Author Topic: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals  (Read 169881 times)

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Offline fwang2450

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The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« on: December 16, 2014, 06:51:57 PM »
By Lei Ting
(This article was written by Lei Ting, who is one of the organizers of the Chinese Classical Garden series of medals. Pictures of Yuanmingyuan and Lan Ting are attached below.)

1.   Yuyuan

Before the end of 2012, I ran across a PF69 Yuyuan silver medal on eBay. I was awed by the exquisite design and detailed engraving of the pavilion and hall on it. Its piedfort 2 oz size intrigued coin collectors like me with its weighty feeling in hands. I became strongly interested in the medal. However, searching through books and reference data yielded no information on its background. The only fact known was that it was released by Shanghai Mint. I went to Shanghai Mint with Mr. Cai Xiaoping several times to investigate. Answers were finally found in the thick, dust covered dossier in the Document Room of Shanghai Mint. It turned out that the Yuyuan medal was a piece designed and engraved during 2001-2002 by Mr. Yu Min, the winner of Best Crown Coin Award by Krause, when Shanghai Mint experimented with high relief small size coins and medals. A few patterns were made for collecting metrics and data. Afterwards, the patterns were destroyed, and the dies locked up with no further follow-up actions. Fast-forward to 2009. To celebrate the Shanghai Expo, the Mint recalled this piece of delicate artwork which is representative of China as well as local Shanghai characteristics. This led to the release of the Yuyuan medal, with a mintage of 2,010 pieces.

2.Lan Ting

By the end of 2012, as the collector group of Yuyuan silver medal steadily grew and met to talk about it, we became more and more fascinated by this little gem. Quite a few coin collectors liked this series of Chinese Classical Gardens. We all expected it to continue, and so searched everywhere for news about its new release. The only feedback, which was not unlike hearsay, was that there was a plan to issue a second medal Shenyuan, but the plan was subsequently scratched. We all felt betrayed, which led to a crazy idea: we would all go and seek out our mint contacts, and see whether we could commission the Mint with more medals for the series.

As luck would have it, we discovered by accident a Lan Ting ink stone, said to have been engraved in mid Qing Dynasty. The poetic ambience of floating wine cups along a winding stream on the ink stone overwhelmed everyone. ("Floating wine cups along a winding stream" was an ancient festival, when scholars would sit on the bank of the stream, waiting for wine cups to pass. If the wine cup stopped in front of a scholar, he was obliged to compose a poem on the spot, or to drink the wine from the cup.) We decided to use the ink stone image as the design template and launched the project.

Oh all the twists and turns! First, the Classical Garden series was officially launched by Shanghai Mint. It was their own product. The system ruled out the possibility for individuals or organizations to take it over. It required a rigid system of expert review and approvals through the hierarchy. Despite our efforts made on multiple fronts, the cold reality was more than chilling. Our enthusiasm in the initial stage was again doused – we had even organized a Chinese Classical Garden silver medal development team (group), to work on research related to the Classical Garden series. We were not to give up, though. We decided to accomplish the impossible with our heart. Multiple trips were made to Shanghai Mint, to communicate with the designers, and to express to the leadership our fervent love for the series. After long and repeated communication which went on for almost half a year, our sincerity broke the ice. Maestro Yu Min willingly accepted the job to design and engrave the second medal in the series, Lan Ting. The leadership of Shanghai Mint also made an exception. Rules and regulations must be followed, but the distribution of the medal could be negotiated. This turned on the green light for the continued releases of the series.

Once minting started, disturbing news poured in. Because the surface of Lan Ting swells up like a bun, stress fell on the rim. But with the uneven surface, dies cracked easily during striking. Four sets of steel dies cracked for striking the first batch of 170 pieces. What was worse, around 110 of them were held by the QA team from being released, as they did not meet the Mint's standards. The striking issue got so bad that the operators were too scared to start the coin press. All the stakeholders converged on the scene: the Mint leadership team, the General Production Planner and the Director of the Die Division got together in the production facility in an effort to find a solution to the problem. This technical tough challenge weighed on everyone's mind in the sweltering summer.

The technical expertise of Shanghai Mint enriched over nearly 100 years, as well as the collective wisdom of the professionals, finally proved itself to our admiration. After 7 sets of cracked dies, the Lan Ting silver medal emerged perfectly with performing and multiple strikes in the fall of 2013, thanks to the efforts put in by everyone involved.

The planned mintage of Lan Ting was 2,000, but the actual mintage was 1,500.

I would like to mention specifically the antique finish Lan Ting. Controversy came up during the planning state in the Classical Garden QQ group, for several reasons. First, the Yuyuan medal did not have this finish. So it was inconsistent. Second, the blackish color would not look good. Someone even PSed a black picture of the Lan Ting medal and presented it to the group. It was very unsightly. At the suggestion of Professor Huang Ruiyong, we decided to mint only 200 pieces as a trial. It turned out to be the biggest hit when the medals were delivered. On the release day, bids were offered for the antique finish version at twice the release price. It was the undisputed star of all the Lan Ting medals. Now it has totally disappeared from the market, and became a favorite among many.

3. Summer Palace

By the end of 2013, the third medal in the series was being planned, for the Summer Palace, the top garden of the four Famous Gardens. (The others are Liuyuan and the Garden of Humble Administrator in Suzhou, and the Imperial Summer Resort in Chengde – translator.) Dazhou, a QQ group member, brought up an idea: recreation based on the painting of "Festival Summer Palace" by Mr. Zhang Yuqing from the 1970s. This proposal was turned down by the designers because of copyright consideration. However, it led their thoughts to a new direction. They followed Mr. Zhang's footsteps to the Summer Palace for onsite observations. Repeated musing and sketches were tempted from his perspective. Finally a bold presentation of the panorama condensed the overwhelming landscape on the surface of a 40 mm medal. It is unprecedented as such.

The design of the other side also took a dramatic turn. At first we all agreed to using a lacquer plate with gold-painted design of the Xiequyuan in the Summer Palace, which was bought from Japan at a high price by a group member Zhao Yong, as the inspiration for redesign and engraving. Consensus was reached after repeated discussions and even heated arguments between the QQ group members and the designers, while referring to the double-sided deep dish design of a silver coin from Perth Mint of Australia. This led to the introduction of the first double-sided deep dish medal in China. (As an aside, when the design of the Summer Palace medal was under way, the China Gold Coins Incorporation under the People's Bank of China was calling for bids on the 2014 China's Buddhist Sanctuary – Ermei 2 oz silver coin. Shanghai Mint took the idea of a deep dish design from our Summer Palace medal, and presented a single side deep dish coin design, which came out on top in the fierce competition with Shenyang Mint and Shenzhen Guobao Mint because it appealed to the many experts on the review committee. Afterwards, Shanghai Mint staff expressed thanks to our design and development team. We were especially pleased to be able to contribute to coin making technologies of our country with our collective wisdom.)

When the design of the Summer Palace commemorative medal was submitted to Shanghai Mint, approved and even engraved, a dramatic turn took place. The QQ group members found a better and more representative landscape of the Summer Palace, the Long Corridor. The original design was replaced, and the new design had to be submitted for approval. But the hard work of the designers on the original design was not to be wasted, and the system of the national mint had to be followed. After repeated discussions with the Mint, they agreed at the beginning of 2014 to provide the original design Xiequyuan as an extra bonus to the QQ group members, to our pleasant surprise, along with the Summer Palace – Long Corridor. The Summer Palace medal now has two varieties. The reverse is the panorama view of the Summer Palace. The obverse is 1. Long Corridor; 2. Xiequyuan. (The Xiequyuan variety came into existence just by accident. Maybe it should be excluded from the series, because this process cannot be replicated. Of course its price is sky high, too.)

4. Yuanmingyuan

Time flies. Yuanmingyuan, the "garden of all gardens", quickly moved onto the radar screen of the development team. It had a glorious past. Therefore it became the top priority of the Classical Garden series. But today all that was left of the garden are just ruins. How can the past glory be represented? This thought weighed on our mind as well as on the mind of the three most outstanding designers of Shanghai Mint. After collective brainstorming, it was finally decided to draw inspirations from the painting Forty Scenes of Yuanmingyuan by the imperial painters of Emperor Qianlong – Tang Dai, Shen Yuan and Leng Mei, as well as the copperplate European Palace in Yuanmingyuan by Giuseppe Castiglione. Combined with designs drawn from onsite observations by the designers, a grandiose medal was finally accomplished with Chinese style landscape and the Hall of National Peace on the obverse, and the ruins of the Water Wonder on the reverse.

As the obverse of this medal is extremely detailed, Mrs. Zhang Chunyue, director of the design and engraving team at Shanghai Mint, took up the engraving work herself. The reverse was shaped by the knives of Mrs. Dong Huizhen, a top coin designer/engraver. The clay models took as long as 4 months to complete. After the clay models were replicated to plaster models, it would take one to two weeks of detailing before they could be placed on the reducer to be reduced to master hubs. At that critical moment, Mrs. Zhang was diagnosed with some serious illness. Before she was hospitalized, she asked Mrs. Dong time and again to perfect the models for her. The Yuanmingyuan medal was not only designed with their heart and soul, but also a summary and reflection of Mrs. Zhang Chunye's many years of work.

After many twists and turns, the Yuanmingyuan medal, with the highest relief never seen on Chinese small size coins and medals, was finally released at the end of 2014. The ultra high relief on the ruins side had posed enormous difficulty for its production. The production management team and the coin press room staff organized trial productions which lasted 2 months. After trying out planchet performing, multiple (3-4 times) strikes, lathing twice to round the edge, double annealing, multiple cracked sets of working dies, multiple times of manual work, edging lettering and rhodium plating to prevent oxidation, the production was finally completed with success. Afterwards, the production team at Shanghai Mint confided that the work order was carried out regardless of cost or manpower, for the purpose of testing different new technologies and meeting the challenges. The difficulty and cost of producing this medal was absolutely beyond imagination.

5. Imperial Summer Resort (to be continued)

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2014, 06:26:16 AM »
 N48
Fascinating information on one of my favorite series and then...
Quote
(to be continued)
N17  :crying:
 N16

You gave actual mintage information on 2010 Yuyuan & 2013 Lan Ting but nothing on the 2014 Summer Palace, Xiequyuan or Yuanmingyuan.
Is this information unknown at this time?
I have been unable to easily find an unblemished 2014 Summer Palace, are white spots common on these?
Do you have a picture of the Xiequyuan or an estimate of their value?

Offline SANDAC

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 09:03:24 AM »
fwang2450,
Great translation.  An interesting glimpse into the technical difficulties of minting.

I remembered visiting the Summer Palace and other gardens in 1982.  The gardens were in great shape even with then recent upheaval of Cultural Revolution and poor financial state of China.  By Western standard these gardens were small and few relative to population they served, but they are extensively cultivated and maintained and very important recreational spots for the everyday Chinese.  I'd venture to guess in 1982 they were the only recreational relieves from the harsh daily grind.  I can see why the garden theme resonant with the collectors, especially older collectors who lived through these harsh days.

Your pictures showed both silver and gold colored coins.  Are the gold colored one rhodium plated?

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 10:03:38 AM »
N48
Fascinating information on one of my favorite series and then...  N17  :crying:
 N16

You gave actual mintage information on 2010 Yuyuan & 2013 Lan Ting but nothing on the 2014 Summer Palace, Xiequyuan or Yuanmingyuan.
Is this information unknown at this time?
I have been unable to easily find an unblemished 2014 Summer Palace, are white spots common on these?
Do you have a picture of the Xiequyuan or an estimate of their value?
I do have all the mintage info. It is in a table, not easy to paste in here. I will make a screenshot of the table and upload it later today.

The Summer Palace is trouble with white spots. Shanghai Mint is aware of it. That's why Yuanmingyuan is rhodium plated.

I will upload pictures of Xiequyuan when I find good ones.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2014, 10:04:55 AM »
fwang2450,
Great translation.  An interesting glimpse into the technical difficulties of minting.

I remembered visiting the Summer Palace and other gardens in 1982.  The gardens were in great shape even with then recent upheaval of Cultural Revolution and poor financial state of China.  By Western standard these gardens were small and few relative to population they served, but they are extensively cultivated and maintained and very important recreational spots for the everyday Chinese.  I'd venture to guess in 1982 they were the only recreational relieves from the harsh daily grind.  I can see why the garden theme resonant with the collectors, especially older collectors who lived through these harsh days.

Your pictures showed both silver and gold colored coins.  Are the gold colored one rhodium plated?
The gold colored ones are actually brass. The silver medal is rhodium plated.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2014, 02:18:26 PM »
The 2014 Yuanmingyuan Classical Gardens Old Summer Palace has writing on it's side, can someone translate please?
I'm hearing this medal in silver finish is not producing 70's for some reason, could it be the rhodium plating?
Mintage
Silver finish: 1500, POP:1200
Antique: 500
Brass: 999 POP:849
Also, there will be 150 of the brass colorized.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 02:46:20 PM by NBM »

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 02:38:15 PM »
The 2014 Yuanmingyuan Classical Gardens Old Summer Palace has writing on it's side, can someone translate please?
I'm hearing this medal is not producing 70's for some reason, could it be the rhodium plating?
Those characters mean "China Banknote Printing and Coin Minting", referring to the organization that governs Shanghai Mint.

Not sure about grading statistics of this medal. I heard there were a lot of 69s.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 03:08:07 PM »
Thank you again kind sir.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2014, 05:38:25 PM »
Here is the mintage info.

Offline vkind

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2014, 06:54:58 PM »


Fwang - Excellent info about these medals. Thank you for sharing.

Summer palace mintage shows 99.....is it that low?

Gold - mintage 20 - So that's out of question to even see in market.

Silver Antique - Low mintage compared to regular finish. do you come across antique finish or even that's rare?

Thanks!


Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 07:14:13 PM »
I found these pictures of Xiequyuan in antique finish. Cannot find pictures of brass or regular silver ones. Pricing info is not available at the moment. Saw an asking price of $1300 for a PF70 regular silver Xiequyuan. But it is negotiable.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2014, 07:40:39 PM »

Fwang - Excellent info about these medals. Thank you for sharing.

Summer palace mintage shows 99.....is it that low?

Gold - mintage 20 - So that's out of question to even see in market.

Silver Antique - Low mintage compared to regular finish. do you come across antique finish or even that's rare?

Thanks!


The Summer Palace -Xiequyuan is low in mintage, as it was a bonus to the collectors. It is mentioned in the article.

Antique finish silver medals are still available on the market, except for Xiequyuan. But the pricing is pretty high. Antique finish Lan Ting is around $600. Antique finish Summer Palace is around $400. Antique finish Yuanmingyuan is still low, around $200.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2014, 08:27:40 PM »
I agree the antique finish are great, excellent visual appeal.

I found a picture of 谐趣园 or Xiequyuan I took in 1982 with my old Pentax K1000.  It was late October so all lotus were dormant.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2014, 08:41:51 PM »
I am hearing there are possibly less than 10 PF-70 silver Yuanmingyuan due to the high relief and their price starts around $400.

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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2014, 05:30:31 PM »
I am hearing there are possibly less than 10 PF-70 silver Yuanmingyuan due to the high relief and their price starts around $400.
Due to the experimental nature of these medals, they may not be perfectly minted. The Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace) antique finish medal have quite a few 67s and 68s. NGC probably is still struggling with their proper grading. Personally I don't care much about the grades. The raw medals I have will remain ungraded, until NGC or PCGS comes up with a better slab. The current NGC slab hides the rim, making the piedfort medal look similar to regular thickness ones. It is a lot more fun to hold the medals in their capsule.

