The Last Silver Dollar of the Government of the Republic of China in 1949

In mid-November 1948, the Chinese gold yuan note ( 金 圓券 ) was on the brink of collapse. The government of the Republic of China (ROC) used executive actions to force the public to exchange gold and silver for the Chinese gold yuan note in an attempt to salvage the situation, which turned out to be a failure in just two months. From that time, the Chinese gold yuan note was rejected in circulation, while the nickel coins that were previously used as the fiat currency and silver dollars resumed their circulation in the market, and gold could also be used for large purchases and sales.

Silver Dollars and Gold in Circulation after the Collapse of the Chinese Gold Yuan Note

The silver dollar, along with gold, became the main currency in the Chinese market, and the monetary system had shifted from a gold standard to a bimetallic standard in China.

Gold, despite being the base of the gold yuan note policy and the center of the fiscal reserves, was too high in value, and the silver dollar was relatively more suitable for daily transactions, so that the demand for the silver dollar was far greater than that for gold.

There was a huge amount of silver dollars in circulation in China, but they were withdrawn from the market at the end of November 1935 when the legal tender notes were issued. After the 1937 Sino-American Bullion Agreement was signed, the ROC government smelted the silver dollar inventory into silver bars and shipped them to the United States in exchange for US dollars and gold. Given the sharp decline of the number of silver dollars, the price of silver dollars kept rising in China, even surpassing the material resources and gold.

On May 23, 1949, Bank Weekly (《銀行週報》) published its last issue before it changed banner in Shanghai, which left a record for the long-simmering trend of the resumption of the silver dollar.1

The silver dollar returned to the market after the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War, and its price kept rising due to a mismatch between supply and demand. In the beginning of 1946, the ratio of gold to silver dollar was 1:110, and flour was priced at 2.1 yuan per bag; by May 1949, the ratio of gold to silver dollar ranged from 1:30 to 1:40, and flour was about 1.1 yuan per bag. Due to the huge demand, the silver dollar rose nearly three times against the value-preserved gold over the following three years, and its purchasing power over flour, which is essential for people's livelihood, almost doubled. In this situation, the price of silver dollar overrode all kinds of commodities.

How Much Do You Know About the Gold and Silver Dollar of the ROC Government?

At the time of the issuance of the Chinese gold yuan note2 , there was more gold and less silver in the government reverse, with few silver dollars left and very limited silver available for coinage.

As for the gold, there were about 2.7 million taels of pure gold deposited in domestic and foreign banks. In addition, it was conservatively estimated that about 1.67 million taels of miscellaneous gold were redeemed from the population with the Chinese gold yuan note.3 Therefore, a total of about 4 million taels of gold were under the control of the central bank.

In terms of the silver dollar, the amount in the central bank's accounts is actually a little more than the indicated integer. There were fewer than 40 million ounces of silver in China, with a small amount, just over 1.6 million ounces, deposited overseas, respectively at the Chase Bank in New York and the Samuel Montagu & Co. in London. Later on, the government redeemed the gold from the public with the Chinese gold yuan note. By the end of September, the government had redeemed 16.83 million silver dollars, more than 29,000 factional silver coins, and 8 million taels of silver.4 Yet, the actual figures could be larger.

Fig. 1 On September 29, 1948, the Guangdong Zhanjiang Bank issued a certificate of exchange for notes as a proof of redeeming 127 taels of silver bars with 365.76 Chinese gold yuan from Guo Rongbiao (郭榮標).
Measures in Response to the Chinese Silver Yuan Note Policy

On July 2, 1949, the ROC government reformed the currency system once again by issuing silver yuan notes ( 銀圓券 ). In response to the serious shortage of the silver dollar reserve, the Ministry of Finance took a series of measures:

Allow to use both silver dollar and gold and have a wider definition of the silver dollar

First of all, the reserve for exchange is not only the silver dollar but also gold. 5

In addition, in order to increase the supply of silver dollars, the definition of silver dollars was also widened. Seven types of silver dollars previously used in transactions in Shanghai, including the Sun Yat-Sen silver dollars, Yuan Shih Kai silver dollars, dragon dollars, Mexican dollars, Australian dollars, and Szechuan dollars, could be used as long as their purity and weight meet the required standards.6

Shipped Silver Dollars from Taiwan Back to Mainland

The silver dollars under the custody of the central bank, along with gold and silver, were shipped to Taiwan before late May 1949. The dilemma faced by Finance Minister Xu Kan ( 徐堪 ), who was responsible for the issuance of the Chinese silver yuan notes, was the lack of available silver dollars.

