Author Topic: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals  (Read 139950 times)

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Offline NBM

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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #106 on: June 15, 2015, 10:18:48 AM »
It seems Dragonzeng168 has already sold some of these.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=2015%20China%20Garden%20Mountain%20Resort%20Coin%20Medal&LH_PrefLoc=2&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&rt=nc&_trksid=p2045573.m1684
Yes. It seems the medals get snapped up soon after listing except for the silver which stays longer, probably because of the higher mintage. thincat00 also has the silver medal listed on eBay. Both sellers have the silver priced at $249 subject to bargaining. I suspect the demand will be highest for the lowest mintage (antique-colored brass) medal since that is the key for the series. Collectors who are building sets are likely going to be scrambling for the lower mintage medals.

I wonder how the medal is doing in China? I can't read Mandarin so I cannot see for myself. From my understanding of reports in various forums I get the impression that there is a multiple sales platform for this release: (1) Some medals are being sold directly to the public while (2) ?500 and ?100 medals have been allocated to two distributors respectfully, and (3) some medals have been secured by dragonzeng168 and thincat00. Other eBay sellers may be coming out with theirs, either directly sourced from the mint or as resellers. Well connected individuals are probably getting theirs close to source.

It will take a few more weeks before the graded medals reach the market. I wonder how this batch will grade? How many PF70s and what will be their cost?

I haven't received medals I ordered but the photos I have seen online suggest very clean lines of design, with the silver medal looking like it has the best contrast. It is usually clearer when you hold the coin in your hand and look at it from various angles. Brass is traditionally a medal metal; I wonder how the various medals will compare to each other. Which do you think looks best?

The narrative behind the Classical Garden series has been interesting. I am still a newbie here but I get the impression that this is the most information we have had regarding the concept, design, production and sales of any MCC coin or medal but I stand to be corrected and learn more! So it is not just the medal you are looking at but you are being told how it was conceived and the hardwork that went into the production including the cracked dies. We have seen how the boundaries of minting technology have been breached. We have heard from some of the designers and their thoughts. In fact the designer of the Mountain Resort medals grew up in the same area where the resort is located.

Yes, there are also tales of subterfuge just as there used to be in the Emperor's courts! Some distributors were sidelined whilst others got good deals. Some had to beg for morsels whilst others are not too happy. Some are telling others how to sell their medals irrespective of what their own track record of multiple percentage profit returns is! It has indeed been an interesting time already!

I am really happy about the Classical Garden series of medals. This is a medal series I got to on time. Most other coins and medals I met on starting my MCC collection were released years ago (not a bad thing in collecting) and have been relatively much more expensive to acquire than contemporary releases. Many of them are physically and financially out of my reach! I can only admire them from a distance! This time I am sharing the experience of every facet of the evolution of the Classical Garden medals.

Not every aspect of the medals is great. Specifically the issue of white spots and haze has also dodged the silver medals of the series. Rhodium plating has been used for the Yuanmingyuan medal but there are reports of some of the medals showing underlying changes likely to be due to white spot formation. It is too early to say what the experience will be with the Mountain Resort silver medal. White spots and haze have been reported from virtually all of the mints world wide. The cause seems enigmatic and may not be as simple as some posit. I hope the industrial chemists are working on this problem!

Somewhere stirrings of the next medal in the series has already be begun. I wonder what it will look like. I wonder when we shall see the design proposals. Will the design be radically different from what we have seen so far? Will it include human figures, identifiable plant and tree species. Who will be the designer? What aspect of Chinese culture and history will be documented and communicated through these medals?

Meanwhile back to the Mountain Resort medals. When do I get mine?!!!!
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #107 on: June 15, 2015, 12:41:06 PM »
Hi KeepOnTrying, Thanks for your positive comment. I have heard of rumors, speculations and arguments on the release of the Mountain Resorts. I feel obliged to clarify the situation.

First, the preorders will be available at the release price. I managed to get the release price on silver proof for you instead of the distributor price. You will be refunded when I have the final cost calculated. The medals will be sent out from China tonight. When I receive them, I will send them out via priority mail.

Second, the distributor system only applies to the silver proof version. The other versions were pre-ordered. Speculations on other versions are totally groundless. But as brass and stained copper versions are few, it is extremely hard to get them because the design and workmanship have been highly favorably received. I don't know whether this is due to the new release hype, or people truly view the medals as better than those before. But with this song-singing going on, few would part with their pre-ordered brass or stained copper ones. Any difficulty obtaining versions other than silver proof has nothing to do with the distributor system.

