China commemorates The Long March and the work of Tang Xianzu

Some interesting new coins from China Gold Coin (CGC) via the Bank of China, one literary in subject matter, the other focused on relatively modern history. All of the coins follow the new Chinese metric system of weights. Moving away from the haphazard fractional system of coin sizes, they’ve tried to standardise a system that will be easier to understand and more relevant to a weight standard used in other walks of life – basically not the troy ounce. They’ve done the right thing in keepinthe rounded up/down weights as close as possible to those previously used, however. A Chinese favourite combination is used for both releases – that of a 30g silver and an 8g gold – along with a 150g silver coin in the case of the literary series.

The latest release is a look at the 80th anniversary of an epic moment in 20th century Chinese history, the Long March. The Long March was the retreat of the Red Army from the pursuing forces of Chiang Kai Shek’s Chinese nationalist forces, the Kuomintang. On the edge of being completely eliminated, the First Front Army traversed a huge distance, anywhere from 6,000 to 12,500 kilometres depending on the source, to escape. Only around 10% of those starting the march actually finished it. It was the beginning of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai’s rise to power. Wikipedia has a fine article on the subject.

The 8g gold coin depicts the building in which the Zunyi Conference took place. The meeting was a power struggle between Mao and the existing heads of the Red Army, Bo Gu and Otto Braun. It ended with Mao in charge, puttting the country on a path it remains on to this day. Along with the building is a flowing red ribbon which at one point forms the number 80, the amount of years since the meeting took place. It’s a fairly safe design, showing plenty of detail for its size.

The silver coin is a particularly fine one in our view. A superb, detailed, well place look at the march. There’s no confusing what is being depicted here with anything else in Chinese history. Available only as 30g of silver, this is one I’d love to see in hand and one of the best coins from the CGC we’ve seen for a while. Christmas present please….

80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LONG MARCH

MINTS DESCRIPTION

GOLD REVERSE: 8 g round gold coin reverse design for the construction of the Zunyi Meeting, red ribbon composed of the number “80” shape, lined with a combination of graphic design and other snow-capped mountains, and published “the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Red Army, 1936-2016” words and denominations.

SILVER REVERSE: 30 g round silver commemorative coins reverse design for the Red Army over snow-capped mountains, the typical image of the grass, and published “the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Red Army, 1936-2016” words and denominations.

COMMON OBVERSE: The set of coins positive pattern are the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China, and published country name, reign.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
10 YUAN 0.999 SILVER 30.0 g 40.0 mm PROOF 20,000 YES / YES
100 YUAN 0.999 GOLD 8.0 g 22.0 mm PROOF 10,000 YES / YES

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ANCIENT CHINESE DRAMATISTS: TANG XIANZU

The second recent release harks back to a period in China’s long literary history with a man that lived contemporaneously with such Western giants as William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. Also commemorating 400 years since his death, Ming Dynasty playwright Tang Xianzu died just three months after Shakespeare and Cervantes.

After a career as a low-level official, he retired in 1598 to concentrate the rest of his life on his passion of writing. His major plays are often called the Four Dreams because of the decisive role dreams play within them. His masterpiece is called The Peony Palace (Mudan Ting) and was first performed in 1598 at the Pavilion of Prince Teng, going on to be the most popular play of the Ming Dynasty.

There are three coins this time. The 8g gold depicts a bust image of the playwright himself with just a clean proof background. The Chinese characters for ‘Ancient Chinese Dramatist Tang’ are inscribed to the top-left.

Two silver coins in this group. The 30g depicts a scene from the Peony Palace play and is again a well detailed, well-balanced design. Likewise the 50¥ denominated 150g (~5oz) is well layered and nicely detailed. Big at 70mm, there’s plenty of room for the detail to shine through. The depiction is of elements of Tang Xianzu’s work – a stage, a manuscript, Wengchang Bridge, etc. Again we like the silver coins much more than the gold. All are struck to a proof finish and have no colouring. Again the pictures from the mint are poor, the CGC being like a disppointing number of mints in the quality of their marketing material.

These should be available to buy now, but Chinese releases are not as widely available as most other mints, despite the healthier than most mintage levels.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

GOLD REVERSE: 8 g round gold coin reverse design for the Tang Xian – zu as, and published “Ancient Chinese dramatist Tang,” Chinese words and denominations.

SILVER REVERSE: 150 g round silver commemorative coins on the back patterns of Tang Xian – zu statue, “Linchuan Four Dreams,” the manuscript, the ancient stage, together with Yu Ming flowers, Wenchang bridge, Tang Xianzu’thought memorial gate building design combinations, such as modeling, and published “Chinese Ancient Dramatists Tang, “Chinese characters and denominations.

30 g round silver commemorative coins reverse design is “Peony Pavilion”, “Dream” typical theater scene, and published “Ancient Chinese dramatist Tang,” Chinese words and denominations.

COMMON OBVERSE: The set of coins positive pattern are the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China, and published country name, reign.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
10 YUAN 0.999 SILVER 30.0 g 40.0 mm PROOF 30,000 YES / YES
50 YUAN 0.999 SILVER 150.0 g 70.0 mm PROOF 5,000 YES / YES
100 YUAN 0.999 GOLD 8.0 g 22.0 mm PROOF 10,000 YES / YES

MINT LINK

CHINA GOLD COIN CORPORATION