Taiwan was a region where the Chinese silver yuan note was not planned to be circulated, so the silver dollars previously shipped to Taiwan became military expenses under the custody of the Budget and Finance Department of the Ministry of National Defense and did not come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. Under the efforts of Xu Kan, the Ministry of Finance lent 12 million dollars on June 28 as the first batch of reserve for exchange, and these silver dollars were shipped from Taiwan to the mainland by sea and air. Among these silver dollars, 9 million dollars were shipped to Guangzhou and 3 million dollars to Chongqing, and then distributed to Fuzhou, Hengyang, Guiyang, Lanzhou, Kunming, Guilin and Chengdu from these two places.7

Another 3.5 million and 2.1 million silver dollars raised in Taiwan were purchased by the central bank from the air force headquarters in August and September respectively, and the payment was made by gold shipped to Taiwan from the U.S. These two batches of silver dollars were shipped to the mainland by the air force.8

Increase the production of silver dollars

More than 20 million silver dollars returned from Taiwan seem to be a drop in the bucket for all parts of the mainland, so the central bank must have raised more silver for exchange. Then, it purposed to mint a large number of coins.

At this time, the government had already lost the largestscale mint in Shanghai, and many dies, machines and equipment had been moved from Shanghai to Chengdu and Taipei earlier to rebuild the production capacity. In addition, the government tried to gain the assistance of official and private institutions, such as the Chongqing No. 20 Arms Factory, Hong Kong Zhicheng Company, Limin Metal Manufacturing Factory, and Southwest Manufacturing Factory.9 However, because of the timeconsuming construction of the mint, the lack of machinery, equipment, technology and silver, the limited capacity of minting, and the unurgent need for supply, it was difficult to produce such a huge number of silver dollars to meet the demand in the domestic market in the short term.10 Therefore, the central bank had to seek help from overseas mints to fill the gap. Later, the mints in the United States and Mexico became the main foundry for silver dollars during the Chinese Civil War.

The Junk Dollar Mint by the U.S. and Mexican Mints

There are few records about the process that the government commissioned the oversea mints to mint silver dollars, and the relevant accounts are mainly derived from hearsay and foreign research. Until recent years, a large number of central bank files have been made public, disproving many previous misconceptions and claims, and the truth has gradually become clear.

The government purchased silver bars in the U.S. and Mexico and commissioned the mints in these two countries to mint silver dollars via the Bank of China in New York. The silver dollars were shipped to Hong Kong after the completion of minting and then transported to Guangzhou, Chongqing, and other mainland areas. During this process, Hsi Demao (席德懋), the general manager of the Bank of China in New York, shuttled between the U.S. and Mexican mints and the central bank, and his name can be seen in many of the records of overseas silver purchases and minting.

Fig. 2 Hsi Demao, the General Manager of the Bank of China in New York

June-July 1949: The U.S. Mints Struck Silver Dollars for the ROC Government

The first batch of silver dollars of 30 million pieces is all the junk dollar dated 23rd year of the Republic of China. The U.S. silver bullion were purchased to be struck into silver dollars by the San Francisco mint, Philadelphia mint, and Denver mint with the original coin dies. The minting was completed in June and all silver dollars were shipped to Hong Kong by the end of July.11

August-October 1949: The Mexican Mint Struck Silver Dollars for the ROC Government

In August, the Bank of China in New York switched to purchasing silver bars from Mexico and commissioned the Mexican mints to strike silver dollars. However, the production process was constantly delayed, and the minting did not begin until August 26. The silver dollars were shipped in batches to San Francisco and then to Hong Kong after completion. Finally, by the end of October, only about 13 million pieces of silver dollars arrived in Hong Kong.12

In total, about 43 million pieces of silver dollars were minted by the U.S. and Mexican mints, all of which were junk dollars dated the 23rd year of the Republic of China with the Sun Yat-Sen bust.

