The Chinese Invention and Discoveries coins are masterful works that honor the great ancient inventions throughout Chinese history and the significant contributions that China has made to the whole world. Within the series of China Inventions and Discoveries, there are gold, silver and platinum coins. Their specification s range from as small as 1/4 oz, 15g to large kilo gold coins and kilo silver coins. The face values of this series include 3 yuan, 10 yuan, 25 Yuan, 50 Yuan, 100 Yuan, 200 yuan and 2000 yuan.
Four great inventions that the Chinese people created are the compass, paper, gun powder and the art of printing. Doctor Robert Temple authored a book entitled, “The Genius of China – 3000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention”, we he explored the great technologies and innovative inventions that came from China.
The inventions and discoveries coin series is based on Doctor Robert Temple’s masterpiece. In total, 32 great inventions can be seen on the reverse of this popular coin series.
The first set was released in 1992, where the two most valuable coins in monetary terms are the kilo gold coins – of which there are two. One is the compass coin, the other the seismograph. Each has an official mintage of 10 coins. The release number was so small that this series jumped to the top of the rare coins list immediately after release. Seldom are they ever available for acquisition and when they are, there is always a buzz amongst collectors.
In 1992, the Ancient Voyage of this series was selected in the Top Ten Coins of the Year, ending with a fifth place finish. This coin was designed by Mr Gu Yingbin from Shenyang Mint.
In the early 1990’s, few Chinese people were able to engage in high end coin collecting as is much more prevalent today due to completely different economic conditions for many families all over the country. Therefore, upon release many Chinese coins from the inventions and discoveries series were originally purchased by overseas collectors in the US, Germany, Japan and other developed countries.
Due to the high prices of the 1992 China Inventions and Discoveries, the sale of these coins did not meet the expectations of the distributors and sellers. As a result, when in 1993 the second set was released, the categories and specifications of this series both reduced, and there was no kilo coins like the first set has. Instead of 5 x 1 oz gold coins, the 1993 gold set has 5 x 1/2 oz gold coins – as do the following years from 1994-1996.
In the 1992 sets, all the coins have the Great Wall on the obverse. Before the official release, some sample coins with a different design were created as a possible alternative with the Chinese national emblem on the obverse.
In 1994, the number and specifications of the Inventions and Discoveries coin series was further reduced – this time just the three sets of 5 x 1/4oz platinum coins, a set of 5 x 1/2oz gold coins and a set of 5 x 22g silver coins.
In 1995, the fourth sets were released. All collectors were disappointed because the number of the coin sets shrunk further. There were only two set this time, both of five coins each, the 1/2 oz gold coins and 22g silver coins. The 5 depiction are: Wei Qi, acupuncture, art of printing, chinawares and gun powder.
1996 was the fifth year of the China Inventions and Discoveries coin series. In 1996, the actual number of coins was comparable with those of the previous year. The five themes are harness, rope bridge, musical instrument, rudder and astronomical clock.
1997 was the year when the China Inventions and Discoveries coin series ended. In that year, due to skyrocketing prices in China’s stamp market, the price of precious metal coins took a nose dive. The sixth set of the China Inventions and Discoveries coin series was not fortunate enough to survive – the 6th set was cancelled.
In the sixth coin set, the specifications are still 1/2oz gold coins and 22g silver coins. Now only sample coins exist. The themes are paper note, armillary sphere, war chariot, canon and weaving machine from Yuan Dynasty.
The China Inventions and Discoveries coin series then show great scientific contributions from Chinese history.