Offline dragonzeng168

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2014, 09:03:55 PM »
Regarding the Yuan Ming Yuan silver medal , i submited 3pcs for grading, two are NGC68,one NGC69, most of my friends, NGC68 more than NGC69, some NGC67, last night one friend sold one NGC69 at 220usd Around in China.
the 173usd definitely great price, as shipping cost should be around 15usd. take all of them if the price is real.very good buy

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2014, 01:22:32 AM »
Here is some more information provided by Lei Ting on the Chinese Classical Garden series.

1. Chinese Classical Garden I – Hill Admiring Hall in the Yuyuan Garden
(Yuyuan in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu_Garden)
The first ultra high relief silver medal minted by Shanghai Mint
Released by: Shanghai Mint
Year of release: 2010
Designer and engraver: Yu Min

Description: The Yuyuan Garden is one of the "Four Top National Cultural Markets." It is the only Ming Dynasty style garden in Shanghai, located in the Yuyuan Tourist Plaza, bordering the Town's God Temple. It is considered to be the best among the five top gardens in the lower Yangtze River Valley area. It embodies the Ming and Qing Dynasty classical garden style of condensing a large perspective into a limited space, characterized by architectural structures of complementing the realistic with the impressionistic, contrasting the big with the small, and alternating density with sparsity. The garden is a cultural site under special protection of the government, as well as a national 4A tourist site.

2. Chinese Classical Garden II – Lan Ting (Orchid Pavilion)
(Lan Ting in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchid_Pavilion_Gathering)
Released by: Shanghai Mint
Year of release: 2013
Designer and engraver: Yu Min

Description: The obverse of the medal features the architecture of the Chinese classical garden, with the inscription "Charming beyond Description" by Liu Shutang, the Governor of Zhejiang in the Qing Dynasty. In the middle are paragraphs from the Preface to the Lan Ting Poem Collection written by Wang Xizhi. The reverse design imitates the ancient scene of floating wine cups along a winding stream around Lan Ting, engraved with the characters 曲水流觞 (floating wine cups along a winding stream) in the form of a seal by the reputed modern calligrapher Lei Yu, and the characters 兰亭 (Lan Ting - Orchid Pavilion) written by Emperor Kang Xi.

3. Chinese Classical Garden III – Summer Palace/Corridor, Summer Palace/Xiequyuan      
(Summer Palace in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Palace)
Released by: Shanghai Mint
Year of release: 2014
Designers and engravers: Zhang Chunye, Dong Huizhen, Zhao Qiang (Rocky Zhao)

Description: It was the first time that the minting technology of double-side deep dish with high relief had ever been used on Chinese coins/medals. Summer Palace/Corridor has the long corridor in the Summer Palace on the obverse, and a panorama view of the Summer Palace on the reverse. Summer Palace/Xiequyuan has the landscape of Xuequyuan on the obverse and a panorama view of the Summer Palace on the reverse.

4. Chinese Classical Garden IV – Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace)
(Yuanmingyuan in Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Summer_Palace)
Released by: Shanghai Mint
Year of release: 2014
Designers and engravers: Zhang Chunye, Dong Huizhen, Zhao Qiang (Rocky Zhao)

Description: Yuanmingyuan in the Chinese Classical Garden series is not unlike "only after our repeated calls did she appear" (line from an ancient poem - translator). The medal is simply fabulous, with ultra high relief on a 40 mm surface. It is highly collectible.

The Yuanmingyuan medal can be characterized as "wonderful scenery with 12 lunar animals; western copperplate enhanced by Chinese fine brushwork; garden of all gardens, living only in memory."

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2014, 11:26:36 PM »
I like the old summer palace very much. I only short the brass color. Might give up or source it at right price.

I prefer the Yuanmingyuan in OMP. NGC grading did put the high relief side at the back of the slab which is ugly. I have continue the slab since the first 3 bought by me were slab. Nonetheless, I keep the YMY in omp for one set.

Hi Wang,
I did show u post the mintage of the classical garden. Is that new issue after old summer palace ? Any issue date?



Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2014, 12:16:16 AM »

Hi Wang,
I did show u post the mintage of the classical garden. Is that new issue after old summer palace ? Any issue date?



I am not sure of your question.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2014, 02:16:58 AM »
I am not sure of your question.

The imperial summer resort is the next medal after old summer palace?

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2014, 03:10:34 AM »
Welcome to the forum andrewlee10.
andrewlee10 is a regular poster at SilverStackers Panda forum as well as at the Gold Club Asia forums.  :thumbup1:

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2014, 10:28:59 AM »
The imperial summer resort is the next medal after old summer palace?
Yes. That's right.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2014, 11:16:29 AM »
Still nothing from NGC on the Yuanmingyuan population?

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2014, 10:19:06 PM »
Yes. That's right.

I have not heard any formal news from china about the imperial summer resort. Do you get any news or formal announcement?

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2014, 10:25:38 PM »
I have not heard any formal news from china about the imperial summer resort. Do you get any news or formal announcement?
There is a QQ group that discusses these Classical Garden series medals. The plaster models of the Imperial Summer Resort have already been sent to Shanghai Mint for production.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2014, 11:12:46 PM »
it seem both sides are high relief and look good.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2014, 11:21:40 PM »
Here is the mintage info.

Xiequyuan silver around RMB 3300 before shipping. I have found one dealer seller.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2015, 01:03:07 AM »
Still nothing from NGC on the Yuanmingyuan population?
Finally...
Total Graded: 265 MS67-13, MS68-93, MS69-153, MS70-6.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2015, 01:25:57 AM »
Finally...
Total Graded: 265 MS67-13, MS68-93, MS69-153, MS70-6.
MS should be PF.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2015, 02:31:44 AM »
Oops, thanks.
Too late to edit.

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2015, 10:56:54 PM »
I found these pictures of Xiequyuan in antique finish. Cannot find pictures of brass or regular silver ones. Pricing info is not available at the moment. Saw an asking price of $1300 for a PF70 regular silver Xiequyuan. But it is negotiable.

A beautiful copper piece

http://youtu.be/bMQCnGSDFB0

I found these pictures of Xiequyuan in antique finish. Cannot find pictures of brass or regular silver ones. Pricing info is not available at the moment. Saw an asking price of $1300 for a PF70 regular silver Xiequyuan. But it is negotiable.
I found these pictures of Xiequyuan in antique finish. Cannot find pictures of brass or regular silver ones. Pricing info is not available at the moment. Saw an asking price of $1300 for a PF70 regular silver Xiequyuan. But it is negotiable.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2015, 09:28:23 PM »
Here are some pictures of the plaster model of the upcoming Summer Resort.

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2015, 09:37:36 PM »
Very nice.  When will they come out?  Thanks for sharing fwang.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2015, 09:55:34 PM »
Very nice.  When will they come out?  Thanks for sharing fwang.
Not sure yet. The plastic model is with Shanghai Mint now. They are still scheduling its minting.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2015, 01:37:12 AM »
I saw the plastic model for copper. Seems the coin is in the pipeline and design is firm

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2015, 09:28:21 AM »
Here is a video of the Summer Palace XIE 99 Pieces.  Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/QTv4UmmVLvI

Offline NBM

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barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2015, 06:22:18 PM »
Wrong link?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTr0ITv5laI

Sorry about that.  I think I liked Martin's video so much, I sent it intead of this one showing the XIE QU garden.  99 pieces.  One of my favs.

http://youtu.be/rTr0ITv5laI

This one is on the wish list. LOL. 


Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2015, 05:25:01 PM »
The pattern strikes of the Summer Resort have been minted by Shanghai Mint. Please see the pictures below, which are provided by Shanghai Mint (unofficially). The yellow one is brass, not gold.

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2015, 05:33:11 PM »
Looks good Frank.  I wish I didn't automatically get the update via email. lol.  Thanks for sending.  All the best my friend.

Offline davidt3251

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2015, 07:26:33 PM »
In NGC's Chinese Medals Census, they have two categories for the Brass Classic Gardens-Old Summer Palace ("Yuan Ming Yuan")

(2014) CLASSIC GARDENS - 40mm OLD SUMMER PALACE

There is PFUC and PFMA.

Then, I see in the NGC entry for 2014 XIE QU, the Brass is PFMA. There is only one category of Brass for the 2014 XIE QU.

If I then look at Frank's article, for the Old Summer Palace there is both Brass (Proof) and Brass (Stained)

Does anyone know if the NGC 2014 Old Summer Palace PFMA is the stained or unstained version?


Offline davidt3251

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2015, 07:33:54 PM »
The pattern strikes of the Summer Resort have been minted by Shanghai Mint. Please see the pictures below, which are provided by Shanghai Mint (unofficially). The yellow one is brass, not gold.


Frank, Do you know if there is going to be a Brass (Stained) version of the Imperial Summer Resort medals?
http://modern-chinese-numismatic-info.blogspot.ca/

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2015, 07:38:15 PM »
Hey David, on the first page, the sheet that Frank posted it shows 600 stained brass. 

Offline davidt3251

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2015, 07:42:27 PM »
Hey David, on the first page, the sheet that Frank posted it shows 600 stained brass. 

Oops, I meant to ask about Brass Colorized. Its listed in that section but no number is noted.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2015, 07:58:39 PM »
Oops, I meant to ask about Brass Colorized. Its listed in that section but no number is noted.
The latest mintage numbers of the Imperial Summer Resort medals are:

Gold: 10
Silver proof: 1,000 (down from the planned 1,200)
Antique silver: 388 (down from the planned 500)
Brass: 420
Stained brass: 180

Offline BobW

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #46 on: March 28, 2015, 08:04:22 PM »
How will these medals be distributed/sold?

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2015, 10:39:12 PM »
How will these medals be distributed/sold?
There is a QQ group, where people can reserve the medals at the release price. But the reservation period ended at last year. What I hear is that the brass versions are extremely in demand, probably due to the low price. There are two general distributors for this set, one for the domestic market, the other for the overseas market. This is the first time the distributor model is used, and so there is no forecast what the price structure will be like.

Please be aware that the reserved medals will be OMP. If someone wants to buy graded ones, he or she will have to wait till grading is done, probably at a pretty high premium if the grading results do not turn out as expected. The antique finish Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace) had only only a few 69's out of the more than 100 submitted for grading.

eBay dealers like Lucky will have some pieces for sale, although I do not know how many he reserved. If you are interested in OMP, I will ask the sponsors of the series as well as the general distributors about the availability at the release prices or slightly higher prices. Please PM me with the version(s) you are interested in and how many. I will see what I can do.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2015, 11:14:57 PM »
For those who want to buy before seeing the medals, please be aware of the risk that the antique and stained finished may not work well on all the themes. Just a reminder.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #49 on: March 30, 2015, 03:42:55 AM »
The sponsor come out with too many varieties to suck money.

I personally is one of the classical garden collector BUT I do not like the new design which is more on building theme than Garden.

However, I still will buy it for the sake of continue of the full set.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2015, 06:41:55 AM »
I agree this seems like the least interesting of the set, perhaps it will have more charm in hand?
Who is "the sponsor"?

Offline PandaOrLunar

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2015, 10:42:26 PM »
..buy it for the sake of continue of the full set.
Can you ready get the full set <end rhetorical question>.  Unless there is an official authoritative report on what is produced, someone will discovered among the release a small sand, narrow door, frosted roof tile, chipped tooth, hairy nose, etc.  :lol:


Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #52 on: March 31, 2015, 01:01:16 AM »
I agree this seems like the least interesting of the set, perhaps it will have more charm in hand?
Who is "the sponsor"?
Without seeing the physical medal, it is hard to know how good it is. Only after I took high resolution pictures of this series, did I find out the superb workmanship of Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace). It is my favorite. On the other hand, most people in the QQ group like Lan Ting. A PF70 Lan Ting sold for RMB 10,000 recently.

One common issue with this series is that most miss the mirror-cameo contrast, and there is too much stuff on the design. This Summer Resort is no exception. The designer could have left the water/lake part flat in a mirror field. Instead some lines were added to imitate waves, disrupting the mirror effect.

The sponsor of the Classical Garden series is Cai Xiaoping, who is a successful businessman. I don't believe he makes much money out of the series. The release prices of the medals are pretty low, such as $35 dollars for the brass version.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2015, 05:09:43 AM »
This money is not crucial for Cai for sure. However, the others helper and so on............ Y color brass, why Xie and so on and on.

It is really puzzle me.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #54 on: March 31, 2015, 09:58:38 AM »
This money is not crucial for Cai for sure. However, the others helper and so on............ Y color brass, why Xie and so on and on.

It is really puzzle me.
Some dealers have helped push up the prices of some of the low mintage medals in the series, like Xie Qu Yuan, especially on eBay. But if you find the right person, you can get them at a much lower price. I believe Bob got his Xie Qu Yuan set at a fair price.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2015, 04:29:13 AM »
I can get NGC PF69 antique finishing at RMB 6,000.

Silver raw at RMB2900 - 3200

This price is far away in ebay. However, I did not keen on it at all. Too many varieties which no way for me to keep up.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2015, 09:58:20 AM »
A PF70 Lan Ting sold for RMB 10,000 recently.

Sorry, my mistake. It was not a Lan Ting. It was a silver Xie Qu Yuan.

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2015, 01:29:47 PM »
Wow. That is about 1,600 u.s for the one medal.  A PF70 must be very rare.  The only one out of 99?

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2015, 08:34:59 PM »
Hello everyone. Just joined the CCF! I am debuting on this particular thread because it provided me with critical information that helped me build up my Garden Medal collection so far. I am US based. I would describe myself best as a Collector. I however don't like throwing away money so I try to buy at reasonable prices or hope that items I purchase will appreciate in future to justify whatever I spent. In that case I might be called a Collector-Investor kind of. I haven't sold any coin or medal yet. If I do so it will be pay for the habit! I however, cannot foretell what will happen to my current collection approach in 5-10-15 years.

I wish to thank all contributors to this forum. I have learnt a lot from your postings both here and elsewhere.

I am excited about the coming release of the 5th in the Classical Garden Medal series. My only concern is that with the recent explosion in interest in these medals their prices will shoot up and they may become difficult to find or buy.
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

Offline Birdman

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2015, 09:25:34 PM »
Hello everyone. Just joined the CCF! I am debuting on this particular thread because it provided me with critical information that helped me build up my Garden Medal collection so far. I am US based. I would describe myself best as a Collector. I however don't like throwing away money so I try to buy at reasonable prices or hope that items I purchase will appreciate in future to justify whatever I spent. In that case I might be called a Collector-Investor kind of. I haven't sold any coin or medal yet. If I do so it will be pay for the habit! I however, cannot foretell what will happen to my current collection approach in 5-10-15 years.

I wish to thank all contributors to this forum. I have learnt a lot from your postings both here and elsewhere.

I am excited about the coming release of the 5th in the Classical Garden Medal series. My only concern is that with the recent explosion in interest in these medals their prices will shoot up and they may become difficult to find or buy.

Welcome to the Forum, KeepOnTrying!  N47 +1

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2015, 09:39:16 PM »
Welcome KeepOnTrying.
I am excited about the coming release of the 5th in the Classical Garden Medal series. My only concern is that with the recent explosion in interest in these medals their prices will shoot up and they may become difficult to find or buy.
This is already occurring on US eBay thanks to a dealer who must not be named.
The problem with this is a series can reach unnaturally high prices in a short period of time leaving new collectors with a bad taste in their mouth after the bubble bursts.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2015, 03:00:47 AM »
N
Welcome KeepOnTrying.This is already occurring on US eBay thanks to a dealer who must not be named.
The problem with this is a series can reach unnaturally high prices in a short period of time leaving new collectors with a bad taste in their mouth after the bubble bursts.