Fig. 3 The junk dollar dated the 23rd Year of the Republic of China minted by the U.S. and Mexican mints in June and July 1949

About the Hearsay "The ROC Government Commissioned the Mexican Mint to Struck the 1898 Eagle Dollar"

An author with the username BrianRxm, published the online article The 1949 San Francisco Mexico Peso Restrikes - Coins struck by the San Francisco and Mexico City Mints For the Nationalist Republic of China. (Author's Note: The 1949 San Francisco Mexico Peso Restrikes ( The article cited the study result of the Mexican numismatist Dr. Alberto Francisco Pradeau that the ROC Government commissioned Mexico to mint 10,250,000 pieces of the 1898 eagle dollar in the second half of 1949 (2,000,000 pieces were subcontracted to the San Francisco Mint in June and August, and 8,250,000 were minted by the Mexican Mint in August and November)

The article has been widely spread on the Internet due to its republication by Wikipedia. However, it is not difficult to find a number of discrepancies in the article when compared with the central bank file.

The online article is summarized as follows.

"The American Numismatic Association (ANA) held its annual convention in San Francisco from August 21 to 24, 1949. During the convention, some members were given tours of the San Francisco Mint where they watched coins being struck. Some recognized the design on the silver coins of an eagle sitting on cactus holding a snake, which could be identified as Mexican eagle dollars.

Dr. Alberto Francisco Pradeau, a Mexican numismatist, was one of the visitors, and when he returned to Mexico, he researched the reasons for them being struck.

Prior to that, the three United States mints (Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco) struck 30,000,000 pieces of the 1934 junk dollar in June and July 1949 for circulation on the Chinese market. The United States mints used dies made from the original 1934 mother dies, so these dollars see no difference from the originals. Then, these dollars were shipped to Canton via Hong Kong.

Later, China made another deal with the Mexican Mint: it commissioned the Mexican Mint to strike 10,250,000 Mexican silver eagle dollars. Due to the urgency of the matter, the Mexican Mint commissioned the San Francisco Mint to strike 2,000,000 pieces, and the Mexican mint minted the remaining 8,250,000 pieces. The Mexican Mint prepared the dies for these Mexican silver eagle dollars by making slight modification on the original 1898 coin die."

Fig. 4 1898 Mexican silver eagle dollars (restrike)

The easiest way to identify the coin is the difference of the letter O in the inscription "Mo" which is the mint mark of the Mexican Mint.

Fig. 5   The restrike and original 1898 Mexican silver eagle dollars have different characteristics of the mint mark “Mo”
(Left is the mint mark on the restrike coin, and right is the mint mark on the original coin)

Alberto Francisco Pradeau's research revealed that the Mexican Mint produced 8,250,000 Mexican silver eagle dollars from August to November, of which 2,526,978 pieces were shipped to Guangzhou, China via Hong Kong, 1,942,000 were kept in the Mexican Mint, 3,779,000 were sent to Hermosillo, Sonora, in 1950 for melting, and the remaining 2,022 were kept at the Bank of Mexico.

A total of 2,000,000 coins minted by the San Francisco mint in June-August 1949 were sent to the neighboring Bank of America for shipment to China. Later, as the war in China was over, the Mexican silver eagle dollars were no longer needed. To avoid storage fees, they were all returned to the San Francisco Mint for minting U.S. coins after melting. Since the price of silver per ounce had risen from $0.50 to $0.75 at that time, the U.S. side made a profit.

The fact that the U.S. Mint produced 30 million pieces of the year 23 junk dollar in June and July 1949 is generally consistent with the Central Bank's records, and should be unquestionably true. However, the article is mainly to explain that the San Francisco and Mexico mints minted 10,250,000 pieces of the 1898 Mexican silver eagle dollars for the ROC Government jointly, which have many contradictions with the records of the Central Bank documents.

