China’s Favourite Coin of 2013

On the afternoon of the 25th October, “China’s favourite precious metal commemorative coin of 2013” was announced in a grand ceremony at the 2014 Beijing International Coin Expo. The survey, commissioned several months previously, was an open vote among the Chinese coin collecting community. The two winning coins – the Buddhist Site of Putuo Mountain 5 oz gold coin, and the Bronze Age Implements (2nd Series) 1 oz silver coin – received 33.6% and 22.9% of the total votes cast respectively, thereby earning the accolades of “China’s favourite gold coin of 2013”, and “China’s favourite silver coin of 2013”.

Chairman of the CGCI, Xu Lianchu, and Deputy General Manager, Wu Yayue, led the proceedings. The unforgettable experience was shared by over 100 coin enthusiasts who attended the intimate ceremony.

The obverse faces of both coins feature the national emblem and inscription of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the year of issue, 2013.

2013 putuo mountain 5 oz gold2013 5 oz putuo mountain gold obverse

The reverse face of the hefty and impressive 5 oz gold coin features a rendering of the Pi Lu Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, serenely meditating, sat in the full lotus position. The rendering appears in front of an ocean wave motif and the denomination of 2000 yuan, with the characters “普陀山•毗卢观音” (Putuo Mountain – Pilu Guanyin) struck around the edge of the coin face.

2013 1 oz silver Bronze Implements fu hao reverse2013 1 oz silver Bronze Implements fu hao obverse

The 1 oz silver coin features the Bronze Age wine vessel discovered in the tomb of Fu Hao of the Shang Dynasty, with the characters “商•妇好方斝” (Shang Dynasty – Fu Hao Wine Vessel) struck to the right of the central image, and the face value of 10 yuan to the left.

The contrasting appearances of these two beautiful coins – one intricate and complex, and the other remarkably simple – nonetheless both show a high degree of creativity through their original and carefully considered designs.

Both the rendering of Guanyin, entranced in peaceful meditation, and the elegant shapes and form of the Fu Hao wine vessel could be considered among some of the finest works of art that all modern Chinese coins have to offer, not just from the 2013 range.

The survey was first begun in 2000 at the Guangzhou International Coin Expo. Since then it has become a significant annual feature of the Chinese coin industry calendar, and has gained widespread support and a solid following among the community. Such is its influence that many first-time Chinese collectors have been drawn in to investing in Chinese coins by the publicity and hype surrounding this event.

The survey is not just a bit of fun, but is also an opportunity for the organisers to conduct market research. The feedback allows them to better represent the views and respond to the demands of the Chinese numismatic community in future years.  And as a way of expressing their thanks for the continued dedication and support of the enthusiasts and collectors who cast their votes, a lottery was held by the organisers with 118 lucky winners awarded prizes from four different categories.