Not buy from ebay can make him not inflate the price.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2015, 03:04:17 AM »
Wow. That is about 1,600 u.s for the one medal.  A PF70 must be very rare.  The only one out of 99?

Bob I did sent yoo all the photo of NGC Graded of this medal. It is more than 1 pcs PF70.

Total NGC Graded for the silver is 23. 2 pcs PF70, 4 pcs PF69, 11 Pcs PF68 and 6 pcs PF67.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2015, 07:48:46 AM »

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #64 on: April 05, 2015, 10:48:22 PM »
Better pictures of the Imperial Summer Resort medals available, in the order of silver proof, antique silver, brass proof, stained copper.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #65 on: April 05, 2015, 11:07:50 PM »
More polishing will be done to the dies based on feedback from the collectors, such as adding more mirror area to the lion statue side.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #66 on: April 05, 2015, 11:09:24 PM »
A couple of more pictures.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2015, 12:14:10 AM »
Better pictures of the Imperial Summer Resort medals available, in the order of silver proof, antique silver, brass proof, stained copper.

Looking Good! Thanks for the pictures. About when will these medals hit the market?
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #68 on: April 06, 2015, 01:11:51 AM »
Looking Good! Thanks for the pictures. About when will these medals hit the market?
There are still some details to be worked out, such as making the brass version double thick, modeling on the brass Lan Ting. I will let you know when there is a date.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #69 on: April 06, 2015, 02:25:54 AM »
Ok. Thanks once again.
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2015, 10:09:20 PM »
Will the mirror effect lead to white spot?

Will the reverse side of the scenic like the long corridor which tend to white spot?

The idea of polishing the lion to mirror effect is good. How about the dragon?

If too much polish it become a bit different with all the previous one.

Anywhere since I have to continue the series. Close my both eyes buy it... 

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2015, 01:42:17 AM »
Will the mirror effect lead to white spot?

Will the reverse side of the scenic like the long corridor which tend to white spot?

The idea of polishing the lion to mirror effect is good. How about the dragon?

If too much polish it become a bit different with all the previous one.

Anywhere since I have to continue the series. Close my both eyes buy it... 
Like Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace), there will be a rhodium coating on the silver proof, to prevent white spots.

The lion will not be in mirror, but the sky, the lake and archways under the bridge inside the door will be polished to mirror. Eyeballs of the lion will be polished, too. Besides, texture and shading will be added to the lion's body.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2015, 09:38:28 PM »
Like Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace), there will be a rhodium coating on the silver proof, to prevent white spots.

The lion will not be in mirror, but the sky, the lake and archways under the bridge inside the door will be polished to mirror. Eyeballs of the lion will be polished, too. Besides, texture and shading will be added to the lion's body.


sound interesting those mirror effect can enhance the high relief effect.

I have 3 YMY NGC PF69 which 2 got small white spot even rhodium coating. 15 omp 2 got small white spot.

However, just a very small one not as bad as the long corridor. I kept those with white spot and the balance sold. Hope the white spot will not develop further.

 

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #73 on: April 21, 2015, 03:42:42 AM »
Grace and Beauty in Perfect Harmony
—Reflections on Designing the Mountain Resort Medals of the Classical Garden Series

Yu Songmei, designer of the Mountain Resort medals of the Classical Garden series

March 20, 2015

The Pine and Crane Mansion where "Green pines coil outside, and white cranes dance in the courtyard" (poetic lines from Emperor Qian Long – translator), the Mid-Lake pavilion where fish swim amidst blue waves and ripples, and the character 避 with an extra stroke in 避暑山庄 (Mountain Resort – translator): All this intuitively came to my mind when I received the assignment for the design of the Mountain Resort medal. However, when I tried to put my pencil to the drafting board, the view of the pleasant and peaceful lake broke up, leaving me with no idea where to start.

I know the place so well, because it is my hometown, with fond memories of childhood laughter and scampering sika deer, where my best friends and relatives still live. When they learned that my mentor arranged this design work for me, they were more excited than I was, and asked me back for a site tour. My mind traveled afar before my body even made a slight move… I needed to set foot on the ground, to piece together the scattered image, and to find the soul of the Mountain Resort for the little medal.

The get-together took place right across the Lizheng Gate. With a few cups of wine, the free spirit of the Northerners started to prevail, intermingled with some royal grandeur. Our topics went from the individual sites in the Resort, to legends and mythology; from the prosperity of the Qing Dynasty, to the ruthless trample by the enemies; from the glory of frontier exploration, to the crushing sense of defeat when the "Sino-Russian Beijing Agreement" was signed; from harmonization of all the nationalities, to the slogan of "Mountain Resort in Harmonious Chengde" promoted by the City of Chengde (where the Mountain Resort is located – translator). Too much was symbolized by and embodied in the Mountain Resort, which was not only a condensed version of all the gardens in China, but also a condensed history that warranted deep reflection. At that moment, the character 避 with an extra stroke came to my mind once more. That extra stroke was added by Emperor Kangxi because he wanted to make it different from the original character, which meant "escape" or "flee from." With this extra stroke, the character did not mean "escape" anymore. But, as fate would have it, it became a refuge in the end anyway. The longest royal palace wall in the world (Mountain Resort was a royal palace – translator) came in sight when I lifted my eyes. It is called "tiger-skin pattern wall" because it was build with stones with tiger-skin patterns. This wall, like the more magnificent Great Wall, failed to stop enemy invasions. There is a lion standing next to the Lizheng Gate. The lion has many characteristics attributed to it. It is seen as a protector of our residence to deter evil spirits, and an enabler of good luck and power. But to me the lion stands for justice and strength, as witnessed in Lion King. Only with lion-like power can we defend our beautiful homeland. The wall, no matter how high, which represented door closing policies, won't work even a bit. My heart was deeply touched at the moment, with some moisture at the corners of my eyes. I was absolutely sure that was the soul of the Mountain Resort. Naturally, I adopted its door plaque and the Qing Dynasty art treasure - the copper Lion - in my design as the representative of the Mountain Resort itself.

The initial field visit was short, but with a lot of clamor. In addition to hundreds of photos, I also brought back the weight of entrustment. I needed to find a form for the soul I discovered. The hundreds of photos were all nice and beautiful, not only covering the 72 sites royally designated by Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong, but also showing the bright smiles and graceful figures of humans. Every photo was nice, but it could not completely represent the image of the Mountain Resort in my mind. Probably the garden would defy this form of representation. Probably it was calling for another visit.

After numerous drafts, I felt that I was at my wits' end. A decision was made to have another visit of the Mountain Resort. This time I went quietly, all by myself. When I stepped into the Resort with the day hardly breaking, the mist typical of Jiangnan (lower Yangtze River Valley and vicinity – translator) was still hanging low. After passing the pavilion bridge and roaming through the grassland and vegetable fields, I started to appreciate the vastness and brightness of the highland at noontime. The Mountain Resort revealed its true self this way. Only through such close contacts with the Resort did I realize its beautiful landscaping principle of "building human-made beauty into nature, in harmony with nature and going beyond it." It was rightfully awarded the reputation of "the epitome of Chinese geography", and "the top representation of classical Chinese gardens."

After this field trip, the bits and pieces of the fabulous Resort started to fall together, like a long horizontal scroll of painting, with colorful and rich snapshots. This painting scroll folded along the natural terrain, following mountains and waters. It flowed harmoniously, combining gardening arts from both Southern and Northern China. As a result, the palace buildings in the design merged into the natural background. Moreover, water rushing down high mountains, as well as vegetation variations such as lotus leaves vs. pines and cypresses, brought out the unique geographical features of the Mountain Resort. This range of varying vegetation is hardly present in other gardens.

At that moment, the Mountain Resort transformed in my mind from an abstract concept –a soul - into a complete physical form. When I finally smiled at the completed draft, I was thrilled as well as sentimental, long lost in its rich history and awe-inspiring views. I felt embraced by the Resort once more.

Grace and beauty in perfect harmony: as the biggest royal garden in China and a World's Cultural Heritage site, the Mountain Resort will have a spectacular future.

Offline NBM

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #74 on: April 21, 2015, 04:50:27 AM »
Reading the artist's thoughts reminds me why I collect MCC.
They are a reflection of the soul of the China.
Thank you for facilitating our journey.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #75 on: April 25, 2015, 02:39:01 PM »
Hi everyone!
Do we have any updates on these medals? Are there more resource materials such as the above posting by fwang2450? Has anyone got photos of the actual site and structures to share? It's not just the medals, it is the background stories and visual materials that enrich these aspects of China's history and cultural heritage that we are being privileged to share in from vast distances away!!
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Offline BobW

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #76 on: April 25, 2015, 04:48:33 PM »
This site contains numerous images of the Chengde Mountain Resort'

http://tinyurl.com/n8x4dcz


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #77 on: April 26, 2015, 01:33:19 AM »
This site contains numerous images of the Chengde Mountain Resort'

http://tinyurl.com/n8x4dcz



Thanks a lot. I'll check it out.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #78 on: May 04, 2015, 11:22:14 PM »
Anyone get the real medal yet?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #79 on: May 05, 2015, 01:15:37 AM »
Anyone get the real medal yet?

Mountain Resort is not released yet. Will be available in a month or so.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #80 on: May 05, 2015, 01:35:31 AM »
I must eye for it. I like the mirror effects.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #81 on: May 23, 2015, 11:16:51 PM »
Here are the latest descriptions of the medal for the Mountain Resort, also known as the Imperial Summer Resort, by Lei Ting:

The ancient royal garden Mountain Resort is located beyond the Great Wall, and so is the least familiar among the Four Classical Gardens. As such, it is endowed with a sense of mystery. The architecture that combines Han, Manchurian, Mongolian and even Tibetan Buddhist styles, and the mountains, waters, towers and pavilions that embody oriental grace and elegance, are well worth exploring. In the Classical Gardens series, this medal was the one that the team gave their most attention to, with pains-taking efforts. We were lucky to have secured Ms. Yu Songmei, a well-known designer at the China Banknote Printing and Coin Minting Co, for the design of the medal. Ms. Yu studied under Rocky Zhao, who in turn was a student to Master Chen Jian. She grew up next to the gates of the Mountain Resort and knows all the landscape in the area, with a deep sense of love and belonging. She made two trips back home to refresh her memory and gain a better knowledge of the vicinity. The final design is amazing and outstanding, stemming from her refined perception and inspiration. The obverse is featured by the brass Royal Lion with Drooping Ears guarding the palace gate, and the Three-Arch Level Bridge and other scenic spots shifted over some distance into the background. The reverse starts from the Lizheng Gate in the foreground, and extends beyond the Mid-Lake Pavilion all the way across the waters and mountains of the royal garden. This medal was painstakingly and meticulously engraved by the famed folk artist Mr. Lin Feng. Even the knocker rings on the palace gate are clearly visible on the small medal. This medal is also the one in the series that took the longest time to release. The design was initiated in the beginning of 2014. The design draft was reviewed and approved by Shanghai Mint in June, thus kicking off the approval process for the project. The clay and plaster models were completed in August. The medal is to be released at the end of May, 2015. It has been a full year and a half. The pattern was struck three times. The dies were re-engraved four times and modified five times to add mirror effect to the sky and arches under the bridge, to clear out the walls of the pavilions and corridors, and to improve the waves on the lake. (The relief of the obverse and reverse was adjusted down a little from the clay model, due to the lesson learned during the Yuanmingyuan/Old Summer Palace production, which cracked more than twenty die sets.) The mintage is as follows:

Silver – Planned: 1200; Actual: 1000
Antique silver – Planned: 500; Actual: 388
Brass: 480 (planned and actual)
Stained copper: 180 (planned and actual)

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #82 on: May 23, 2015, 11:20:42 PM »
The legendary engraver/designer Lin Feng, whose works include the Crabs and Xi Shi and the Pearl. He worked at New Century Medals Co., whose owner is Yi Shizhong, the hand engraver of the goldfish series.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #83 on: May 24, 2015, 09:17:22 AM »
The legendary engraver/designer Lin Feng, whose works include the Crabs and Xi Shi and the Pearl. He worked at New Century Medals Co., whose owner is Yi Shizhong, the hand engraver of the goldfish series.
A man loaded with talent and achievements. Congratulations to Lin Feng for his Xi Shi with a Pearl medal design; a truly wonderful looking medal!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #84 on: May 24, 2015, 09:28:37 AM »
Here are the latest descriptions of the medal for the Mountain Resort, also known as the Imperial Summer Resort, by Lei Ting:

The ancient royal garden Mountain Resort is located beyond the Great Wall, and so is the least familiar among the Four Classical Gardens. As such, it is endowed with a sense of mystery. The architecture that combines Han, Manchurian, Mongolian and even Tibetan Buddhist styles, and the mountains, waters, towers and pavilions that embody oriental grace and elegance, are well worth exploring. In the Classical Gardens series, this medal was the one that the team gave their most attention to, with pains-taking efforts. We were lucky to have secured Ms. Yu Songmei, a well-known designer at the China Banknote Printing and Coin Minting Co, for the design of the medal. Ms. Yu studied under Rocky Zhao, who in turn was a student to Master Chen Jian. She grew up next to the gates of the Mountain Resort and knows all the landscape in the area, with a deep sense of love and belonging. She made two trips back home to refresh her memory and gain a better knowledge of the vicinity. The final design is amazing and outstanding, stemming from her refined perception and inspiration. The obverse is featured by the brass Royal Lion with Drooping Ears guarding the palace gate, and the Three-Arch Level Bridge and other scenic spots shifted over some distance into the background. The reverse starts from the Lizheng Gate in the foreground, and extends beyond the Mid-Lake Pavilion all the way across the waters and mountains of the royal garden. This medal was painstakingly and meticulously engraved by the famed folk artist Mr. Lin Feng. Even the knocker rings on the palace gate are clearly visible on the small medal. This medal is also the one in the series that took the longest time to release. The design was initiated in the beginning of 2014. The design draft was reviewed and approved by Shanghai Mint in June, thus kicking off the approval process for the project. The clay and plaster models were completed in August. The medal is to be released at the end of May, 2015. It has been a full year and a half. The pattern was struck three times. The dies were re-engraved four times and modified five times to add mirror effect to the sky and arches under the bridge, to clear out the walls of the pavilions and corridors, and to improve the waves on the lake. (The relief of the obverse and reverse was adjusted down a little from the clay model, due to the lesson learned during the Yuanmingyuan/Old Summer Palace production, which cracked more than twenty die sets.) The mintage is as follows:

Silver – Planned: 1200; Actual: 1000
Antique silver – Planned: 500; Actual: 388
Brass: 480 (planned and actual)
Stained copper: 180 (planned and actual)


With such a history and excellent performance of the preceding medals I know there will be a lot of interest in the forthcoming release. I hope we all can lay our hands on these medals!
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #85 on: May 24, 2015, 10:08:48 AM »
A man loaded with talent and achievements. Congratulations to Lin Feng for his Xi Shi with a Pearl medal design; a truly wonderful looking medal!
I also need to add the Mountain Resort medal to the accolade of Lin Feng's engraving skills. Great job!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #86 on: June 01, 2015, 08:21:16 PM »
Update to this statement in my previous post: The medal is to be released at the end of May, 2015.

Due to die cracking in production, the release time of the Mountain Resort has been delayed to early June.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #87 on: June 02, 2015, 01:34:30 AM »
Update to this statement in my previous post: The medal is to be released at the end of May, 2015.

Due to die cracking in production, the release time of the Mountain Resort has been delayed to early June.