What is the basis for this claim? When did the two parties sign the contract? No explanation has been given.

From the description that 2 million pieces were minted by the San Francisco Mint from June to August and the remaining 8,250,000 pieces by the Mexican Mint from August to November, it is clear that the alleged“minting for the ROC government”took place from June to November 1949.

According to the records, the negotiations between Hsi Demao and the Mexican Mint for the minting began in August, 14 and the contract was signed at the end of that month, followed by the minting on August 26. The silver dollar minted by the Mexican Mint was the Year 23 junk dollar, and the coin dies were provided by the San Francisco Mint.15 Before that, the Bank of China in New York had not commissioned the Mexican Mint to mint the coins.

By the end of October, the Mexican mint had shipped more than 13 million coins to Hong Kong via San Francisco and then transferred them to mainland China. The records of the Mexican Mint striking silver dollars for the ROC government are the same, with no mention of the 1898 Mexican eagle silver dollars being commissioned.
The government used a total of $7.15 million16 of the foreign exchange until mid-August to buy silver and mint silver dollars in the United States and Mexico. At that time, the Bank of China in New York and even the Chinese Central Bank had run out of their U.S. dollar reserves and had difficulty in operation.17 Against this backdrop, the general manager Hsi Demao resigned.18 Therefore, the financial situation of the ROC government did not allow it to commission the minting of Mexican silver dollars to the Mexican Mint.

Fig. 6 On August 16, 1949, Hsi Demao resigned from the post of General Manager of the Bank of China in New York to Xu Kan, the president of the central bank, due to a foreign exchange depletion.

The Mexican Silver Eagle Dollars was Purchased by Someone Else

In this case, the silver eagle dollars struck by the San Francisco Mint seen by Alberto Francisco Pradeau and others in Mexico from August 21-24, 1949, as well as the Mexican silver dollars minted by the Mexican Mint from August to November, as stated in the article, were not commissioned by the ROC government. So, what is the real reason for this hearsay? In fact, Hsi Demao's report about the Mexican Mint to the Ministry of Finance on September 26th had already revealed the mystery.19

At the end of September, when questioned by the Bank of China in New York about the late delivery of the agreed quantity of Mexican silver dollars, the Mexican Mint changed the subject and marketed its Mexican silver dollar inventory to the Bank of China in New York instead. Hsi Demao reported: "The Mexican Mint... has 5,779,000 Mexican silver dollars in San Francisco and 1,900,000 in Mexico, totaling to 7,769,000 pieces. Someone from Hong Kong has purchased these silver dollars from the Mexican Mint at the spot price of silver, namely, 70.6 cents per ounce. He is willing to sell these silver dollars to our government at the New York market price, that is, 73.3 cents per ounce, each piece in the USD 0.5781, and the silver dollars can be handed over in San Francisco."

This was the first time that the Mexican Mint talked about the business of the Mexican silver dollars with the Bank of China in New York, and the report clearly explains that the coins marketed by the Mexican Mint were the finished Mexican silver dollars, not the coins being minted for the ROC government. The selling price was calculated at the market price of silver in New York, at $ 0.5781 per coin. According to the Mexican mint, there were 7,679,000 minted coins at that time, which were stored in San Francisco and Mexico.

In addition, it is noteworthy that the Mexican Mint mentioned that someone from Hong Kong had already purchased these Mexican silver dollars earlier. This may be true, as it seems that this batch of Mexican silver dollars struck by the Mexican Mint and is related to the ROC government's issuance of silver yuan notes in early July 1949 and its announcement that the seven types of silver dollars, including the Mexican silver dollars, would be allowed to circulate in equivalent value. Since China was in desperate need of silver dollars, the value of a silver dollar was much higher than that of the silver contained in the coin. As the Mexican silver dollar was one of the seven eligible silver dollars, Mexico, which was rich in silver, restruck the 1898 Mexican silver dollars with the intention of selling it to China for profit, which may also be the reason why Alberto Francisco Pradeau believed that the Mexican silver dollar was minted for the ROC government. However, the fact that they were struck for the Chinese market and the fact that they were commissioned by the ROC government are two different things, and should not be confused with each other.

