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Xu Shichang, also known as Hsu Shih-chang, held the office of president of the Republic of China between October 10th, 1918 and June 2nd,...June 12, 2015
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2015 is a big anniversary in the artistic community in China, as it marks 120 years since the birth of the revolutionary Chinese master...May 19, 2015
2005 was the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese lunar calendar, and this year marked the beginning of the third iteration of...May 11, 2015
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Chinese coins have been released in four precious metals since their first introduction to the world in 1979. The gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins each have the year of issue on the obverse face of the coin as well as images from Chinese culture, history, famous works of art and much more. We sell coins to investors, collectors, coin-dealers, speculators and they are frequently given as gifts to commemorate special occasions such as wedding anniversaries, holidays and birthdays and in corporate settings.
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Following the opening of the 1st China International Coin Expo on 22nd May in Beijing, seven highlights would be unveiled to the attendees and onlookers. Among those attractions, and drawing a large portion of the crowd’s attention, was the 1st China International Coin Expo official commemorative medal. It was at long last revealed to the public on the evening of the opening day. The 1 oz official commemorative silver medal was then put on sale the following day, with the medal’s designer and modern Chinese medal master designer, Mr Zhao Qiang, attending in person to give out signatures. The last of the limited release sales were available on the morning of the 24th.
The event was a true feast for coin enthusiasts, comprising displays, auctions, sales, and exhibits all on offer throughout the event, with the commemorative medal seeming to generate a good degree of excitement as it took centre stage.
The medal’s designer and master of applied arts at the Shanghai Mint, Mr Zhao Qiang, whose portfolio includes the 2014 and 2015 gold and silver Panda coins, had used the contrasting effects of frosted and mirrored finishes, as well as high-relief designs to great artistic effect. The design embodies both the ancient and the modern, the Chinese and the foreign.
The obverse face encapsulates a journey through time of coins from China and abroad. The background features a backdrop of the grand palace door of the Forbidden City. In the foreground is a collage of coins, radiating out from the centre from the old to the new, including examples of spade money, a beautifully simple early Panda coin, a Dragon and Phoenix coin, a Greek piece, and a coin featuring the bust of Sun Yat-Sen to name but a few. Below the design, struck at the bottom of the coin face is the inscription in English: “1st China International Coin Expo”, and above that: “北京 2015／5／22-24” (Beijing 2015/5/22-24). The serial number appears above this.
The design on the reverse face oozes traditional Chinese culture. At the bottom of the coin face is a depiction of a section of the Great Wall, which by the appearance of the architecture probably dates from the Ming Dynasty. Flying above and shown strikingly face-on is an intricate Chinese dragon (note the five toes which distinguish it from the three-toed Japanese dragon). This is surrounded by the usual smoke and flames motif so often seen in dragon images of this kind. Above are the Chinese characters: “第一届中国国际钱币展销会” (1st China International Coin Expo).
Containing 31.104 g of pure silver, with a fineness of 99.9%, this 1 oz silver medal measures 40 mm in diameter and has a mintage of 1000 pieces for distribution. Just like the medals issued for the Macao Expo in 2014, these will also have their own unique laser-engraved serial number. Interestingly, to cater for the superstitions of many Chinese collectors, the number 4 has been replaced by the letter A in all cases (see the obverse image above depicting number “44”) – a move which seems to have won the approval of many in the Chinese numismatic community.
Also in keeping with superstition, the medal bearing the number 88 was put up for auction at a special event conducted at the start of the welcoming banquet. The hammer price was 6000 yuan. Number 66 also fetched an impressive 5200 yuan. However it was number 1 which attracted fierce bidding from both Chinese and European buyers, with a staggering final bid of 23,000 yuan. A total of 20 medals were auctioned over the course of the event, all reportedly selling well at high prices.
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It is the primary cause of insomnia for silver coin collectors the world over. It’s everywhere – an ever present danger hanging in the air – that given the chance will indiscriminately attack the surfaces of silver coins. It is white spot corrosion, and it’s the worst nightmare for the coin enthusiast who, after a relatively short period of time following the receipt of delivery from the mint or their supplier, sees a dreaded white spot appear on their newly-acquired treasure.
Some might say that this is reason enough for collecting gold coins rather than silver, but for many collectors gold is prohibitively expensive and has a completely different aesthetic appeal.
