and 3381 has "Rev., a square in the centre, surrounded by four Chinese characters". If this coin was struck by the Royal Mint in the 1880s for use in the Exhibition it would have been from die 2499 (the only other die for a reverse, 2495, was for a large central hole). It would then be a late strike mule. If it was taken from stock at the mint and was struck in 1865-6 it could have been a trial for the 1866 die using an 1865 reverse. Mint die 2499 probably has the "Wen" character and the coin is probably a late struck mule.
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Type of item
15 mm (Outside Diameter), 1.074 g (Weight)
unpublished obverse as KM#3 reverse as KM#1
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2006. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900.