This series was produced for circulation in the denominations of 1 dollar, 50 cents, 20 cents, and 10 cents. The 5 cent exists in pattern form only.
Wa She Wong
Born in 1937 to a family of affluence in Hong Kong, Wa She Wong was exposed to many of the finer things in life and, as a small child, fostered an interest in stamp and coin collecting. His father, Bing Fong Wong, was an educator at Ling Nam University, the top college in Guangzhou providence. He also established a chemical company that manufactured sulfuric acid, all while being an avid collector of fine stamps and coins.
Wa She Wong earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ling Nam University, but due to the Chinese Communist uprise in the 1950s, Wong immigrated to the United States to continue his education. He graduated with excellence from University of California Berkeley, holding a Ph.D. in Electrochemical Engineering.
During the 1970s Wong worked as an electrochemical engineer at Warren Motors, a General Motors research facility in Michigan. He was an integral part of a team of scientists that researched and developed a practical application for battery usage in electric cars. While working at Warren Motors, Wong built up an influential collection of American coins that unfortunately was stolen from his home and never recovered.
In 1977, Wong quit his job and returned to the family real estate business in Hong Kong. Upon his return to China, his passion for Chinese stamp and coin collecting was rekindled, and in 1983 he opened his own stamp and coin store, Honest Stamps and Coins in Causeway Bay. Two other stores, located in Central Hong Kong and Kowloon, were opened shortly after and were successfully owned and operated by Wong and three business partners.
Prospering from the family real estate business allowed Wong to run his stamp and coin stores based solely on his interest in the hobby and not for profit. Wong was a noble man and enjoyed educating and fostering others interest in coins and stamps, which he did passionately until his death in 2000.
This collection of Chinese coins, developed primarily while running his stores, is evidence of the enthusiasm he shared with his customers and fellow collectors. His goal was to create a reference collection of all Chinese and Hong Kong coinage, including rare patterns and varieties you will see in this catalog. Remarkably, almost every coin in the collection had the date and price he paid back in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Wong acquired his coins from a variety of sources, including the three stores he operated in Hong Kong, at public auction, and from collectors and reputable dealers around the world. Many coins were attributed to recognized names in Chinese numismatics including Eduard Kaan, the famous collector and author of several important books on Chinese coins.