Melodrama aside, a research project undertaken by the Shenyang Mint Co. Ltd appeared in the March 2011 edition of the journal 腐蚀科学与防护技术 (Corrosion Science and Protection Technology). This research was aimed at identifying the causes of white spot corrosion and in light of this knowledge, tried to propose various preventative measures.
Below is a translation (highlighted in bold) of the introduction and conclusion from the published work. The research methodology, discussion and specific results are not included in this translation, since the finer points of chemistry are not the translator’s area of expertise even in English, let alone Chinese. To clarify, we take no credit for this research or its findings. All credit is due to the researchers Kang Jin-zhe and Yu Hong.
Silver is a type of precious metal that has good conductivity, ductability, and is resistant to corrosion. Apart from its use in the television, communications, and jewellery industries, it is also widely used in China’s production of precious metal commemorative coins. Due to their lustre and rich and colourful appearance, silver commemorative coins are widely desired and revered by collectors and enthusiasts among the many numismatists. However, in exposing silver coins to air in the atmosphere, their surfaces often develop white coloured spots (or simply white spots).
White spots not only destroy the complete artistic effect of the appearance of the silver coin, but also greatly affect the coin’s collector value and price potential. According to statistics, silver coins both inside China and abroad suffer from this phenomenon. Over an extended period of time, silver may undergo a different type of colour change or tarnishing, turning yellow or black. This is different from these white spots which are not easy to remove with conventional cleaning methods. The researchers carried out extensive research on the mechanism of yellow and black discolouration, as well as reports of the appearance of white spots on silver surfaces. To achieve this, this paper will investigate the causes of the appearance of white spots on silver coins through research and analysis, as well as proposing appropriate preventative measures.
In a mild and humid climate, Cl–, O2, and H2S corrosion was the main cause that led to the development of white spots on the surface of the silver coins.
White corrosion spots on the surface of the silver coins were primarily composed of AgCl, Ag2O, and Ag2S, with the first two being dominant. Corrosion spots were white in appearance, and the colour did not change as the corrosion spots grew.
The silver surfaces supplied with oxygen and electricity differed in that the white corrosion spots showed nucleation, and growth was induced.
To prevent white corrosion spots on silver coin surfaces during the production process, silver blanks should be thoroughly dried after washing and cleaning to remove as many surface water particles as possible. At the same time it is recommended to vacuum package the finished product, or to take suitable protective measures to safeguard the surfaces of silver coins.
The key point made in the introduction, as far as collectors are concerned, is the recognition that white spots are a very different problem from run-of-the-mill tarnishing. The researchers highlight that white spots are a different issue, and are harder to clean with standard cleaning practices.
They conclude that the appearance of white spots is as a result of mistakes made during the production process where blanks have not been sufficiently dried. They advise thorough drying of washed blanks, and then careful vacuum packaging of the finished product. These measures should serve to protect the silver coin from the reactive ions found in the air that cause this problematic corrosion.
A full version of this paper can be found written in Chinese here: http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=0c63156f9bb361f067a6aa06caa29a6a&action=dlattach;topic=7823.0;attach=18621
Kang, Jinzhe and Yu, Hong. “银纪念币表面滋生白斑机理研究.” 腐蚀科学与防护技术 23 (2011): 186-190.
About Modern Chinese Coins
Modern Chinese Coins refer to the precious metal Chinese coins of the China Mint that have been issued since 1979. Chinese Panda Coins are the flagship series and continue to make an excellent choice for gold and silver buyers.
This is attributable to the charm of the panda and how the China Mint artisans don’t sit still, the coins change their depictions annually (unlike alternative coins such as the American Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs.)
The result is an ever-growing group of collectors and investors in precious metals drawn to pandas who in time wish to collect coins from specific years and sometimes build sets too.
There are dozens of other coin series that superbly portray and celebrate Chinese history and culture. Modern Chinese Coins are diverse in all respects which is fitting given the growing number of Chinese coin owners in Asia, Europe and North America.
Diverse subject matters include famous artists and paintings, the twelve animals of the lunar cycle, leaders and politicians, sports as well as animals – including the popular panda coin series.
ChineseCoins.com has the greatest selection of rare, collectible Chinese coins covering the full spectrum. Buy the highest quality coins at affordable market prices. Tangible investments of historical significance are hard to come by and when we sell some of these rare coins, often we won’t see another for months or even years.