The 2 oz silver Mount E’mei proof coin was released on the 21st March 2014 as part of the Mount E’mei sub-series of the Sacred Buddhist Mountains series. The coin is legal tender of the PRC and features on its obverse the emblem and inscription of the PRC, and the year of issue, 2014. The reverse face shows a landscape depicting Wannian Temple, with the inscription in Chinese characters: “Mount E’mei . Wannian Temple”, above. Below is the denomination, 20 yuan. This proof quality silver coin measures 40 mm in diameter, is of 99.9% purity, and was struck at the Shanghai Mint with an official mintage of 60,000 pieces.
With a bold and innovative use of the single strike technique, the designers at the mint have created a real sense of perspective in three-dimensions. The appearance of depth on the reverse face is tangible, and truly brings a sense of magnificence to the image of the temple. The creation of this effect, which is relatively new to coin striking, adds a significant element of collector and numismatic value to the piece. It is the only piece in the series to use such a technique in its striking practice.
A Strong Theme
Buddhist philosophy is deeply engrained in the Chinese psyche, making the theme of this coin of particular cultural significance to Chinese people. The Wannian Temple is a powerful symbol of this ideology. Additionally, the Bodhisattva of Samantabhadra, the Lord of Univeral Truth and Benevolence, whose statue is situated at Baoguo Temple – also at Mount E’mei – is a particularly revered figure among Buddhist practitioners.
The Wannian Temple itself stands 1020 m above sea level, and is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the Mount E’mei area.
Among Chinese collectors, themes of Buddhism are on a par with the Lunar series in terms of market interest; coins with these themes tend to have quite a large target audience. As such, the prospects of their future market performance is considered to be rather good.
Another aspect that makes this coin a particularly good investment option is that the mintage figures for the Mount E’mei 2 oz silver coin are significantly less than those for the previous series featuring other Buddhist sites. The previous two iterations of the series featuring Mount Wutai and Mount Potala both had mintages of 100,000 pieces. For the 2014 Mount E’mei 2 oz silver coin, however, the official mintage has been cut down to just 60,000. This leaves a large number of collectors, who acquired the previous two 2 oz silver coins of the series, and expected to buy the Mount E’mei coin too. They will, however, have missed out. These market conditions will no doubt provide a boost to the value of the Mount E’mei issue under increased demand from the market.
What’s more is that the CNGC decided to produce only about 70% of the published mintage figures, making the actual mintage even lower than originally planned, standing at around 42,000. Of even greater significance is the fact that of those 42,000 pieces, 28,000 were issued as part of Mount E’mei ¼ oz gold and 2 oz silver two-coin sets, making a mere 14,000 pieces available for individual distribution. All these factors combine to give this coin a great advantage in the current market.
Market Performance and Price Data
Amidst a climate of a falling gold price, many coins released in 2014 received a somewhat cool reception from the market. Investors held out, waiting to see what the market would do before committing themselves. However, due to the above-mentioned points, the Mount E’mei 2 oz silver coin has enjoyed a slow and steady rise in market value since its release in March 2014. While this rise may have been slow, it is a rise nonetheless, and crucially slow rises in market value tend to be sustainable – unlike price bubbles seen for certain silver Pandas during 2014, which dramatically inflated over a period of a just couple of weeks and then subsequently burst. When the Mount E’mei 2 oz silver coin first hit the market in March 2014, it has an approximate value of 1400 yuan. By November 2014, this had gradually crept up to 1900 yuan.
In addition, the Nanjing Exchange announced on the 13th January 2015 that between the 16th and 23rd January 2015 this coin would be open for the creation of a coin trust, shares of which would be floated on the market at some point in the future. Since the coin exchanges represent a relatively new and fast-paced development in the MCC market, this coin’s inclusion as a potential stock will surely have increased market attention and demand for this piece over the last month.
The Mount E’mei 2 oz silver coin would make a fine investment today, as too would other Buddhist-themed coins such as Guanyin, which have historically performed well in the long term. For those with an interest in the Buddhist sites series, the next release is scheduled for April 2015.