Sunday, October 15, 2006

You'd make a great investment with these coins!

"Olympic commemorative coins: age-old dream cast in
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-10-11 09:10
By Jin Xuan

On 20 September, the People's Bank of China issued the First Set of Precious Metal Commemorative Coins for 29th Olympic Games worldwide, which is the only official program for precious metal commemorative coins issuing for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The unveiling of this set of coins must lead to a surge of Olympic coins collection nationwide.
It has been a long time to release commemorative coins for the Olympic Games, which has now been regarded as an international practice.

According to ancient Greeks, issuance of souvenirs to absentees of the Olympic Games can shorten the distance between the public and the Olympic Movement. The issuance of golden and silver commemorative coins on the Olympic theme can be traced back to B.C.420 with a history of over a thousand years. These coins are called as commemorative coins for ancient Olympic Games by collectors.

Golden and silver commemorative coins for Modern Olympic Games emerged over 50 years later than the reviving of Modern Olympic Games. In 1896, the very first Modern Olympic Games was held in Athens, which is the symbol of the official emergence of Modern Olympic Movement. In 1951, a silver coin engraved with five Olympic rings was issued to commemorate the 15th Olympic Games held in Helsinki, bearing a face value of 500 Finnish Marks.

To commemorate the 29th Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, carry forward Olympic spirit and advocate Chinese age-old and splendid culture, having been approved by International Olympic Committee and Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG), the People's Bank of China will issue three sets of precious metal commemorative coins for 2008 Olympic Games between 2006 and 2008. One set is scheduled for release every year. This is the only official program of precious metal commemorative coins for 2008 Olympic Games.

The first set of precious metal commemorative coins for the 29th Olympic Games consists of two gold coins and 4 silver coins. The coin's design embodies Chinese age-old sports culture and national characteristics, which might be called as the choicest coin.

The common obverse design for the gold and silver coins features the traditional paired "Chinese Dragon" image, the 29th Olympic Games emblem, the name of the country and the year.

The reverse design for the gold coins, mainly with athletic sports as the theme, taking the image of sports movement derived from Chinese ancient sports culture as major scene, including equestrianism and toxophily with a span from Dong Han, Bei Zhou, Sui, Yuan to Ming Dynasties, nearly 1600 years. Opposite to the historical sportsman is the image of sports items of the 29th Olympic Games. The overall design features the image of Chinese age-old Wadang, with body of the face overlapping with the margin of Wadang, making the face of coin vivid and lively. The reverse design is characterized by Chinese national style, representing Chinese age-old sports culture.

The reverse design of silver coins focuses on lively, brisk, lovely and enchanting Children's folk games, taking scenes on four typical Children's games like flying kite, jumping goat, rolling hoop and kicking shuttlecock as the theme of the coin. The actions of Children's games are shown exaggeratively, powerfully and beautifully like rising sun. The one third of right side of the scene is divided by a Chinese knot, accompanied by such colored toy-like pattern as pinwheel, rabbit figurine, paired-fish hang decoration and cloth made tiger as right wings, joyously energetic. The brisk and lively style of the whole set of silver coins and partial color technology make people feel fresh.

In respect of technology, the obverse of coins introduces mirror background technology´╝îwhile image, rim, name of the country and the year introduces sand blast and counter sand blast technology respectively highlighting cultural relic like simplicity and unsophistication and vicissitudes of life. The reverse design introduces multi-layer sand blast technology embodying the eyes expression and rich finery of the character. The reverse of the silver coin introduces partially colour devolve printing technology with precise colors and high resolution. The signs for manufacturers are marked with micro character printing technology to improve anti-counterfeit function. (signs of manufacturers: S,Y and Z refer to Shanghai Mint, Shenyang Mint and Shenzhen Guobao Mint respectively.)

The certificate of commemorative coins features ancient Chinese dragon, Beijing Great Wall Beacon Tower (for Gold coin certificate of authenticity), Qinian Hall of Beijing Temple of Heaven (for silver coin certificate of authenticity), Peony and emblem of the 29th Olympic Games, with profound meanings and national characteristics. The certificate printing uses anti-counterfeit technology with high security effectiveness. In addition, coins are accompanied by collection instruction and certificate cover.

The coin's packaging design also highlights Chinese characteristics. Each set of 1 ounce silver coin consists of 4 individual package boxes, which can be integrated into a Peking opera mask pattern of Dianwei. The boxes for the set of 4 Silver coins and boxes for 2 gold and 4 silver coin package introduce Chinese traditional penthouse-like streamline style.

Internationally, most Olympic coins have had a large increase in value after their issuance and been favored by numismatic investors. For example, after over 50 years of preservation, Helsinki Olympic coins issued in Finland in 1951, has been increased in value by more than 30 times, from 18 Euros to 665 Euros; the value of the silver coin with image of High Jump among Atlanta Olympic coins had a four-fold increase to 186 Euros in 2003 from issuing price of 49 Euros in 1996; the first silver coin released in Greece in 2003 for the Athens Olympic Games has an increase up to 95 Euros from issuing price of 70 Euros, which gold coin up to 700 Euros from 499 Euros; In China, the silver commemorative coin for the success of Beijing's bidding for 2008 Olympic Games has had a large increase in value from 220 yuan of issuing price to the latest market price of 1650 yuan. (whoa!)

The First Set of Precious Metal Commemorative Coins for 29th Olympic Games is distributed by China Gold Coin Incorporation, exclusive enterprise for precious metal commemorative coins directly under the People's Bank of China. According to estimates by numismaticians, the national characteristic embodied in the coin design is sure to lead to a worldwide surge of collecting precious metal commemorative coins for the 29th Olympic Games, in the context of worldwide rising passion about Chinese culture. "


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