The kettle that is watched never seems to boil! Let them take all the time they need. This may turn out to be the best made so far in the series. Good luck and watch those fingers! Let it just be cracked dies and not fingers!

Thanks for the update.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #88 on: June 07, 2015, 01:30:14 PM »
The Mountain Resort was released yesterday. Here are a few pictures.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #89 on: June 07, 2015, 06:35:56 PM »
looking good Frank.  Can't wait to see it in hand.  Thanks for sharing.  I believe there is one more to come to complete the series?  Thanks again.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #90 on: June 07, 2015, 07:14:38 PM »
Hey Frank are these mintage amounts still accurate?  :001_tt2: 20 Copper?  That thing going for about 20K?   N4  Probably as much as the infamous Antique Nanjing Panda?  :drool:   :drool:


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #91 on: June 07, 2015, 07:51:56 PM »
looking good Frank.  Can't wait to see it in hand.  Thanks for sharing.  I believe there is one more to come to complete the series?  Thanks again.
There are three more to come, two for two Suzhou gardens; the other closing medal will have all the images of the series on it.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #92 on: June 07, 2015, 07:53:39 PM »
Hey Frank are these mintage amounts still accurate?  :001_tt2: 20 Copper?  That thing going for about 20K?   N4  Probably as much as the infamous Antique Nanjing Panda?  :drool:   :drool:

The copper version is purely for gifts, not for sale. Those who receive it will have it for free.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #93 on: June 07, 2015, 08:05:24 PM »
The copper version is purely for gifts, not for sale. Those who receive it will have it for free.

thanks for the info.  Good stuff.  I'm not sure I follow your thought about the 'closing medal will have all the images...'  Interesting.   :001_tt1:

Also, I'm sure if we see one of those 'free gifts' on eBay, it will be 10K.  N20   :lol:

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #94 on: June 07, 2015, 08:14:02 PM »
thanks for the info.  Good stuff.  I'm not sure I follow your thought about the 'closing medal will have all the images...'  Interesting.   :001_tt1:

Also, I'm sure if we see one of those 'free gifts' on eBay, it will be 10K.  N20
If you remember the coin that was issued at the end of the first round of lunar coins, you will know what I mean, but I am attaching a picture for your reference.

Don't fall into the mintage trap with medals.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #95 on: June 07, 2015, 08:16:23 PM »
If you remember the coin that was issued at the end of the first round of lunar coins, you will know what I mean, but I am attaching a picture for your reference.

Don't fall into the mintage trap with medals.

Ah, got it, makes sense Frank.  I know, I'm having fun with you about those 20 copper.  I'm not a buyer of one of those, unless it will be about 200.00 U.S.  :w00t:

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #96 on: June 07, 2015, 08:26:08 PM »
Nice, thank you.  N48
Has anyone released a picture of the gold?
Would you explain the "mintage trap"?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #97 on: June 07, 2015, 08:38:43 PM »
How about this theoretical scenario?

A sponsor designs rather a rather low-mintage series, enough to get collectors and investors to buy in based on
Low Mintage rarity.

Then each year, they slightly change the design... And lower the mintage...  Until the last years where
a frenzy of sorts builds for those collectors who have bought in, invested heavily, and find they are spending ridiculously high amounts in an effort to complete their series?  

Game of "Musical chairs", anyone?
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #98 on: June 07, 2015, 08:40:03 PM »
I am attaching the picture of the gold.

Please see this link for "mintage trap": http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=11367.msg66010#msg66010

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #99 on: June 07, 2015, 09:10:03 PM »
hello Frank, quick question, there doesn't seem to be a lot of high relief on these, BUT, obviously the image is straight on so I can't tell.  Is there high relief details on these medals?  Thanks much.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #100 on: June 07, 2015, 09:22:41 PM »
hello Frank, quick question, there doesn't seem to be a lot of high relief on these, BUT, obviously the image is straight on so I can't tell.  Is there high relief details on these medals?  Thanks much.
The other side is high relief, at least as high as the Old Summer Palace/Yuanmingyuan. But they did not provide a good picture. This side is flatter because you cannot have both sides in high relief.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #101 on: June 07, 2015, 09:32:32 PM »
Thanks so much Frank. I was hoping at least one side was high relief.  That's great.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #102 on: June 08, 2015, 01:44:20 PM »
Thank you Hippanda for your help in spelling it out.


Please see this link for "mintage trap": http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=11367.msg66010#msg66010

Ah yes, lest we forget.

Now that Bob mentioned me saying the "mintage trap", I might as well explain it a little further.

Rarity is the top priority with circulating coins, whether it is a pattern, a bank specimen, a trial strike or a survivor of melting/confiscation/aborted production run. Circulating coins are strictly controlled and regulated by the government. They normally have a humongous mintage. Circulating coins with a small mintage are exceptions and as such they are very special.

With medals, often the mintage is determined by the mint or the private group/person commissioning the medal. The mintage can be manipulated to the advantage of the sponsors/commissioners. It can be artificially very small. If we apply the same rules as those for circulating coins and blindly seek rarity with medals, we may fall into the mintage trap.

I am not saying rarity is not important with medals. The Great Wall silver medals are extremely rare and highly sought after. There are some early brass medals mostly from Shanghai Mint which have a tiny surviving mintage due to loss after their release. (Who cared about brass medals with little melting  value?) Their current rarity was not intentional at the time of striking. Before someone decides to fork out a large sum of money for a new medal of a small mintage, beware of the difference between circulating coins and medals. There are tons of such medals of a small mintage out there, and more are on the way. If I see a piedfort version of the Nanjing pandas with an even smaller mintage, I won't be surprised at all. Keeping a perspective on it will save us from falling into the mintage trap.


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #103 on: June 08, 2015, 04:58:40 PM »
Here is a picture of the lion side of the silver version.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #104 on: June 08, 2015, 11:03:24 PM »
Here is a picture of the lion side of the silver version.
It will be interesting to determine which metal type best showcases this medal's attributes!
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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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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.

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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.




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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #120 on: June 15, 2015, 09:39:53 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.

Both sides high relief ?

I personally prefer this than the current one. Hope the real medal as scratch design like this.

NO unify of theme and design element is existed for some series. It is pity. 

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #121 on: June 15, 2015, 11:38:29 PM »
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.

Perhaps, I may venture to say that this apparent disparity in interpretation and design may paradoxically turn out to be one of the strengths of the medal series. There is always a sensitivity about "commissioned" design work because artistic independence could be impaired. If different artists have been given the licence to interpret and design these medals then there is likely to be vigor and heterogeneity in the finished work and I believe the medals so far attest to that fact.

Moreover, none of the imperial gardens represented so far by the medals are similar to each other, until you start breaking the medals into their constituent elements. That's when you begin to see the similarities, from the use of water features to containment areas, structural elements from bridges to rooflines, arches, pillars and porticos, and the interplay between straight lines and curves. Chinese gardens are multifaceted and capture features in the particular environment where they are situated. Therefore the medals should not look the same on cursory examination.

We have to go past the issue of cost and associated politics and focus more on the art work and technical expertise demonstrated by all parties involved in the design and production of these medals. Art historians can give a better account of what I am trying to say. I believe there is a lot of good in what these medals represent. Kudos to the sponsors, designers and producers!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #122 on: June 16, 2015, 12:52:29 AM »
Both sides high relief ?

I personally prefer this than the current one. Hope the real medal as scratch design like this.

NO unify of theme and design element is existed for some series. It is pity. 
There is so far no talk about high relief on Zhuozhengyuan. But I would not be surprised if one side is in high relief. As you can see from Zhu Xihua's large copper works, he is an expert on high relief.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #123 on: June 16, 2015, 08:02:39 AM »
Outstanding medals.   Are they private mint or official mint?..........

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #124 on: June 16, 2015, 09:21:25 AM »
Outstanding medals.   Are they private mint or official mint?..........

"Official". By Shanghai Mint.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #125 on: June 19, 2015, 09:08:15 PM »
I wish to seek clarification of the packaging of the just released Mountain Resort Medals by Shanghai Mint. Someone tells me that only the antique silver and antique brass medals come in OMP while the silver and brass medals come only in the rigid coin holder with no pliable plastic seal.

To avoid confusion, OMP to me means coin or medal enclosed in a circular rigid plastic coin holder which in turn is enclosed in a square shaped pliable transparent plastic pouch sealed on all four edges.

Is this true? I also notice that the COA is written in Chinese characters only. I thought there was going to be an English translation too. Thanks for your input.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #126 on: June 20, 2015, 12:21:23 AM »
I wish to seek clarification of the packaging of the just released Mountain Resort Medals by Shanghai Mint. Someone tells me that only the antique silver and antique brass medals come in OMP while the silver and brass medals come only in the rigid coin holder with no pliable plastic seal.

To avoid confusion, OMP to me means coin or medal enclosed in a circular rigid plastic coin holder which in turn is enclosed in a square shaped pliable transparent plastic pouch sealed on all four edges.

Is this true? I also notice that the COA is written in Chinese characters only. I thought there was going to be an English translation too. Thanks for your input.
I just confirmed with one of the sponsors. Here are  his responses:

1. The silver proof and brass proof versions follow the packaging of panda silver coins, thirty in a sheet. So individual medals do not have the pouch. This is largely because of the finding that the pouch was partly the cause of white spots. Summer Palace silver proof medals left in the pouch developed more spots than those cut out.

2. The COA is in Chinese, but the descriptions are trilingual, in Chinese, Japanese and English.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #127 on: June 20, 2015, 12:29:50 AM »
I just confirmed with one of the sponsors. Here are  his responses:

1. The silver proof and brass proof versions follow the packaging of panda silver coins, thirty in a sheet. So individual medals do not have the pouch. This is largely because of the finding that the pouch was partly the cause of white spots. Summer Palace silver proof medals left in the pouch developed more spots than those cut out.

2. The COA is in Chinese, but the descriptions are trilingual, in Chinese, Japanese and English.

wow trilingual...good.

Frank will the slab out soon? I need one PF70 for silver

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #128 on: June 20, 2015, 12:38:17 AM »
wow trilingual...good.

Frank will the slab out soon? I need one PF70 for silver
The slabs are still with NGC.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #129 on: June 20, 2015, 01:23:11 AM »
I just confirmed with one of the sponsors. Here are  his responses:

1. The silver proof and brass proof versions follow the packaging of panda silver coins, thirty in a sheet. So individual medals do not have the pouch. This is largely because of the finding that the pouch was partly the cause of white spots. Summer Palace silver proof medals left in the pouch developed more spots than those cut out.

2. The COA is in Chinese, but the descriptions are trilingual, in Chinese, Japanese and English.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #130 on: June 21, 2015, 11:41:58 AM »
I agree the antique finish are great, excellent visual appeal.

I found a picture of 谐趣园 or Xiequyuan I took in 1982 with my old Pentax K1000.  It was late October so all lotus were dormant.
SANDAC, I took the same photo as you did from the same postion, 22 years later! I am trying to upload it, hopefully successfully. This is my first upload on CCF.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #131 on: June 21, 2015, 12:09:02 PM »
SANDAC, I took the same photo as you did from the same postion, 22 years later! I am trying to upload it, hopefully successfully. This is my first upload on CCF.

Other perspectives of the Summer Palace!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #132 on: June 21, 2015, 12:11:47 PM »
Other perspectives of the Summer Palace!


A few more photos of the Summer Palace!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #133 on: June 21, 2015, 01:03:38 PM »
SANDAC, I took the same photo as you did from the same postion, 22 years later! I am trying to upload it, hopefully successfully. This is my first upload on CCF.

Wrong mathematics, 32 years and not 22 years. The years are racing by. Ouch!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #134 on: June 21, 2015, 03:25:43 PM »
... years are racing by ...
That usually what happened what you are having fun. 

Nice pictures.  Thanks for uploading.  More pictures would definitely liven up CCF a bit.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #135 on: June 21, 2015, 03:51:47 PM »
A souvenir medal I got for 99 cents on eBay :)

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #136 on: June 21, 2015, 04:06:45 PM »
wow. that is nice.  frank sure does know how  to pick the diamonds in the rough.  wow. wow. wow.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #137 on: June 21, 2015, 04:59:59 PM »
I came across the following interesting materials that relate to the Lan Ting Medal.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Dynasties_poetry#/media/File:Meandering_Stream_at_Lan-ting_Yamamoto_Jakurin_Hanging_scroll_color_on_silk.jpg

A Japanese painting of the Lan Ting with what seems to be poetry and yes wine drinking going on. I must stress that impromptu poetry composition seems to have been the main feature of the exercise and no the other way round!

2. http://www.chinatouradvisors.com/blog/Appreciate-Wang-Xi-Zhis-Calligraphy-in-Lanting-2032.html

This provides additional insight into Lan Ting and associated happenings. Every year there is an International Calligraphy Festival held in Lan Ting in honor of Wang Xizhi the author of Lanting Xu. This work has been described as "the most famous piece of calligraphy work ever". You will see a photo of a modern re-enactment of the ancient game called "Qu Shui Liu Shang" during which Wang Xizhu supposedly wrote the "Orchid Pavillon", another name for Lan Ting!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #138 on: June 21, 2015, 06:00:50 PM »
SANDAC, I took the same photo as you did from the same postion, 22 years later! I am trying to upload it, hopefully successfully. This is my first upload on CCF.
KOT,
Thanks for the updated pictures.  32 years went by quickly, indeed.

So what happened to the lotus in the pond?  I thought viewing the lotus was the whole point of that part of the garden.

I have the 1982 version of the infamous marble boat.  Look like they jazzed up the pillars with "animal prints" over last 32 years.   :001_tongue:

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #139 on: June 21, 2015, 06:18:21 PM »
KOT,
Thanks for the updated pictures.  32 years went by quickly, indeed.

So what happened to the lotus in the pond?  I thought viewing the lotus was the whole point of that part of the garden.

I have the 1982 version of the infamous marble boat.  Look like they jazzed up the pillars with "animal prints" over last 32 years.   :001_tongue:

I don't know what happened to the lotus! I was there in early spring. Are they seasonal? Was the lake cleaned up? I tried to upload some photos of 200-300 year old trees, and vegetation but the server said I had exceeded my 3000 kb allowance (for the session, day or forever?). I'll try again today or tomorrow depending on feasibility.

I thought I knew enough of China before my trip but it turned out there was a lot I did not know. Hopefully, I'll go back someday more enlightened and can then ask for the lotus specifically!!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #140 on: June 21, 2015, 06:28:00 PM »
Lotus is dormant until about late April, so maybe they just cleaned up the debris from last winter.  Lotus should be flowering by now.

You can upload pictures up to 3 meg in size.  There is also a maximum pixel restriction of 16 megapixels, that is to say the width x height of the picture in pixels can't exceed 16 million.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #141 on: June 21, 2015, 06:37:13 PM »
A souvenir medal I got for 99 cents on eBay :)
I bought a souvenir Great Wall "bronze" medal for my self at the foot of the hill gift shop after I stagerred down from an attempt to climb part of the Great Wall! What no one tells you before hand is that you have to train for some weeks or months as if for a marathon before trying to climb that wall!!!! At a stage it wasn't my legs doing the climbing anymore, it was my hands pulling on the rails to help propel me forward. There were frequent breaks along the way and I saw it was acceptable to sit down on the steps from time to time and pant for dear life; many others were doing the same. I climbed past most adults in the group; only those crazy kids kept on climbing. Many of them got to the summit. Going down the steps was not a cakewalk either! I am satisfied with what I achieved. I have the medal hanging by my bedside to remind me that I am one of the "heros" who have climbed the Great Wall! I probably should read what is written on that medal tonight!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #142 on: June 21, 2015, 06:41:11 PM »
Lotus is dormant until about late April, so maybe they just cleaned up the debris from last winter.  Lotus should be flowering by now.