Hsi Demao indicated in a telegram that he was not interested in the sale of the Mexican silver dollar from the Mexican Mint. After the Ministry of Finance was informed of the report, it was only submitted to the Financial Advisory Committee for discussion, and nothing was done afterward. However, a lot of the Mexican silver dollars went to China afterward, and the article does not make an explanation on the person who purchased these coins. Given the information revealed by the Mexican Mint that "someone from Hong Kong has bought silver dollars", it is indicated that the purchaser is not from the central government, but someone from the political or commercial circle.

Some Eagle Dollars Flew into China

According to the aforementioned article, Dr. Alberto Francisco Pradeau stated that 2,526,978 Mexican silver dollars were shipped to Guangzhou, China via Hong Kong. The other 7 million were not delivered because the ROC government no longer needed them due to the "finalization of the war" and they were shipped to other places or used for other purposes. However, in fact, as mentioned before, the Bank of China in New York was still questioning why the Mexican Mint did not deliver the silver dollars until the end of September, and the ROC government still had an urgent need for the silver dollar. If the ROC government had intended to commission the minting of the Mexican silver dollars, it would have finished delivering most of them by then. Therefore, the mentioned 2.52 million pieces may be the number of Mexican silver dollars sold to China through other channels.

On the other hand, a large number of Mexican silver dollars did flow into China a little later; especially into Yunnan province.

The Yunnan authorities, who had been in disagreement with the ROC government, once again fought over the issuance of silver yuan notes. Yunnan insisted that the central government should first allocate 4 million silver dollars as a reserve for exchange,20 but the Ministry of Finance was only willing to allocate 150,000 dollars.21 Both sides were at a standstill.

Later, on October 1, Yunnan province made a public announcement and informed the central government22 that the Mexican silver dollars would circulate at the same value as the Yuan Shih Kai silver dollar and be exchanged for the local silver coin at a ratio of 1:2.25 from October 1. Prior to this, Yunnan had apparently acquired a large number of Mexican silver dollars on its own, enough to circulate in large quantities in the province, but from what source? No one knows for sure.

More than 13 million silver coins commissioned by the ROC government to be struck in Mexico arrived in Hong Kong one after another by the end of October, awaiting instructions for domestic transportation. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the Sino-Hong Kong agreement was abandoned by Britain, and Hong Kong could no longer play the role of a transshipment station. Therefore, it was ordered to send a large number of silver dollars and silver bars to other places in advance, while the rest were temporarily unloaded at the Manila Transportation Bank, and then transferred to Kunming and Chongqing.23 At the end of the year, the ROC government lost its last stronghold on the mainland, and the extraordinary period of re-circulating silver dollars came to an end.