Third, traditional dealers like Lucky were NOT given large quantities. They were treated like collectors, with the privilege of pre-ordering one or two for stained copper/brass ones, and a few for silver proof. As such, they chose to back out. That's why you do not see them selling this medal. Dragonzheng is not a dealer. He is selling from his own pre-ordered few, as well as those he can buy from other collectors. The current buying price is close to RMB1000 in China. So there is no absurd racketeering involved.

Lastly, the designs for the next two are available. I will post them separately. I believe this series is the most transparent one, due to the team work. Whether they appeal to you or others individually, it is up to each individual to make their own judgement.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #108 on: June 15, 2015, 12:51:54 PM »
Personally I like the silver one. The silver can form a set from first one till the end of the series.

Brass like gold also attractive but I do not collect it. Those antique silver and matt brass not my type even is rare. I have Ymy antique silver not others.

I saw the real coin photo which is attractive for silver. However, it is definately not as good as the advertisement photo. It is different types of beauty of my personal point of view.




Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #109 on: June 15, 2015, 02:18:08 PM »
Hi KeepOnTrying, Thanks for your positive comment. I have heard of rumors, speculations and arguments on the release of the Mountain Resorts. I feel obliged to clarify the situation.

First, the preorders will be available at the release price. I managed to get the release price on silver proof for you instead of the distributor price. You will be refunded when I have the final cost calculated. The medals will be sent out from China tonight. When I receive them, I will send them out via priority mail.

Second, the distributor system only applies to the silver proof version. The other versions were pre-ordered. Speculations on other versions are totally groundless. But as brass and stained copper versions are few, it is extremely hard to get them because the design and workmanship have been highly favorably received. I don't know whether this is due to the new release hype, or people truly view the medals as better than those before. But with this song-singing going on, few would part with their pre-ordered brass or stained copper ones. Any difficulty obtaining versions other than silver proof has nothing to do with the distributor system.

Third, traditional dealers like Lucky were NOT given large quantities. They were treated like collectors, with the privilege of pre-ordering one or two for stained copper/brass ones, and a few for silver proof. As such, they chose to back out. That's why you do not see them selling this medal. Dragonzheng is not a dealer. He is selling from his own pre-ordered few, as well as those he can buy from other collectors. The current buying price is close to RMB1000 in China. So there is no absurd racketeering involved.

Lastly, the designs for the next two are available. I will post them separately. I believe this series is the most transparent one, due to the team work. Whether they appeal to you or others individually, it is up to each individual to make their own judgement.

Thanks fwang2450 for your response. I wasn't commenting on the medals ordered through you (thanks) but more of a general review of what I heard over the internet about the worldwide medal release. Thanks for the clarification. By your account only the silver medals went through the distributor system and the rest were pre-ordered. You also clarified the situation with respect of our regular eBay sellers. It is classical for dragon to scrounge around, beg, pray, hustle, buy from others and resell. I am always amazed by how hard he works to get certain medals; and it is not by being in a priviledged position.

This brings up one or two more things concerning our participation in MCC collection. Specifically a system has to be set up to ensure that we in the West have equal access to these coin releases. It seems that only those with direct China connections get the coins on release whilst those outside China have to find ways of getting the coins often at higher cost. Can't we have a quota allocation?

Secondly, I posted elsewhere sometime ago the wish that COA's are also written in English as well as Mandarin and maybe one or two more languages. Again that allows more participation in the MCC collection experience. It's not just the metal but imbibing other information including those on COA's enhances the collection experience. It also allows the non-native collector to be able to identify which COA is which especially when there are too many of them lying around.

All these notwithstanding I wish to acknowledge the help you and other likeminded people have rendered to us West based MCC collectors with the information and access to the MCC. Thanks.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #110 on: June 15, 2015, 03:34:39 PM »
Personally I like the silver one. The silver can form a set from first one till the end of the series.

Brass like gold also attractive but I do not collect it. Those antique silver and matt brass not my type even is rare. I have Ymy antique silver not others.

I saw the real coin photo which is attractive for silver. However, it is definately not as good as the advertisement photo. It is different types of beauty of my personal point of view.

Collecting only the silver medals of the series is also an acceptable collection strategy. Collecting only gold or silver ensures that at least you can get the bullion value of your metal back if all things fail; the melt value of copper, brass and bronze is not much.