You can upload pictures up to 3 meg in size.  There is also a maximum pixel restriction of 16 megapixels, that is to say the width x height of the picture in pixels can't exceed 16 million.
I have to go back to my photo file to see what the size is. But they were taken at the same time with those photos I already uploaded. I'll look into it. Thanks.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #143 on: June 21, 2015, 09:05:29 PM »
I have to go back to my photo file to see what the size is. But they were taken at the same time with those photos I already uploaded. I'll look into it. Thanks.
Here we go! Flowering tree at the Summer Palace Garden in early spring. The lotus was not yet blooming at the time of my visit; they are hard to miss!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #144 on: June 21, 2015, 09:17:37 PM »
Many trees at the Summer Palace Garden are several hundred years' old. Each tree is tagged and registered in the government files. I am trying to remember what the color tag means. I guess Green means 200 years+ and Red means 300 years+. I may be wrong.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #145 on: June 24, 2015, 04:01:59 AM »
Quote
But one can hardly realize how fast we will grow old.
When we become tired of our desires
and the circumstances changes,
grief will come.
What we have been interested in
will soon be a relic.
We can’t help but lament.
Whether life is long or short is up to destiny,
but it will all end in nothingness.
I came across the following interesting materials that relate to the Lan Ting Medal.

1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Dynasties_poetry#/media/File:Meandering_Stream_at_Lan-ting_Yamamoto_Jakurin_Hanging_scroll_color_on_silk.jpg

A Japanese painting of the Lan Ting with what seems to be poetry and yes wine drinking going on. I must stress that impromptu poetry composition seems to have been the main feature of the exercise and no the other way round!

2. http://www.chinatouradvisors.com/blog/Appreciate-Wang-Xi-Zhis-Calligraphy-in-Lanting-2032.html

This provides additional insight into Lan Ting and associated happenings. Every year there is an International Calligraphy Festival held in Lan Ting in honor of Wang Xizhi the author of Lanting Xu. This work has been described as "the most famous piece of calligraphy work ever". You will see a photo of a modern re-enactment of the ancient game called "Qu Shui Liu Shang" during which Wang Xizhu supposedly wrote the "Orchid Pavillon", another name for Lan Ting!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #146 on: June 24, 2015, 11:35:31 AM »

NBM did you write this poem or was it by Wang Xizhu?
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #147 on: June 24, 2015, 03:10:05 PM »
NBM did you write this poem or was it by Wang Xizhu?

Wang Xizhi (王羲之), from the 1rst link.

"The "Preface (Lantingji Xu)" to the poems is particularly famous in regard to the art of calligraphy."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantingji_Xu


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #148 on: June 27, 2015, 06:25:07 PM »
Wang Xizhi (王羲之), from the 1rst link.

"The "Preface (Lantingji Xu)" to the poems is particularly famous in regard to the art of calligraphy."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantingji_Xu





This is a sad poem written about a phase of life that does not necessarily have to be so. Who knows what Wang Xizhi, the author's perspective was? Did he write the poem when he was already "old" and experiencing what he wrote about? Or did he see it in other people's lives? If the latter, did he envisage having similar experiences when he got old? What happened to you when you got old in ancient China?

If I should continue the questioning, what happens to old people in modern China? Is it different from what others experience in other parts of the world? By the way, what is old age? 100 years, 90, 80, ..........?!!!

Old age is a time of reflection of life lived, the experience of it all, the successes and failures, the joys and sorrows. It is also a time of self-judgement, the results of which contribute to the tone of your subsequent years on earth. The regrets and self castigation.

Old age is a time of increased vulnerability, not just to disease but to exploitation by others and harm. Humans are predatory; perceived "weaker" members are fair game! The vulnerability also has to do with the reduced ability to adapt to changing environments, specifically financial and professional/vocational. If you have not built up an adequate and resilient nest egg by then you may be forced to remain in the workplace for longer than planned, or rely on others for sustenance. You may not be as strong as you used to be and not very retrainable at work!

Yet, age is wisdom! There are many parts of the world where old age is respected and honored. Your experience of life is valued by all around you and your wise counsel is always sought for the purpose of avoiding pitfalls that confront the younger members of the family or societal unit. There are parts of the world where women become more respected as they get older and assume more communal authority and functions.

There are parts of the world where the inevitability of old age decline is not accepted. The mind set is different. The fact that you are getting older does not mean that any thing changes for you. Yes, you are getting older but you realize that "life continues" and nothing changes. Yes, you are getting slower but it does not mean that you are ready for the junkyard!

This is when you optimize your life and functions, understand your overall state of health and introduce interventions to protect and strengthen your physiological functions. This is when many begin to frequent the vitamins and minerals' aisle at the supermarkets, and start/maintain physical exercise regimens. Deliberate efforts at maintaining mental functions also occur at this time. If you are right handed you are told to use your left hand more often than before for example, soap yourself with your left hand! Do more crossword puzzles, try sudoku!

Yes, just as Wang Xizhi intoned, age comes at you fast. Our energy levels drop. The drive decreases. You get tired of fighting the same battles. You just want to throw in the towel. There may be circumstances beyond your control; you may be very sick and truly dependent on others for the rest of your life. If so accept it with grace but always maintain your dignity.

Life boils down to not giving up! You have to continue doing as much as you can. Chin up, enjoy life and don't give up. Life continues until the last breath!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #149 on: June 27, 2015, 06:41:15 PM »
OH:
Quote
First, we didn’t manipulate the supply and demand. What we are doing is to protect the benefits of the mainland collectors. Like what trouble mentioned, the issue price is RMB700, we are now offering RMB880 to buyback from collectors. If they think we are just manipulating the supply, they can choose to sell back to us for RMB180 profit. But so far, nobody wants to sell us ! I believe collectors are clever enough to judge whether the medals worth this price. 

Second, the dealers don’t earn huge profit like lucky does in the products he developed. Is USD30-50 profit considered huge profit? Then what do you think the profit of selling Nanjing Panda/Lunar goat? How ridiculous you are. Admit it, you are unhappy just because you could not get the stock at close to issue price and flip it at profit just like u did in Lunar goat and Nanjing panda!. Well, I hope I could get few pcs Nanjing Panda at issue price too. Perhaps, I need your help to get it from lucky since you are have good relationship with him.

Nobody would pay crazy price for the item that they don’t think it worth that value. Market will adjust itself.

Lastly, I saw your disclaimer. But I did see many criminals claim that they are good guys as well.
This is my last post in responding this issue. I let the others judge the facts by themselves.

Lol!
/nailed it

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #150 on: June 27, 2015, 06:52:29 PM »
KeepOnTrying,
I do not judge the writing or read quite that much into it.
I see it as an artistic expression, a point of view or experience.
It is reminiscent of other discourse I've read on the nothingness of man.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #151 on: June 27, 2015, 09:12:45 PM »
KeepOnTrying,
I do not judge the writing or read quite that much into it.
I see it as an artistic expression, a point of view or experience.
It is reminiscent of other discourse I've read on the nothingness of man.
I also was not judging the man and his writing. I was just extending the commentary on age and giving my perspective. Your mention of the nothingness of man is also deep! I'll have to ruminate on that for some time. Soon this thread will change into a discussion on existentialism!!
(I don't like writing "Lol" but my "!!" carries similar emotions!!)
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #152 on: June 28, 2015, 04:43:21 AM »
Fair enough my friend, life is short so let's make the most of it.  N40

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #153 on: June 28, 2015, 11:54:07 AM »
Fair enough my friend, life is short so let's make the most of it.  N40
No problems. I "keep on trying" to enjoy life! Time definitely flies! Perhaps it is human perception or real. The virtually continuous hard work, from childhood onwards, to succeed and become a responsible member of the society often masks the passage of time. It's almost like you have to slow down time by forcing yourself to get some leisure time!

These MCC forums have been interesting. I have the rest of my mountain resort medals inbound. Then next to NGC for grading. Or is PCGS a better option for the Classical Garden medals? I have more of NGC graded coins than PCGS.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #154 on: June 28, 2015, 01:50:00 PM »
As a collector I prefer OMP and have trust issues with NGC.
As a long term investor most of my graded are NGC but in the last several years I have began buying PCGS. FWIW, the PCGS coins/medals seem to be consistently better looking than I have seen in NGC.
Choose your poison?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #155 on: June 28, 2015, 02:28:49 PM »
As a collector I prefer OMP and have trust issues with NGC.
As a long term investor most of my graded are NGC but in the last several years I have began buying PCGS. FWIW, the PCGS coins/medals seem to be consistently better looking than I have seen in NGC.
Choose your poison?
Yes! I have left recent purchases in their OMP for now due that same "trust issue". However the Mountain Resort silver and brass medals are being sold without their original OMP. They are being opened (for whatever reason I still don't understand/accept) and despatched enclosed only in the rigid plastic coin holder which at times is wrapped with cling film or enclosed with a new dealer applied pliable plastic pouch!

I don't like this because it means that the coins could now be contaminated with body oils, fluids (saliva), atmospheric pollutants and varying degrees water vapor. This is why I think I need to slab them. I am even wondering if I shouldn't send them first to NCS for "preventative" conservation (if there is anything like that) or straight to NGC/PCGS.

I like these classical garden medals. I want to make sure they are preserved in tip top condition!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #156 on: June 28, 2015, 02:58:19 PM »
Yes! I have left recent purchases in their OMP for now due that same "trust issue". However the Mountain Resort silver and brass medals are being sold without their original OMP. They are being opened (for whatever reason I still don't understand/accept) and despatched enclosed only in the rigid plastic coin holder which at times is wrapped with cling film or enclosed with a new dealer applied pliable plastic pouch!

I don't like this because it means that the coins could now be contaminated with body oils, fluids (saliva), atmospheric pollutants and varying degrees water vapor. This is why I think I need to slab them. I am even wondering if I shouldn't send them first to NCS for "preventative" conservation (if there is anything like that) or straight to NGC/PCGS.

I like these classical garden medals. I want to make sure they are preserved in tip top condition!

An acetone soak with multiple deionized water rinses is possibly your best bet with the silver medals/coins.
Though the pictures posted of the medals being handled is concerning I have trouble giving much credence to a forum owner who calls the Chinese sponsors and dealers "Ball Sweat Monkeys".
Those are the rantings of a deranged mind IMO.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #157 on: June 28, 2015, 05:25:30 PM »
An acetone soak with multiple deionized water rinses is possibly your best bet with the silver medals/coins.
Though the pictures posted of the medals being handled is concerning I have trouble giving much credence to a forum owner who calls the Chinese sponsors and dealers "Ball Sweat Monkeys".
Those are the rantings of a deranged mind IMO.


Alas you make the same mistake many others continue to make the world over; trying to explain away gross misconduct and bad deeds on the basis of mental disease. This is nothing against you personally but that's how it is. You probably can't imaging how a sane person can say such things. But they do!

The "insanity plea" has never withstood critical legal and medical evaluation in the law courts except in very few instances. I have been dismayed at how well meaning people have been denigrated as they conduct their normal lives and social interaction. It is revolting to say the least but not unique; there is at least a recent history of increasingly foul language mixed into the usual diatribe. I have tried to keep away from it all but continued politically correct silence by all witnesses has to be regarded at some stage as acquiescence and complicity with what is been done.

It is paradoxical that the same individuals who have innovated a highly regarded medal series are now being dragged in the mud with onlookers just watching. This medal series has led to increased MCC collection offerings. Many mouths are being fed from the venture from design to production and marketing. It has provided material to keep segments of online forums ticking along nicely. The very people who are "feeding you" are being insulted. They are not just alone in this maltreatment; all associates, family and (dare I say) country folks, by association and proximity, have to bear the insults too.

There is a group of individuals in this world who think somehow that it is their God given right to exploit others and put them down at the same time! Unfortunately there is also a larger group that just standby and watch!

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Offline pandamonium

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #158 on: June 28, 2015, 06:12:58 PM »
I was new to the forum about 4 yrs ago when the badon/CCF bad blood started.   Today, one side makes comments that yank one parties chains and they respond.   Then the other party yanks chains and the other respond.   Pretty soon we have a Simpson's TV show rerun.     Sadly the 1984 silver pagodas got dragged into this personality conflict and they soon became a unwanted MCC.   Good for the collectors of them as they were priced dirt cheap and have not gone up much in value since then.     So i post on both forums to clear the 84 silver pagoda name.   NGC has already done that.   Hopefully we can keep the disagreement focused on the parties involved and not on a MCC.   It does not look like it will come to a end so I choose to ignore it when possible.    We need both sites.   Other members should not be involved but they are at times.     Lets clear the 84 silver pagoda name, a on going process.....after all it is a unique and rare silver MCC medal.    If the China mint were to strike a new pagoda medal then maybe that is what it will take...........

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #159 on: June 28, 2015, 06:30:43 PM »
We will have to agree to disagree on the "deranged mind".
He is IMO mentally unsound and has a long history of predatory behavior that leads me to believe he is sick.
As to those who still contribute to that sad circus and are silent I would assume greed is their master.


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #160 on: June 28, 2015, 08:09:53 PM »
...Today, one side makes comments that yank one parties chains and they respond.   Then the other party yanks chains and the other respond.   Pretty soon we have a Simpson's TV show rerun.

Folks, this is one of the hot button topics that is best not revisited.  It will rapidly descend into futile personal attacks.  Let's stay above it, please.
  --moderator

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #161 on: June 28, 2015, 11:15:22 PM »
This is the Brass/Colored Brass COA for the just newly released 2015 Mountain Resort medals. You will notice that it is a combined COA for both the brass and colored brass medal. Thus out of a total of 600 original brass medals 180 were used for the subsequent production of the colored brass medal. The practical importance of my showing this COA is to highlight the fact that your colored brass medal may have a COA# above 180!!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #162 on: June 28, 2015, 11:25:33 PM »
This is the Brass/Colored Brass COA for the just newly released 2015 Mountain Resort medals. You will notice that it is a combined COA for both the brass and colored brass medal. Thus out of a total of 600 original brass medals 180 were used for the subsequent production of the colored brass medal. The practical importance of my showing this COA is to highlight the fact that your colored brass medal may have a COA# above 180!!

This is unlike the situation for the antique silver medal which has a separate COA from that of the regular silver medals. You will notice that out of the 500 planned mintage stated on the COA only 380 medals were eventually minted. Let's see if anyone receives a COA above 380!!!

This is all conjecture on my part. I may be wrong!


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #163 on: June 28, 2015, 11:55:20 PM »
Given how culturally important COAs are in MCC collection, it is important to keep your COAs clear, clean, unstained and unmoldy! I am sure many of you already do this but I just started doing this in a concerted manner. I now file individual COAs in separate plastic PVC free envelopes. These are the same envelopes that are also used for protecting coin slabs from scratching. I leave the end unsealed to allow it breathe and toss in a few sachets of dessicant in the container holding the COA.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #164 on: June 29, 2015, 12:18:54 AM »
This is the Brass/Colored Brass COA for the just newly released 2015 Mountain Resort medals. You will notice that it is a combined COA for both the brass and colored brass medal. Thus out of a total of 600 original brass medals 180 were used for the subsequent production of the colored brass medal. The practical importance of my showing this COA is to highlight the fact that your colored brass medal may have a COA# above 180!!

This coa a bit confusion. Will the colored brass medal cao stated clearly as colored brass medal?

It is or NOT the medal is still colored brass.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #165 on: June 29, 2015, 10:30:26 AM »
This coa a bit confusion. Will the colored brass medal cao stated clearly as colored brass medal?

It is or NOT the medal is still colored brass.