1   Bank Weekly, Vol. 33, No. 21, May 23, 1949.
2  November 5, 1948, the Issuance Bureau of the Central Bank, Telegram No. 9275. Telegram about the adjustment of the reverse allocation for gold yuan notes.
Original reserve of the Issuance Bureau
  Gold   2,389,493.638 ounce
  Silver   39,690,539.74 ounce
  US dollar that the Business Bureau deposited in
  Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Agricultural
  Bank of China and China CITIC Bank
  74,189,924.46 USD
  Gold in Federal Bank of New York   345,282.661 ounce
  Gold in Chase Bank, London   9,271.984 ounce
  Silver in Chase Bank, New York   463,059.01 ounce
  Silver in London Samuel Montagu & Co.   1,216,401.25 ounce
  Gold in Guiyang Branch Bank   23,125,304 ounce
Source: Second Historical Archives of China, Compilation of Archival Data on the History of the Republic of China, Fifth Series, Part III, Finance and Economy (III) p. 897.
3  Shanghai Financial Weekly, November 17, 1948. The statistics are as of October 31 of the same year, but are clearly underestimated. See also: Stephen Tai, The Central Mint Minting Case and Mainland Gold Shipments to Taiwan, Chapter 5, pp. 204. Published by the Studio Potosi, November 2021.
4  Data source: Table of the amount of gold, silver, and foreign currency received and exchanged, from August 23 to September 30. Central bank file, cited from Data of the Monetary History of the Republic of China, Series 2. p. 863.
5  Article 1 of the Silver Dollar and the Measures for the Silver Dollar Exchange Certificate Issuance: "The currency of the Republic of China uses the dollar as the unit. A one-dollar silver coin weighs 26.6971 grams, and the purity is .88, containing 23.493448 grams of pure silver"; Article 7: "When there are not enough silver dollars minted, the gold can be used to exchange at the rate announced by the central bank."
6  On July 2, 1949, the central bank announced: "All kinds of silver dollars (including Sun Yat Sen dollar, Yuan Shih Kai dollar, junk dollar, dragon dollar, Mexican silver dollars, Australian silver dollars and Sichuan silver dollars, etc.) should be examined. As long as their weight and purity meet the standard set by the Ministry of Finance, that is, a weight of 26.6971 grams and a purity of .88, the coins can be circulated at the same value, and shall not be depreciated. Any violation will be seriously looked into......
7  Wu Songqing Diary (I), 1947-1950, p. 328, 6/22 and 6/28, Institute of Taiwan History, China Institute, published in June 2016, July 7, 1949, Guangzhou Telegram No. 2060: "A total of 8.3 million dollars have been transported from Taiwan to Guangzhou by air (including those transported to branch banks in Guangdong). 11 planes have arrived in Chongqing with about 120,000 dollars on each plane (including those transported to branch banks). 300,000 dollars has been transported from Taiwan to Guilin (via Guangzhou), 150,000 dollars to Hengyang (via Guangzhou), 100,000 dollars to Fuzhou (via Guangzhou), 100,000 dollars to Guiyang (via Guangzhou), 150,000 dollars to Kunming (via Chongqing), 300,000 dollars to Chengdu (via Chongqing), and 300,000 dollars to Lanzhou (via Chongqing)". On September 24, 1949, Guangzhou Telegram No. 3940: "At the beginning of the issuance of silver dollar notes, the first batch of silver dollar reserves were shipped from Taiwan by the United Nations Ministry of Finance, and the total amount of silver dollars shipped from Taiwan to Guangzhou was 9 million dollars (including the deduction of freight costs of 700,000 dollars, the actual amount was 8.3 million dollars) and 3 million dollars to Chongqing, totally 12 million dollars.... After the officers of the bank and the escort opened and inspected the boxes, there was a difference in the number of silver dollars with forged and rusted silver dollars mixed in... The total shortage is 4,310 dollars and the forged and unusable coins amount to 84,610 dollars ...." Central Bank Archives, Bureau of Records.
8  August 24, 1949, Secretariat Telegram No. 1873. "... The sale of 3.5 million silver dollars (for safekeeping) by the air force headquarters is paid by discounting the gold shipped back from the U.S., and the silver dollars are transported by the aircraft from the air force headquarters to Guangzhou for the delivery and allowed to deduct the freight cost of 150,000 dollars (the air force originally proposed to handed over at Okayama) ...". The second purchase of 2.1 million silver dollars from the air force headquarters, still paid by the gold shipped from the U.S. to Taiwan, with the 25,609.75 taels of pure gold allocated to the air force headquarters.