Different coin collection strategies were reviewed by Mr. Peter Anthony as part of his educational series posted on the NGC website.

Collecting the non-silver (and non-gold) medals in the series is for the usual reasons of aesthetics and visual appeal. The colors are warmer and more natural/lifelike. Of course the financial/investment value of these non-bullion base metal medals (for those who are interested in such things!) is based more on how people feel about them and how much they are prepared to pay to acquire them. Their desirability and consequent value is enhanced by their reduced mintages.
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #111 on: June 15, 2015, 03:38:06 PM »
This brings up one or two more things concerning our participation in MCC collection. Specifically a system has to be set up to ensure that we in the West have equal access to these coin releases. It seems that only those with direct China connections get the coins on release whilst those outside China have to find ways of getting the coins often at higher cost. Can't we have a quota allocation?

Secondly, I posted elsewhere sometime ago the wish that COA's are also written in English as well as Mandarin and maybe one or two more languages. Again that allows more participation in the MCC collection experience. It's not just the metal but imbibing other information including those on COA's enhances the collection experience. It also allows the non-native collector to be able to identify which COA is which especially when there are too many of them lying around.
For your concern over the access and premium of MCCs including medals, I don't believe there is a universal solution. Coins are distributed through big distributors like Panda America. You will have to buy them at whatever premium/profit they deem possible. The privately sponsored or officially released medals do not have established overseas channels for distribution. Because of that, they are subject to price manipulation. I myself only participated in the Classical Garden series after the Old Summer Palace was released. I would say that the Mountain Resort release is the most transparent with regard to the design, minting, schedule and pricing. And I did make the arrangement with the sponsors to make the silver and antique finish ones available to people here, which is kind of an exception because that would impact the business of the distributor. With the release prices published, people here can make their own decision whether to buy or not. There are so many medals and coins released each year. Missing some is the rule rather than exception.

The Classical Garden series have bilingual COAs. I translated that for the Mountain Resort and the Old Summer Palace/Yuanmingyuan.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #112 on: June 15, 2015, 03:50:48 PM »
For your concern over the access and premium of MCCs including medals, I don't believe there is a universal solution. Coins are distributed through big distributors like Panda America. You will have to buy them at whatever premium/profit they deem possible. The privately sponsored or officially released medals do not have established overseas channels for distribution. Because of that, they are subject to price manipulation. I myself only participated in the Classical Garden series after the Old Summer Palace was released. I would say that the Mountain Resort release is the most transparent with regard to the design, minting, schedule and pricing. And I did make the arrangement with the sponsors to make the silver and antique finish ones available to people here, which is kind of an exception because that would impact the business of the distributor. With the release prices published, people here can make their own decision whether to buy or not. There are so many medals and coins released each year. Missing some is the rule rather than exception.

The Classical Garden series have bilingual COAs. I translated that for the Mountain Resort and the Old Summer Palace/Yuanmingyuan.

Thanks again for your explanation and assistance in this area.
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Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #113 on: June 15, 2015, 04:03:57 PM »
Thank you Frank for clarifying the distribution process, other sources seem... confusing.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #114 on: June 15, 2015, 06:54:34 PM »
Here is the design of the next medal in the series, Zhuozhengyuan (Humble Administrator's Garden) in Suzhou. Designed by Zhu Xihua and Quan Jianfeng, both from Shanghai Mint.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #115 on: June 15, 2015, 07:07:39 PM »
Here is the design of the next medal in the series, Zhuozhengyuan (Humble Administrator's Garden) in Suzhou. Designed by Zhu Xihua and Quan Jianfeng, both from Shanghai Mint.

Looks like I got my answer quick!

I can see some trees at least. Can someone help me identify the trees in the medal. Can you see any human forms? Thanks.

Looks different, which is one of the desired qualities in each medal of a series. But should display elements of a unified scheme i.e. Chinese architectural garden design formats. Forgive my ignorance!
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #118 on: June 15, 2015, 07:58:05 PM »
Looks different, which is one of the desired qualities in each medal of a series. But should display elements of a unified scheme i.e. Chinese architectural garden design formats. Forgive my ignorance!
That is a good observation. One of the faults I find with this series is that each medal has its own design and style, with no unifying theme or design element. It is because the designers were all different, each with their own style and interpretation, and the series is experimental. Hopefully the merits of the individual medals can override this issue.

Offline fwang2450

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