Everything I wrote is from what I can decipher on the COA. Since 420 brass and 180 colored brass medals were released (the total = 600) I figure the same COA is being used for both regular brass as well as colored brass. I don't know that there is a problem with this. As long as everyone is aware of this it will at least prevent calls to your seller!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #166 on: June 29, 2015, 02:16:42 PM »
A couple of fast pics taken with my phone & sized down.
Once again the workmanship is stunning.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #167 on: June 29, 2015, 02:21:12 PM »
A couple of fast pics taken with my phone & sized down.
Once again the workmanship is stunning.
#2

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #168 on: June 29, 2015, 05:51:09 PM »
Video is getting uploaded.  Enjoy.








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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #169 on: June 29, 2015, 10:56:16 PM »
Personally I prefer the silver proof than silver antiques which is too many hairlines.

If not wrong tincat is selling the silver proof at ebay at good prices BUT no buyer till now. I view the silver proof is good and I want a slab not omp.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #170 on: June 30, 2015, 12:03:35 AM »
All four Mountain Resort medals that are available to the public in this series side by side. From left to right are the Brass, Colored Brass, Silver and Antique Silver Medals respectively. I seem to like the antique silver the most followed by the Colored Brass medal which is warmer.

Showing the lion at the gate view:
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #171 on: June 30, 2015, 12:05:56 AM »
Another view of the Mountain Resort Medal set:
Not the best of photos!!! Will improve with time!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #172 on: June 30, 2015, 12:12:56 AM »
One thing to note is that one color box is used for the two brass coin varieties similar to the situation with the two silver varieties that also share one color box. Makes financial sense and saves us money!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #173 on: June 30, 2015, 12:48:50 AM »
OH:
Lol!
/nailed it
Incredible happenings. Very poor taste. Stopped abruptly. ?behind the scenes admonishment. Later, public denouncement.  I hope the moderator here can step in on time to nip such rampage in the bud. We can't have such crass behavior or even a whiff here!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #174 on: June 30, 2015, 12:59:18 AM »
All four Mountain Resort medals that are available to the public in this series side by side. From left to right are the Brass, Colored Brass, Silver and Antique Silver Medals respectively. I seem to like the antique silver the most followed by the Colored Brass medal which is warmer.

Showing the lion at the gate view:

The brass colour is nice.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #175 on: June 30, 2015, 02:00:12 AM »
I would have to see the antiqued finishes in my hand to be interested in owning. They do have the benefit of enhancing the smaller lines in the design but I am not convinced this adds to the actual art of the medal.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #176 on: June 30, 2015, 07:12:32 AM »
I would have to see the antiqued finishes in my hand to be interested in owning. They do have the benefit of enhancing the smaller lines in the design but I am not convinced this adds to the actual art of the medal.
I think the various finishes allow the opportunity to appreciate the design from various perspectives. Almost like adding filters to a light source and seeing different colors projected on a screen. I expect that different people will like one medal more than the other. That is the great thing about choice.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #177 on: June 30, 2015, 09:26:12 AM »
here is the video.  Not much to add in addition to the pictures.  N18 The relief isn't as much as old summer palace, but details are nice.  N3  https://vimeo.com/132205682

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #178 on: June 30, 2015, 09:31:36 AM »
Incredible happenings. Very poor taste. Stopped abruptly. ?behind the scenes admonishment. Later, public denouncement.  I hope the moderator here can step in on time to nip such rampage in the bud. We can't have such crass behavior or even a whiff here!

i wonder where the whiff of bad smells came from?  N20   N18

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #179 on: June 30, 2015, 10:36:59 AM »
i wonder where the whiff of bad smells came from?  N20   N18

Future tense!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #180 on: June 30, 2015, 11:58:57 AM »
Where can you buy these medals?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #181 on: June 30, 2015, 12:08:57 PM »
here you go.  I can't wait to post the proofs up close and personal.  that will be a stunner.  watch.

places to buy.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p3984.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xmountain+resort+china+medal.TRS0&_nkw=mountain+resort+china+medal&_sacat=0

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #182 on: June 30, 2015, 12:36:58 PM »
Where can you buy these medals?

There was a pre-launch allocation and sale in china for some of the silver medals and all of the other medals. A kind individual here (fwang2450) was able to secure some silver and antique silver medals for some forum members although it was already getting late by then. Since launch it appears that two dealers secured a toal of ?600 silver medals from the mint/organisers. I believe one dealer covers China while the second one covers Asia (Malaysia). I do not know their websites. Perhaps another forum member can supply it.

I haven't been out on eBay today but as of yesterday the two non-dealer eBay sellers who had some of the medals in stock were thincat00 and dragonzeng168. There is also a forum member here (andrewlee10) who at times can get you most anything you want, so you can PM him. It seems that most brass, colored brass and antique silver medals you can buy will be through resellers at varying costs. You can start by typing a search term such as "2015 China Mountain Resort Medal" at eBay and see what it brings up. You can also use other search parameters. Google does not return much in terms of results for this same search term. I hope you find this useful. Please feel free to ask more or PM me.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #183 on: June 30, 2015, 01:10:13 PM »
Following my posts during the night someone gave me a negative Karma rating. I wouldn't necessarily comment on it except that I am begining to wonder if there is a pattern here. I have previously complained about how it was all of a sudden decimated. It is most productive if a forum member can take it up with any forum member posts he/she does not like. A PM can also be sent. Sneaking behind and lobbing in a stink bomb does not help!

The Karma system is an anonymous scoring system and so it is liable to abuse. I respectfully wish to ask the moderator to look at the data and determine if this negative rating is coming from one or two point sources. If it is coming from multiple sources I can accept that.

This forum can only be viable if people can post freely. Even though some may say "it does not matter" I say that if the Karma system ceases to be an indicator of the true quality of posts, then it becomes irrelevant. Any one who has given me a positive rating should be affronted by this!

Meanwhile I ask for support from forum members with this Karma thing because I am not going any where else. I am going to continue participating in the wonderful discussions and discoveries that abound here. This forum should also protect the truth!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #184 on: June 30, 2015, 01:40:02 PM »
How many points did you lose?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #185 on: June 30, 2015, 02:12:41 PM »
How many points did you lose?
It went from 5 yesternight to 4 this AM. It just went back to 5 today. In the past it went from 3 to -1 before I complained.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #186 on: June 30, 2015, 02:21:05 PM »
All fixed then. ;-)

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #187 on: June 30, 2015, 03:58:28 PM »
All fixed then. ;-)

Kind of unless it is a recurrent phenomena!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #188 on: July 01, 2015, 11:43:14 AM »
As promised, here are the pictures of the one proof I received. :thumbup: Some minor imperfections, but doesn't take away from the beautiful and rich details of the medal or series.  N3 Here is the video as promised.   https://vimeo.com/132338497  N18 As promised, here are the pictures of the one proof I received.   :thumbup: Some minor imperfections, but doesn't take away from the beautiful and rich details of the medal or series.  N3 Here is the video as promised.   N66
I believe Thincat has 6 left, and if you reach out to him direct he will give you a good price. His email is zfh50@hotmail.com.  All the best










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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #189 on: July 01, 2015, 12:15:04 PM »
Nice shots, what camera and lighting are you using?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #190 on: July 01, 2015, 12:34:03 PM »
Hello NBM, hope you are well.  Yes, I actually use an iPad, with light by the door. :-))  The natural light is huge, and putting the camer up against the medal (almost) is huge too. lol.  The detail is amazingly rich.  Thanks.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #191 on: July 02, 2015, 12:43:56 PM »
"Light by the door", can you explain this?
FWIW the 1rst PF70 sold for $518 US, this seems a little high IMO.
With all the "created buzz" from tainted sources and eBay's lack of transparency I have questions about this sale.
Who knows, is the box that special or is it whale season...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151732306893

Also, the graded medals cert#'s still aren't showing up on NGC's site.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #192 on: July 02, 2015, 12:54:39 PM »
Okay, I'll show you a little later, promise.  And as far as that PF70, all I can say is, 'ha!'  :lol:  And I was getting 'lambasted' for selling my PF70 Panda Goat for 500.00. Having fun with you NBM.  N27  As a matter of fact, I recently sold one for 495.00.  And a PF69 for 300.00.  Not bad in light of a mintage of only 299 and only two different flavors (silver and antique) in this series.  N3 This isn't meant to be an argumentative post.  Just being light-hearted.  :001_tt2: I really do like the details of this mountain resort.  I believe this is a legit sale. I do wish it had more relief though. And it takes awhile to show on the NGC site.  It's still 'fresh' from grading.  And I'll show you what I mean by the door.  

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #193 on: July 02, 2015, 01:06:09 PM »
So it's whale season. 
Time for me to withdraw from the pool and watch the "mintage trap" at work.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #194 on: July 02, 2015, 05:54:30 PM »
Another photo of the silver 2oz Mountain Resort medal. Improved optics (iPad). Mounting the coin on an easel may bring it closer to the camera while avoiding shadowing from ambient light. I'll try that next!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #195 on: July 02, 2015, 11:06:01 PM »
"Light by the door", can you explain this?
FWIW the 1rst PF70 sold for $518 US, this seems a little high IMO.
With all the "created buzz" from tainted sources and eBay's lack of transparency I have questions about this sale.
Who knows, is the box that special or is it whale season...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/151732306893

Also, the graded medals cert#'s still aren't showing up on NGC's site.

2 version of boxes one for china is what Barsenault and KOT get it.

This is overseas version box.

As heard, very little PF70.

I wish not to cited here the reason of less PF70 because worry many garden lover will shot me down immediately.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #196 on: July 03, 2015, 12:13:01 AM »
2 version of boxes one for china is what Barsenault and KOT get it.

This is overseas version box.

As heard, very little PF70.

I wish not to cited here the reason of less PF70 because worry many garden lover will shot me down immediately.

Which is the better (more valuable) box? The China or Overseas box? If you don't answer I will shot you down immediately!!!! Hahaha ...... Lol!!!!!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #197 on: July 03, 2015, 12:29:40 AM »
2 version of boxes one for china is what Barsenault and KOT get it.

This is overseas version box.

As heard, very little PF70.

I wish not to cited here the reason of less PF70 because worry many garden lover will shot me down immediately.

It will take a few months before we can be sure of the grading pattern of the silver medal based on NGC and PCGS statistics. However, if what you are saying is true it means that any PF70 medal that reaches the market could sell like hot potatoes. I am watching the market and learning as I go along!

Numismatic Reality: PF70 and MS70 coins and medals disappear from general circulation into "strong hands" and rarely reappear. Once in a while you come across one but it will be very expensive by then.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #198 on: July 03, 2015, 12:43:10 AM »
It will take a few months before we can be sure of the grading pattern of the silver medal based on NGC and PCGS statistics. However, if what you are saying is true it means that any PF70 medal that reaches the market could sell like hot potatoes. I am watching the market and learning as I go along!

Numismatic Reality: PF70 and MS70 coins and medals disappear from general circulation into "strong hands" and rarely reappear. Once in a while you come across one but it will be very expensive by then.
Not exactly. If you have more 70s than 68s, a 70 is not such a big deal.

Be careful when applying this concept of conditional/grading rarity from circulating coin collection to proof coins and medals. With circulating coins, the scale is a pyramid, with a large base and a small top. With proof coins, more often than not it is an inverted pyramid. Conditional rarity becomes a non-rarity if there are more 69s/70s than 67s/68s.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #199 on: July 03, 2015, 01:24:56 AM »
Not exactly. If you have more 70s than 68s, a 70 is not such a big deal.

Be careful when applying this concept of conditional/grading rarity from circulating coin collection to proof coins and medals. With circulating coins, the scale is a pyramid, with a large base and a small top. With proof coins, more often than not it is an inverted pyramid. Conditional rarity becomes a non-rarity if there are more 69s/70s than 67s/68s.
I am going by impressions proffered by andrewlee10; if his assertions pan out that means there will be much fewer PF70s than other grades in the Silver Mountain Resort medals. In that case PF70 silver medals will be rare.

In the larger picture this relativity is maintained whether the base of the pyramid is in the hundreds or millions. I just did a search for "2014 China 1oz Gold Panda Coin Ms70" and I got one hit. Yes, the wider the base of the pyramid the greater the demand for the coin at the top of the pyramid. But a high grade coin will always command a premium if there are few of them at the top of the pyramid.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #200 on: July 03, 2015, 02:18:01 AM »
So it's whale season. 
Time for me to withdraw from the pool and watch the "mintage trap" at work.


Yes, that Mintage Trap! Perhaps we should take more time to characterize this cautionary phrase.

Coin collection is subject to similar considerations that apply to the general art world. Therefore, exclusivity or near exclusivity makes coins more attractive to collectors in addition to all other desired qualities. If the existing number of a particularly desirable coin is not enough to go around then the price goes up in the hope that someone who is less emotionally/strategically attached to the coin will give it up for good money.

Up till relatively recently low mintage was usually due to accidental events in a coin's history. We have heard tales of how proposed mintages were not reached, how minted coins were melted, how most of a minted set were lost or not accounted for, how most coins in a series were mishandled leading to quality degradation, how a trial batch of coins did not lead to further mint runs, and so on and so forth, the incredulous stories abound.

The situation is different for recent low mintage coin series; the number of coins is planned to be small even before being minted. While a strategic objective for minting small could be to increase demand, we also cannot ignore the relatively small population of MCC buyers. This small population is examplified by how long it took for the 2014 silver and copper baby panda medals (200 mintage each) to become less available on eBay despite the publicity, but they are still cropping up from time to time. When planning a mintage you have to produce just enough to sell out within 6-9 months, for example, (my own proposal).

China has always been prolific in the number and variety of coins produced over the ages. It is not surprising that in modern times and with opening up to private enterprise more coins and medals are being minted, and in greater variety, with compensating low mintage.

What makes a specific low mintage coin/medal fail or not do very well may have to do more with other intrinsic and extrinsic factors than with the low mintage itself. Thus a coin that is poorly designed, shoddily produced, not well marketed, gets entangled in adversarial numismatic politicking, has an unreasonably high product launch price tag and lacks uniqueness/message, will most likely not do well.

A low mintage coin/medal that excels in all of the above criteria and more to boot has a higher degree of certainty of being desired by more buyers than was minted. Just like the expanding universe, the customer base for MCC continues to grow as more people become more aware and interested in collecting.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #201 on: July 03, 2015, 02:20:24 AM »
I am going by impressions proffered by andrewlee10; if his assertions pan out that means there will be much fewer PF70s than other grades in the Silver Mountain Resort medals. In that case PF70 silver medals will be rare.

In the larger picture this relativity is maintained whether the base of the pyramid is in the hundreds or millions. I just did a search for "2014 China 1oz Gold Panda Coin Ms70" and I got one hit. Yes, the wider the base of the pyramid the greater the demand for the coin at the top of the pyramid. But a high grade coin will always command a premium if there are few of them at the top of the pyramid.
I have not heard of any word about few 70s for Mountain Resort silver proof. The antique silver has very low grades, around 64.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #202 on: July 03, 2015, 02:35:26 AM »
I have not heard of any word about few 70s for Mountain Resort silver proof. The antique silver has very low grades, around 64.

Most of us will have to rely on NGC/PCGS grading statistics. This will include grading done in China as well as in the rest of the world for these medals.

