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Hong Kong's Return to China 1997: sketches of the coins and alternatives

Started by <k>, September 30, 2023, 03:59:58 PM

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<k>



Lady Elizabeth Haddon-Cave (centre) at a function in 1984.


On 1 July 1997, sovereignty over Hong Kong was transferred from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China. This officially ended 156 years of British colonial rule. Hong Kong became China's first special administrative region.

Sir Charles Philip Haddon-Cave (1925-1999), better known as Philip Haddon-Cave, was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong from 1971 to 1981. Lady Elizabeth Haddon-Cave was his wife, and she designed many of Hong Kong's commemorative coins, including the reverses of the attractive "Return to China" set of 1997. She died in 2008.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Hong Kong's coinage of 1997.


10c.  Chinese junk.
20c.  Butterfly kites.
50c.  Symbolic ox (year of the ox).
$1.    Chinese unicorn.                                 
$2.    He He brothers, symbol of harmony.
$5.    Good luck signs.
$10.  A bridge, symbol of transition.   

Common obverse: Bauhinia flower.

Designer: Lady Elizabeth Haddon-Cave.



See:  Hong Kong: Elizabeth II and the Return to China.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

IMAGES OF THE COIN SKETCHES

The images that follow are all © The Royal Mint.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Hong Kong-Flower.jpg

An alternative obverse, showing the Bauhinia flower.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



Obverse of the 20 cents coin of 1997.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

1] Hong Kong 10c sketch.jpg

10 cents sketch.  Flags.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


Flags were one suggestion as a theme for the 10 cents coin.

10 cents was the lowest denomination of the series.

Above you see a very rough initial sketch.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

2] Hong Kong10c Flags-ptn.jpg

10 cents sketch.  Flags.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


The sketch shows the flags of the People's Republic of China and of Hong Kong.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

7] Hong Kong 20c Flags-ptn.jpg

20 cents sketch.  Flags.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

5] Hong Kong10c Bee-ptn.jpg

10 cents sketch.  A bee.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


The Royal Mint asked Lady Haddon-Cave to present some suggestions for the designs.

She thought that the bee was an emblem of industry and thrift.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

3] Hong Kong10c Book-ptn-.jpg

10 cents sketch.  Books.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


The Hong Kong authorities thought that the bee design was attractive.

However, bees were not particularly associated with Hong Kong.


Lady Haddon-Cave was asked to provide an alternative theme.

She chose the theme of books.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

6] Hong Kong10c Rice bowl-ptn.jpg

10 cents sketch.  Rice bowl.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority did not like the suggestion of books.

They commented that "books" in Cantonese sounds like "losing".

"Books wrapped up" was even worse, as it sounds like "certain to lose" !


Lady Haddon-Cave therefore chose to depict a rice bowl instead.

Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



The issued 10 cents design.


The rice bowl design was also rejected.

Lady Haddon-Cave was asked to depict a junk instead.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

8] Hong Kong-20c-X.jpg

20 cents sketch.  Two kites flying.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


Two butterfly kites flying with their tails entwined.

The butterfly is the symbol of joy and conjugal felicity.


The tails of the kites are knotted together.

This symbolises how Hong Kong's destiny is tied to China's.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

10] Hong Kong 20c-Kites-Scallop.jpg

20 cents sketch.  Two kites flying.

Image © Royal Mint (UK).


Here the sketch is shown on a scalloped coin.

The issued 20 cents coin is scalloped.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>



The issued 20 cents design.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.