9 August 23, 1949, Central Mint, Guangzhou Telegram No. 170. "The Guangzhou Telegram No. 1059 0726 from your office has instructed to send special personnel to Hong Kong to investigate the case of minting for the Southwest Manufacturing Factory... The chief technician Chen Wencan ( 陳文燦 ) has been sent to Hong Kong from Chongqing on the 18th of this month to handle the case..." September 7, 1949, Central Bank, Guangzhou Telegram No. 3582. "The two methods to be approved by the Taiwan Mint to deliver the coins and to charge the minting fee...The minting fee is NT$75 per thousand coins...The fee for the commission by the bank to the Chongqing Arsenal for the minting is NT$25 per thousand coins, and the minting fee of Hong Kong Zhicheng Company is 80 silver dollars per thousand coins." Central Bank file, Archives Administration. 10 July 19, 1949, Central Mint Director Wei Xianzhang ( 韋憲章 ), Guangzhou Telegram No. 2270. "The Taiwan mint will open in August, with an initial daily capacity of 30,000-50,000 pieces; the Sichuan Mint will open in July, with an initial daily capacity of 40,000 pieces; the No. 20 Arsenal, with a daily capacity of 20,000, may increase its capacity to 40,000...." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
11  11.July 26, 1949, Guangzhou Telegram No. 1060. "Hong Kong Representative Office... According to the Bank of China in New York on June 23, the mint said that the silver received in Philadelphia and San Francisco could be used to mint 27,185,700 silver dollars, and that a total of 11,450,000 pieces could be shipped in four batches before July 9." Also, on July 28, the Bank of China: "The 30 million silver dollars made in the U.S. were entrusted by the State Bank to the Federal Bank as intermediator, and have been shipped out one after another by the bank, and the last batch of 2,675 boxes, totaling 5,350,000 coins, have been shipped today..." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
12  August 22, 1949, Hsi Demao, telegram (the telegram number is unclear): "The central bank of Mexico called to say that it had received the coin dies for the Chinese silver dollar, the mint can start work at any time, and the delivery can be made 20 days after the contract... If the contract cannot be signed before the end of the month, the contract will be terminated." September 2, 1949, Secretariat Telegram No. 3321: "The Mexican mint will start minting on August 26, with a capacity of 250,000 to 300,000 coins. According to the report of the Mexican Mint, the first batch will arrive in San Francisco on the 18th of this month." September 16, 1949, telegram. "First shipment of 250,000 coins from the Mexican Mint arrived in San Francisco, and 1.5 million will be sent from the Mexican Mint on September 15." September 21, 1949, telegram: "Received telegram from the Mexican Central Bank yesterday that the second shipment of 400,000 coins had arrived in San Francisco." September 23, 1949, Telegram No. 3869. "The first batch of 250,000 pieces can arrive in San Francisco today, the second batch of 400,000 pieces will arrive about the beginning of next week, and according to the present production, 400,000 pieces can be shipped every two days..." October 24, 1949, Central Bank, Chongqing Telegram No. 4292: "The silver dollars minted by the Bank in Mexico, about 13 million yuan or more, is being shipped to China one batch after another..." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
13  Website address of the article: The 1949 San Francisco Mexico Peso Restrikes (
14   See Note 12.
15  August 22, 1949, Hsi Demao, telegram: "The Mexican Central Bank called to say that it had received the coin dies for the Chinese silver dollar, and the mint can start work at any time..." September 26, Telegram No. 4014: "Telegram No. 4014 from New York: Why the Mexican Mint did not deliver according to the original quantity ... According to the bank's telegram, the effect of the die made by the U.S. mints was slightly different due to the pressure of the machine, and the technicians of the U.S. mints were invited to make modifications, and the capacity could be increased to 1.5 million pieces per week from next Friday. The Hong Kong side had someone to buy from it at the price of silver, that is, 76 cents per ounce, now willing to sell to our government according to the price on the New York market, that is, 73. cents per ounce, or US$ 0.5781 each piece, handed over in San Francisco. I told the ROC government that I was afraid that it would not be convenient to purchase foreign silver coins for the issuance in China and that the value of the Mexican silver dollar was lower than that of the silver dollar in China. Therefore, the best policy was to mint and ship it in a hurry. Are the Mexican silver dollars worthy of purchasing? Is the price appropriate? It needs to be discussed after being submitted to the Financial Advisory Committee. Yang. September 29. "Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