As I understand it the method used for making antique coins reduces their grading score. PF64 is rather low but more representative statistics for the whole population of minted medals will take more time to accrue at the grading companies' web sites.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #203 on: July 03, 2015, 05:45:33 AM »
I have not heard of any word about few 70s for Mountain Resort silver proof. The antique silver has very low grades, around 64.
I am hearing 1rst batch had problems (hairlines, spots etc) it was suggested the poor quality medals were sent out first with the better quality being held back.
Either way, if $500 is what a PF70 costs then I will sell all mine and forget about the Classical Garden series.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #204 on: July 03, 2015, 08:32:36 AM »
Regarding the PF70's, and whether or not the 500.00 is whale price, I'm trying to think thru this one logically.  In the case of proof version, which I have, if many of them look like mine, I HIGLY doubt they will score a 68...that is a big if.  N17 Don't get me wrong.  The details are stunning.  :thumbup:  The quality is HORRIBLE.   :w00t:  Let's just be honest.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who received such a shoddy piece of work. Again, please don't hear me say that the series is bad. Or that I don't like them.  I think they are amazing works or art. NO QUESTION.  But seriously go back and look at my pictures. You'll see black spots, and a white sea of something on the proof side.   N26  Again, I suspect I'm not the only one who received this quality.  Or maybe I was the special target, wouldn't surprise me.  :lol: Just having fun, in case someone thinks I'm serious.  N66

Okay, all this to say, if I paid 230.00 (going price on ebay - cheapest), and I took the gamble to package, ship to NGC, and paid the fee, and it happened to score a PF70, which I'm suspecting there won't be a 'ton of PF70's', but TIME will prove me right or wrong, then why is 500.00 a 'whale price?'  If there are only a few, and demand for the few is high for collectors to target PF70's for the collection, I would think $500.00 is a reasonable price yes?  

After all, I would think someone paying this price today is not selling tomorrow, but is a long-term holder; and many years down the road, I suspect that this 70 will be a lot higher than 500.00 (if in fact there remains a 'few' available).  But, if what Frank says is true about the Moutain Resort, that there turns out to be more 70's and 69's vs. 68/67, then these may not be as rare, and perhaps 500.00 is a bit high?   N9  But the person paying 500.00 today I'm sure has thought about those things, yes?  No one is forcing him/her to buy it for 500.00.  They have their reasons for doing so.  I don't think that should disuade anyone from continuing onward in their collection of this series? Should it?  Just trying to understand is all.  Thanks much.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #205 on: July 03, 2015, 10:03:10 AM »
I am hearing 1rst batch had problems (hairlines, spots etc) it was suggested the poor quality medals were sent out first with the better quality being held back.
Either way, if $500 is what a PF70 costs then I will sell all mine and forget about the Classical Garden series.

I have come across a lot of very highly priced MCCs. I am talking 5 figures for 1oz silver coin/medal. Many of them are out of my price range. Even for those I can afford I still meditate to gain an understanding for why such happens. Difficult to understand at times. I will continue to analyse these things as I come across them. My hope is that the rate of price increase should be slower but I can't force anyone to sell at a price that is comfortable for me. I don't know what his/her acquisition costs and other overheads are. Given free market principles the sale price of MCC is likely to float to mutually acceptable levels. I hear it was real crazy just a few years ago, with a certain medal set reputed to have sold for $25,000 before the bottom of the market opened up and things went crashing.
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #206 on: July 03, 2015, 11:22:02 AM »
Regarding the PF70's, and whether or not the 500.00 is whale price, I'm trying to think thru this one logically.  In the case of proof version, which I have, if many of them look like mine, I HIGLY doubt they will score a 68...that is a big if.  N17 Don't get me wrong.  The details are stunning.  :thumbup:  The quality is HORRIBLE.   :w00t:  Let's just be honest.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who received such a shoddy piece of work. Again, please don't hear me say that the series is bad. Or that I don't like them.  I think they are amazing works or art. NO QUESTION.  But seriously go back and look at my pictures. You'll see black spots, and a white sea of something on the proof side.   N26  Again, I suspect I'm not the only one who received this quality.  Or maybe I was the special target, wouldn't surprise me.  :lol: Just having fun, in case someone thinks I'm serious.  N66

Okay, all this to say, if I paid 230.00 (going price on ebay - cheapest), and I took the gamble to package, ship to NGC, and paid the fee, and it happened to score a PF70, which I'm suspecting there won't be a 'ton of PF70's', but TIME will prove me right or wrong, then why is 500.00 a 'whale price?'  If there are only a few, and demand for the few is high for collectors to target PF70's for the collection, I would think $500.00 is a reasonable price yes? 

After all, I would think someone paying this price today is not selling tomorrow, but is a long-term holder; and many years down the road, I suspect that this 70 will be a lot higher than 500.00 (if in fact there remains a 'few' available).  But, if what Frank says is true about the Moutain Resort, that there turns out to be more 70's and 69's vs. 68/67, then these may not be as rare, and perhaps 500.00 is a bit high?   N9  But the person paying 500.00 today I'm sure has thought about those things, yes?  No one is forcing him/her to buy it for 500.00.  They have their reasons for doing so.  I don't think that should disuade anyone from continuing onward in their collection of this series? Should it?  Just trying to understand is all.  Thanks much.

Sorry to hear that the particular coin you got does not look good. Obviously I am not going to joke that this was picked specially for you!!!!!! I have not yet sent mine for grading so I'll have to wait until then to determine what their quality is like. I don't have the expertise to evaluate coins except when it is grossly abnormal (face rubs etc). Ultimately, NGC/PCGS statistics will give an idea of what the grading results are on a larger scale.

Yes the medal design looks good and unique. It adds to the collection of classical garden medals. I have been more interested in the history, design characteristics of the actual garden showcased by the medal and real life stories behind each of those medals. Yes I would like to score some high quality medals but I am trying to make this hobby (and ??investment) something I continue to enjoy doing and not stressing over. I have to tell you that numismatics, especially as relates to MCC, has brought a lot of welcome interest/distraction and sense of community to me. I regularly tune in most days to find out what's happening and it is NEVER dull around here!

You've been active in this area earlier than me and you have more insight and experience into gyrations of MCC pricing. I am just watching and learning as we go along. Bullion pricing is at an all time low. How much further down will it go? When will it bounce back? What effect will that exact on non-bullion coins and medals? At present these coins and medals seem to be on the up and up while bullion prices stagnate.

Anyway, I am sure we shall get updates from reliable sources in China. Soon we should have enough medals percolating in the West to allow us make independent judgements of the quality profile of these medals.
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #207 on: July 03, 2015, 11:30:37 AM »
Bob, the black spots are rubs, either from shipping due to the loose capsule, or from the minting process due to the extremely high pressure needed to strike the high relief. The sandblasted high points on the dies get quickly worn out, showing the smooth surface/black spots. The Old Summer Palace/Yuanmingyuan had this problem, too, especially on the animal figure heads. See the picture below. I think grading companies ignored them. I don't grade these medals, and can live with such imperfections. That is not shoddy work, though. You are lucky if you can get the first few strikes which do not have such black spots.

I am not sure what to think about the haze on the wave side. I don't see such haze on the pictures from anyone else, or from the 8 pieces that went through my hand. Maybe it is a lighting effect?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #208 on: July 03, 2015, 11:50:23 AM »
Hey Frank and KOT, thanks for the feedback and insight...I really do appreciate it.  Also, I don't mean the entire mintage is shoddy, but mine is definitely shoddy.   :(  As I'll show you in detail here in a few minutes. But as I said, and firmly believe, it doesn't take away from the artistic beauty of the medal...hopefully this shoddy piece sent to me was on purpose and on target, because I truly would not want anyone to get it.   N2 I'm a pretty easy going guy, and just let it roll off my shoulders.  I'll still grade it, and conserve it, for kicks. Probably not the best person to send, however, as I love my up close and person pictures and videos. okay, okay, just having fun with KOT.  :lol:

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #209 on: July 03, 2015, 11:51:41 AM »
Which is the better (more valuable) box? The China or Overseas box? If you don't answer I will shot you down immediately!!!! Hahaha ...... Lol!!!!!

Personally I prefer wooden box which is consistent with all previous medal of the series.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #210 on: July 03, 2015, 11:53:53 AM »
It will take a few months before we can be sure of the grading pattern of the silver medal based on NGC and PCGS statistics. However, if what you are saying is true it means that any PF70 medal that reaches the market could sell like hot potatoes. I am watching the market and learning as I go along!

Numismatic Reality: PF70 and MS70 coins and medals disappear from general circulation into "strong hands" and rarely reappear. Once in a while you come across one but it will be very expensive by then.

I have tried to find pf70 silver proof yuan Ming yuan with good price but fail. Price too high and many of my collectors mate in Singapore have given up to own it.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #211 on: July 03, 2015, 11:56:19 AM »
Personally I prefer wooden box which is consistent with all previous medal of the series.

Thanks andrewlee10 for the insight.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #212 on: July 03, 2015, 11:59:33 AM »
I have tried to find pf70 silver proof yuan Ming yuan with good price but fail. Price too high and many of my collectors mate in Singapore have given up to own it.

How much is the PF70 YMY being offered to you?! Thanks.
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barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #213 on: July 03, 2015, 12:00:24 PM »
here you go.  I can assure you this isn't a lighting issue.  Hopefully these shots, clearly and demontrably show the white haze on the medal.  I will send it in to NCS to see if they can remove, but I'm not hopeful.  N24  But again, I must clearly state, and emphatically point out, the artistic quality of this medal is stunning.   :tongue_smilie:  Oh, and trust me, I know the person and his family, and they felt bad they didn't check before sending.  They encouraged me to send it back, but I refused.  He was kind enough to offer a credit, even though I didn't ask.  This dealer is a class act, and one of my favorites.   N31   N31   N31










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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #214 on: July 03, 2015, 12:17:06 PM »
Bob, the black spots are rubs, either from shipping due to the loose capsule, or from the minting process due to the extremely high pressure needed to strike the high relief. The sandblasted high points on the dies get quickly worn out, showing the smooth surface/black spots. The Old Summer Palace/Yuanmingyuan had this problem, too, especially on the animal figure heads. See the picture below. I think grading companies ignored them. I don't grade these medals, and can live with such imperfections. That is not shoddy work, though. You are lucky if you can get the first few strikes which do not have such black spots.

I am not sure what to think about the haze on the wave side. I don't see such haze on the pictures from anyone else, or from the 8 pieces that went through my hand. Maybe it is a lighting effect?

Slab or Omp it is very personal.... Someone like Omp and Another like slab.

Some with view high grade as good quality and bad grade as bad quality.

There is no right or wrong as my view. Simple logic, you like it but it and do not like it leave it.

I will buy pf69 or pf70 if the price is reasonable and acceptable at my range. For those who has no contact in china only able to get it from eBay. There are only 2 sellers in eBay dragon Zheng and tintcat.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #215 on: July 03, 2015, 12:20:04 PM »
Hey Frank and KOT, thanks for the feedback and insight...I really do appreciate it.  Also, I don't mean the entire mintage is shoddy, but mine is definitely shoddy.   :(  As I'll show you in detail here in a few minutes. But as I said, and firmly believe, it doesn't take away from the artistic beauty of the medal...hopefully this shoddy piece sent to me was on purpose and on target, because I truly would not want anyone to get it.   N2 I'm a pretty easy going guy, and just let it roll off my shoulders.  I'll still grade it, and conserve it, for kicks. Probably not the best person to send, however, as I love my up close and person pictures and videos. okay, okay, just having fun with KOT.  :lol:
Did you say you will conserve your medal? I have been wondering if to have a "preventative" conservation done for mine before slabbing because they got to me not in the double OMP. I am concerned that pollutants may cause longterm damage if the medal is already contaminated. But conservation is also not an innocous process.

I can conserve yours by myself for free while I send mine to NCS!!!!

BTW if you ever come across a "shoddy" 1985 China 1Yuan Brass Panda coin please toss it my way!!!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #216 on: July 03, 2015, 01:54:41 PM »
barsenault,
Are these (red arrows) contact marks (such as the edge of one coin hitting this coin)?  If so, it is unlikely you would receive a grade better than PF68, likely lower.  I think you should return it, if so.  Conservation with NCS is moot in such case.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #217 on: July 03, 2015, 03:45:46 PM »
Did you say you will conserve your medal? I have been wondering if to have a "preventative" conservation done for mine before slabbing because they got to me not in the double OMP. I am concerned that pollutants may cause longterm damage if the medal is already contaminated. But conservation is also not an innocous process.

I can conserve yours by myself for free while I send mine to NCS!!!!

BTW if you ever come across a "shoddy" 1985 China 1Yuan Brass Panda coin please toss it my way!!!
Can you please provide further elucidation on your thought above.  I'm an unschooled, oridnary, poor country person, and I don't follow your point.  Thanks KOT.  If I had a shoddy 1985 brass, I'd certainly consider selling for a price. Sure thing.   

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #218 on: July 03, 2015, 03:48:29 PM »
barsenault,
Are these (red arrows) contact marks (such as the edge of one coin hitting this coin)?  If so, it is unlikely you would receive a grade better than PF68, likely lower.  I think you should return it, if so.  Conservation with NCS is moot in such case.

I'm not sure how they got there Sandac, it came this way in the capsule, unfortunately. They are indeed dots on the medal.   I'll heed your words of wisdom, and just 'chuck' it back in the treasure box.  Maybe I'll melt it one day and make a silver ring with it. lol.  Thanks again for the wise words of counsel. 

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #219 on: July 03, 2015, 05:36:37 PM »
I have tried to find pf70 silver proof yuan Ming yuan with good price but fail. Price too high and many of my collectors mate in Singapore have given up to own it.
This is a good point that brings perspective to my initial sour grapes knee jerk.

The 2014 Old Summer Palace (YuanMingYuan) has a Silver Proof Mintage: 1000 with Total Graded at NGC: 272 (a little over 1/4th of population) 68 - 95, 69 - 158, 70 - 6.
YuanMingYuan was special because of the extra high relief so low quantities graded at 70 can be easily rationalized along with high pricing and general unavailability.

The 2014 Summer Palace Corridor Silver Proof mintage & total graded are about the same as YuanMingYuan but graded better with 68 - 4,  69 - 174, 70 - 96.

2013 Lan Ting Silver Proof grading was more consistent with what we see quality wise from today's China Mint product with around 1/3rd of mintage (539 out of 1500) graded at 68 - 3,  69 - 249, 70 - 287. More 70's than any other grade...

The Summer Palace Gate's stats are not yet public but the Modern China Mina Quality Trap may have gotten me.  :001_rolleyes:
I do not think this concept is valid when applied to the artistic efforts in minting we see with some of the later issues of this series.
FWIW I have not had time to study the Summer Palace Gate but I will be interested in counting how many different surface texture facets it has.

Edit Note: I did not include the 2010 YUYUAN YANGSHAN TANG stats as  it was the 1rst and flew under the radar of most for several years. In July of 2012 there were only 4 graded. For completeness sake...
Currently:
SP Mintage: 2010
Total Graded: 445
68 - 92, 69 - 318, 70 - 33
    

Offline poconopenn

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #220 on: July 03, 2015, 08:58:38 PM »
Just for information.

Price inside China

Mountain resort 3-coin, 2oz. silver, 2 oz. antique silver and brass medal set at RMB 3,000 (US$490)

http://www.coin001.com/read.php?tid=71338

Yuan Ming Yuan 3-coin, 2 oz. silver, 2 oz. antique silver and brass medal set at initial price of RMB 3,500, then lower to RMB 2,800 (US$470). Nobody takes.

Mountain resort 3 –coin set, same as previous listing at RMB 2,800 (US470)

http://www.coin001.com/read.php?tid=71254


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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #221 on: July 03, 2015, 09:26:02 PM »
Did you say you will conserve your medal? I have been wondering if to have a "preventative" conservation done for mine before slabbing because they got to me not in the double OMP. I am concerned that pollutants may cause longterm damage if the medal is already contaminated. But conservation is also not an innocous process.

