Chinese Panda Obverse Design & a hypothetical for panda collectors

Discussion in 'Modern Chinese Coins & Medallions' started by Roswell Crash Survivor, May 5, 2017.

  1. Roswell Crash Survivor

    Roswell Crash Survivor Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

    Apr 11, 2011
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    Zeta Reticuli
    I've always wondered about one design decision on the modern Chinese Pandas to be very odd; the decision to depict 'The Temple of Heaven' on the obverse.

    Most coin designs put symbols of national authority, or portrait of a head of state (past or present), on the obverse.

    Why put a Taoist *temple*, historically only accessible to the monarchy (overthrown with great difficulty), on the obverse of a coin minted by under the authority of a 'socialist' state which is officially atheist?

    Why didn't they put the official emblem of the Chinese government on the obverse? How about a portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping?

    My working theory is the coin was designed to be marketed internationally, and when the first design was engraved in 1980s they didn't want customer backlash over the inclusion of a symbol of a socialist state especially in the U.S market.

    So my question to you is, would you still collect Pandas if the obverse was either:
    1. based on the national emblem of the People's Republic
    2. a portrait of Chairman Mao, or Deng Xiaoping
    Personally, I'd like to see the Chinese government take a more assertive stance on national identity on the pandas. Coins are more than economic objects; they are advertisements of national prestige and power.

    There is also a second alternative that rids of the Temple of Heaven associated with primitive superstition and decadent imperial rule.

    The Great Wall of China: uniquely Chinese, instantly recognizable, would look great engraved on a coin.

  2. perfulator

    perfulator Member

    Nov 6, 2015
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    You are probably right when you suggest it was designed for a western market, but I think you underestimate the cultural significance of the Temple of Heaven. However I agree there would be other more interesting landmarks to put on the obverse (from a western perspective!), but I can understand they are afraid to change such a established and recognizable design element. They have modernized it over the years and I guess that is the best we can expect. Maybe we will see diff angles, some background elements next time they are ready for some modernizing, but don't expect anything too bold.

    And when it comes to Mao and Deng... Well, I'm glad I collect a country where I can enjoy both sides of a coin, so no thanks :D
  3. andrewlee10

    andrewlee10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

    Jan 6, 2014
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    China and North Korea coins were designed for earning foreign currency for reserve at early years. This objective remain unchange for North Korea now.

    Both Countries do not use their leaders as obverse of the coin.

    My view is lesser impact and market acceptance in older days if Chairman Mao, or Deng Xiaoping is used for the obverse of the coin. However, this will be different case for the 00s'.

    At early 80s'' china silver & gold coins were mainly export the main distributors in overseas like USA panda america, Japan & singapore Tai Seng & German distributors have significant impact to the coin design. They even commissioning certain design of the coins. It did happen Great wall used as design for the coin observe.

    The 80s silver & gold china coins are mainly located other than china in older days. The peak of MCC is on 2011 which many china collectors buy back many those 80s'-90s' MCC from overseas for selling. Everyone is happy and earn very good margin which much better than other investment.

    You need to know the history to know the coin industry in MCC. Many information is not available to westerners. Thus, many western forums do tell half true some of the times because they do not know the full information.

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