16 August 18, 1949, Song Hanzhang ( 宋漢章 ), telegram: "Your bank transferred 4.6 million U.S. dollars deposit to the New York branch for payment to the Mexican Central Bank... The New York branch is doing its best to raise funds for the withdrawal, but there is no way to recover the foreign currency loaned to government agencies and state-run institutions. In addition to the British gold of £1,573,000, the US dollar amounted to another $22,581,000. As a result, the Bank's foreign exchange is now stretched to the limit and is becoming increasingly short. Song Hanzhang (director)". August 25, Hsi Demao, telegram:" the amount used to purchase silver will be allocated from the specialized account of the ROC government in the Bank of Mexico to the account in the U.S. Commercial Bank. The total amount of silver coins delivered in San Francisco to USD 7.15 million. Only $3,000,000 is available under the remaining funds of the Bank of New York, and at present only a maximum of $2,000,000 can be set aside for the purchase of silver, the remaining $1,000,000 must be kept as a security deposit to avoid the risk of liquidation by the New York State Department of Banking..." Central Bank files, Records Administration.
17  August 23, 1949, Central Bureau of Industry and Development Bureau, Guangzhou Zhong No. 3288 Telegram. "The reserve for the temporary deposit of silver yuan notes allocated by the Bureau of Industry and Development has been exhausted due to the frequent transfer from various branches. Besides, there is no gold or silver available for allocation under the domestic treasury, and it will take time to transport them from abroad to Hong Kong..."
18  On August 16, 1949, Hsi Demao telegrammed Xu Kan: "Because of the shortage of dollars in the New York branch due to the purchase of Mexican silver for $4.6 million, I have resigned as general manager." Central Bank File, Archives Administration.
19    See Note 15, September 26, message from Hsi Demao.20  July 6, 1949, Kunming Branch, Secretariat Telegram No. 1574. "Since the reserve has not arrived, the issue has not yet been made. The silver dollar minted in Yunnan has become the provincial currency, and the representatives of the public are considering the need for a full reserve before issuing it, otherwise please delay the issue... Please quickly allocate a reserve of 4 million dollars to be transported to Yunnan, so as not to hinder the issuance ..." July 11, Kunming Branch, Secretariat Telegram No. 1715. "Chairman Lu still thinks that the matter is of great importance. The issuance of the gold yuan note is a lesson from the past, and the local governors have a serious responsibility. The reverse which has arrived is of a very small amount and absolutely cannot meet the requirement for issuance. It is advocated that the issuance of silver yuan notes in Kunming must be stamped with the placename of Kunming. If issued elsewhere, the notes absolutely cannot be exchanged in Kunming ..." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
21  See note 7.
22  October 1, 1949, the Kunming Telegram No. 5 sent from the Kunxing Bank for the Kunming government to Chongqing. "Message sent to the Yunnan provincial government announcement on the use of Mexico eagle silver dollar ... The Yunnan provincial government with No. 2363 (38) announcement indicates that Mexican eagle silver dollar from now on (October 1) is also allowed to be circulated at a prescribed rate of 2.25 to the Yuan Shi Kai dollar." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.
23  September 19, 1949, Hong Kong Representative Office, telegram: "Deposit of silver dollars in Hong Kong, will be transported to Chongqing, Hengyang, Guiyang, Guilin, Haikou, Dinghai (later reallocated to Taipei), Xiamen, Liuzhou (arrange for shipment later), Wanxian county by air ..." September 27, Telegram No. 3927. "...the 1 million silver dollar to Guangzhou will arrive today, the 420,000 dollars to Hengyan will arrive tomorrow. Silver bullion shipped to Taiwan has handed over to the Zhadian Company and will arrive Taiwan on September 28..." October 24, Chongqing Telegram No. 4292. "The silver dollars minted by the Mexican Mint, amounting to about 13 million dollars, have been shipped back to China one after another, and the agreement between China and Hong Kong has been abandoned. Therefore, the bank has been transferred to Manila for safekeeping by the Bank of Communications... If the cost is lower, it will be shipped to Haifang by the Bank of Communications in Manila and transferred to Kunming, then to Chongqing." Central Bank file, Archives Administration.