I can conserve yours by myself for free while I send mine to NCS!!!!

BTW if you ever come across a "shoddy" 1985 China 1Yuan Brass Panda coin please toss it my way!!!

Can you please provide further elucidation on your thought above.  I'm an unschooled, oridnary, poor country person, and I don't follow your point.  Thanks KOT.  If I had a shoddy 1985 brass, I'd certainly consider selling for a price. Sure thing.  
Sorry! Meant to be a joke, following yours. Previous posts showed I don't know how to conserve coins. Yet I offered to conserve yours while sending mine to NCS! I used your word "shoddy" to characterize a very rare coin that has been sold for more than $30,000. Even a "shoddy one" sold $10,000! So if you give me a shoddy one for free, you'll go to heaven! A shoddy mountain resort medal is still something to cherish! Lol!!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #222 on: July 03, 2015, 10:20:07 PM »
Just for information.

Price inside China

Mountain resort 3-coin, 2oz. silver, 2 oz. antique silver and brass medal set at RMB 3,000 (US$490)

http://www.coin001.com/read.php?tid=71338

Yuan Ming Yuan 3-coin, 2 oz. silver, 2 oz. antique silver and brass medal set at initial price of RMB 3,500, then lower to RMB 2,800 (US$470). Nobody takes.

Mountain resort 3 –coin set, same as previous listing at RMB 2,800 (US470)

http://www.coin001.com/read.php?tid=71254



Thanks for critical info!

So the release price for the three medals is 1800RMB (USD290 today's exchange rate) and sale price in one instance is 3000RMB (USD483 today's exchange rate) (USD490 your figure). Quite a differential from what we have here on eBay on initial review.

I have lamented in the past our inability to easily access the Chinese market directly or get these direct from the mints. So we have to buy double/triple resold from eBay. The offer price for the same set from a reseller on eBay is currently $658. ?A good deal taking into consideration eBay hosting fees, PayPal charge, international post and package cost, and profit spread? The jury is still out?
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #223 on: July 04, 2015, 07:22:10 AM »
Sorry! Meant to be a joke, following yours. Previous posts showed I don't know how to conserve coins. Yet I offered to conserve yours while sending mine to NCS! I used your word "shoddy" to characterize a very rare coin that has been sold for more than $30,000. Even a "shoddy one" sold $10,000! So if you give me a shoddy one for free, you'll go to heaven! A shoddy mountain resort medal is still something to cherish! Lol!!


That really is amazing KOT.  30K? wow.  10K for a decent/shoddy one, even a greater wow.  Yeah, I'm not a buyer of that thing even at 10k, even for a shoddy one. lol.  Yeah, I wish I could conserve my owon coins/medals too, and apparently a china dealer has a way to conserve and guarantee for a life-time???  N3  I believe it when I see it.  :thumbup: Until then, I send mine (early year medals and coins, or if they look as 'bad' as the shoddy mountain resort) in to NCS.  However, after what SADAC said, I won't be sending it in...but I have 30 medals and coins coming back from NCS...can't wait to see these beauties, conserved and graded. yippeeee.

P.S. If anyone wants to buy my shoddy Mountain PF piece, I'd be happy to give it to you for the low price of 149.00, shipping included.  :tongue_smilie:  :tongue_smilie:   :tongue_smilie:

Offline pandamonium

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #224 on: July 04, 2015, 09:45:48 AM »
Don't give up so soon Barsenault.   Send it in for conservation instead of selling it for $149.   Could it have a future price of the shoddy 85 brass panda?   Maybe, maybe not, but it makes sense to keep it just in case..........

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #225 on: July 04, 2015, 09:50:59 AM »
Hey Pandamonium, thanks for the words of wisdom.   N3  I plan on using the funds to either buy a PFF69/70 whenever  they are more readily available.  Perhaps someone doesn't mind owning this one for such a low price.    :thumbup: Heck, I'll even sell it for 139.00, and box and COA included.

Over in silver stackers there is a guy who takes coins and makes rings with them.  Pretty fascinating.  Keeps the details of the coin intact, but shapes it into a rign to wear.  If I don't sell it, I may make a ring from it.  N16

Not bad.  N3.  N3


Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #226 on: July 04, 2015, 10:43:34 AM »
That really is amazing KOT.  30K? wow.  10K for a decent/shoddy one, even a greater wow.  Yeah, I'm not a buyer of that thing even at 10k, even for a shoddy one. lol.  Yeah, I wish I could conserve my owon coins/medals too, and apparently a china dealer has a way to conserve and guarantee for a life-time???  N3  I believe it when I see it.  :thumbup: Until then, I send mine (early year medals and coins, or if they look as 'bad' as the shoddy mountain resort) in to NCS.  However, after what SADAC said, I won't be sending it in...but I have 30 medals and coins coming back from NCS...can't wait to see these beauties, conserved and graded. yippeeee.

P.S. If anyone wants to buy my shoddy Mountain PF piece, I'd be happy to give it to you for the low price of 149.00, shipping included.  :tongue_smilie:  :tongue_smilie:   :tongue_smilie:

That 1985 Brass coin is an ample illustration of the adventures you get into with MCC; very exciting history, and nothing to be taken for granted. Presents given away for free to dignitaries suddenly morph into mega bucks!

Just keep us informed on what happens to your "shoddy" medal. It will be good to know. The high altitude flight in the cold up there may have had the refrigerator white spot induction effect on the medal!

Another depiction of the "situation" you mentioned could be that someone claims to have transferred coin preservation technology to a coin trader who cannot refute that openly and has more tact than me and you (me especially) than to come out in the open about the feasibility of such an "arrangement".

However, I am sure he is astute enough not to be pushed into any crazy scheme that is littered with minefields. Even NCS cannot make such claims. Otherwise he should set aside a few millions for the invariable lawsuits!

But what can a guy (or guys for that matter) do when the "big boy" of the only medium that talks about their products breathes down their necks while foisting such schemes on them. Their first instinct probably will be to lie low for now and say nothing. Otherwise thunder will erupt or they could be shamed!

I prefer not to write more on this; I gotta "behave" or my Karma could be shaved off again! I am begining to like those Karmas! Normally they should reflect on your productivity in this medium.
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barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #227 on: July 04, 2015, 11:11:06 AM »
Hey KOT, if this was a one off, I wouldn't be too concerned.  I'm skeptical that it's just mine with issues.   :(  Look closely (blow up pictures) on listings found on the Internet.  Look at the proof section.   :blush: That's all I'm going to say, because I don't want to be accused of  being ultra critical about this medal.  I already have neutral karma.  N2 Because as most can attest, I really do love this series!  And spent thousands (money where my mouth is) on it.  I have most in the series...and for some (old summer Palace) a couple.  The art work is stellar.  Period. End of story.  As you too can attest.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #228 on: July 04, 2015, 03:16:15 PM »
Hey KOT, if this was a one off, I wouldn't be too concerned.  I'm skeptical that it's just mine with issues.   :(  Look closely (blow up pictures) on listings found on the Internet.  Look at the proof section.   :blush: That's all I'm going to say, because I don't want to be accused of  being ultra critical about this medal.  I already have neutral karma.  N2 Because as most can attest, I really do love this series!  And spent thousands (money where my mouth is) on it.  I have most in the series...and for some (old summer Palace) a couple.  The art work is stellar.  Period. End of story.  As you too can attest.

Yes. It is a good idea to let the issue rest for now. In scientific terms whatever information that seems to be out there right this minute is mainly anecdotal given that this medal was just released recently. It will take a few months, at least, for the grading organizations to accumulate enough data to give preliminary impressions of the quality profile of these medals.

Even at that the grading statistics is not likely to be different from the profile we already have for prior series. NBM posted data for previous classical garden medals. Optimistically, the Mountain Resort medals, for example, may grade better than YMY but not as well as the Lan Ting medal.

I really wish that at the end of this series a PhD student will write his/her thesis on the Classical Garden medal series either from the perspective of art appreciation, art history, metallurgy or even minting technology. There are several directions you can approach such a research thesis from. The student can even spend some time with NGC and PCGS and be taken through high magnification studies of the medals.

These medals are being produced with innovative technology which for now focuses more on imprinting sculpture-like multidimensional multi-faceted images on metal with plain vanilla coin stamping action. Some medals are stamped several times to produce the final image (ala the Mammoth medal). In these circumstances aiming for perfection (MS/PF 70) is not the initial aim. I believe the aim is  to transfer a composite or artists' impression of key elements of the Gardens unto the medals. It is not envisaged that the Shanghai Mint has suddenly lost their expertise in wholesome coin/medal production.

Coin and medal grading was introduced to achieve different objectives. One of them is to provide a universal nomenclature that every coin collector understands no matter where you are. So a coin classified as PF 65 will be understood to be what it is and a PF 70 coin is, well, a PF70! This allows you to perform coin transactions from a distance without worry.

Coin grading does not mean that every coin should be perfect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone pays the same attention to the grade. In fact NGC/PCGS data shows that in many coin series less than 50% of the coins reach them for grading. We have even heard in various coin forums where members say they don't grade all their coins or medals. Many prefer them in their OMP.

If coin perfection is desired by all, 3-D printers can probably produce such in a consistent manner. In that case our medals will be soulless works of art on cold metal, every line straight and similar to the opposite side's. I prefer them to remain works produced by living beings like me and you, with all the blemishes that come from such endeavor. Thus various portions of the medal will reflect the artist's state of mind, health, concentration, mood, optimism, sadness, energy, lassitude, enthusiasm, doubt, inattention, distraction and all the thousands of factors to impact on the artist's and production team's functioning.

Let's give this medal time to land!




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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #229 on: July 04, 2015, 03:44:12 PM »
Well said, KeepOnTrying! We should not lose sight of the experimental nature of this series. Two oz high relief coins/medals were not frequent from China mints. Yuyuan was first made in anticipation of the 2 oz Dunhuang silver coin, as a trial project. In a sense, Lan Ting was the most banal in terms of technological innovation. That's why it received so many high grades. Later medals which made use of the deep dish or high relief designs or manual polishing were clearly imperfect in grading terms, like the bright spots in sandblasted areas, or the hairlines on antique finish Mountain Resort. But then the design and engraving well compensate for such imperfections. Hopefully collectors will value their artistic, historical and cultural aspects more than their conditions.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #230 on: July 04, 2015, 05:25:56 PM »
Yes. It is a good idea to let the issue rest for now. In scientific terms whatever information that seems to be out there right this minute is mainly anecdotal given that this medal was just released recently. It will take a few months, at least, for the grading organizations to accumulate enough data to give preliminary impressions of the quality profile of these medals.

Even at that the grading statistics is not likely to be different from the profile we already have for prior series. NBM posted data for previous classical garden medals. Optimistically, the Mountain Resort medals, for example, may grade better than YMY but not as well as the Lan Ting medal.

I really wish that at the end of this series a PhD student will write his/her thesis on the Classical Garden medal series either from the perspective of art appreciation, art history, metallurgy or even minting technology. There are several directions you can approach such a research thesis from. The student can even spend some time with NGC and PCGS and be taken through high magnification studies of the medals.

These medals are being produced with innovative technology which for now focuses more on imprinting sculpture-like multidimensional multi-faceted images on metal with plain vanilla coin stamping action. Some medals are stamped several times to produce the final image (ala the Mammoth medal). In these circumstances aiming for perfection (MS/PF 70) is not the initial aim. I believe the aim is  to transfer a composite or artists' impression of key elements of the Gardens unto the medals. It is not envisaged that the Shanghai Mint has suddenly lost their expertise in wholesome coin/medal production.

Coin and medal grading was introduced to achieve different objectives. One of them is to provide a universal nomenclature that every coin collector understands no matter where you are. So a coin classified as PF 65 will be understood to be what it is and a PF 70 coin is, well, a PF70! This allows you to perform coin transactions from a distance without worry.

Coin grading does not mean that every coin should be perfect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not everyone pays the same attention to the grade. In fact NGC/PCGS data shows that in many coin series less than 50% of the coins reach them for grading. We have even heard in various coin forums where members say they don't grade all their coins or medals. Many prefer them in their OMP.

If coin perfection is desired by all, 3-D printers can probably produce such in a consistent manner. In that case our medals will be soulless works of art on cold metal, every line straight and similar to the opposite side's. I prefer them to remain works produced by living beings like me and you, with all the blemishes that come from such endeavor. Thus various portions of the medal will reflect the artist's state of mind, health, concentration, mood, optimism, sadness, energy, lassitude, enthusiasm, doubt, inattention, distraction and all the thousands of factors to impact on the artist's and production team's functioning.

Let's give this medal time to land!






Good stuff KOT! Very nice.  And I completely agree.  I'd much prefer humans making my medal vs a 3D from start to finish.  Although if someone pays a pretty penny for a product, I think most, 99.9% would expect it to come in a better condition than the one I received. If someone disagrees and you have one of these, want to trade? Nuf said!!  Also, I know this to be the case, because of the emails I received.  And once again, I never once said it takes away from the artistic appeal of the medal. As a matter of fact, from the outset I've continued to say it is a gorgeous medal.  I don't think the quality of my medal has to do with the capsule being opened.  It looks to me like it came from the mint this way.  Of course I can send it to NGC and get an expert opinion on it.  I'm not saying all medals of all series should score a 70.  That would be boring. lol. I like it when there are on a few.  Makes life for a collector of 70's a bit more exciting and challenging and rewarding - for me anyway. 

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #231 on: July 04, 2015, 06:19:10 PM »
Well said, KeepOnTrying! We should not lose sight of the experimental nature of this series. Two oz high relief coins/medals were not frequent from China mints. Yuyuan was first made in anticipation of the 2 oz Dunhuang silver coin, as a trial project. In a sense, Lan Ting was the most banal in terms of technological innovation. That's why it received so many high grades. Later medals which made use of the deep dish or high relief designs or manual polishing were clearly imperfect in grading terms, like the bright spots in sandblasted areas, or the hairlines on antique finish Mountain Resort. But then the design and engraving well compensate for such imperfections. Hopefully collectors will value their artistic, historical and cultural aspects more than their conditions.

I have looked at the Lan Ting medal from time to time and wondered why it has scored so high on grading. Your explanation makes sense. However, it is still a complex piece of artwork. With all those swirls and swales, and the figures dotting the creek it is as complex as it gets. But yes (sorry I just have to say it) using the restroom on ground is a different proposition from using one during turbulence at 35,000 feet; more balancing skills are required and accuracy still cannot be guaranteed!
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andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #232 on: July 04, 2015, 08:40:26 PM »
wow , active active. all of classical garden of thread here for last 2 days.

Personally view, Frank is looking at the art viewpoint of quality. Some other look at the physical medal viewpoint of quality.

As cited previously no right or wrong, It is all personal preference. I might be a bit greedy I want both ;)



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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #233 on: July 04, 2015, 08:42:21 PM »
Well said, KeepOnTrying! We should not lose sight of the experimental nature of this series. Two oz high relief coins/medals were not frequent from China mints. Yuyuan was first made in anticipation of the 2 oz Dunhuang silver coin, as a trial project. In a sense, Lan Ting was the most banal in terms of technological innovation. That's why it received so many high grades. Later medals which made use of the deep dish or high relief designs or manual polishing were clearly imperfect in grading terms, like the bright spots in sandblasted areas, or the hairlines on antique finish Mountain Resort. But then the design and engraving well compensate for such imperfections. Hopefully collectors will value their artistic, historical and cultural aspects more than their conditions.

Frank,

Why shanghai mints choose this series of medal as experiment and not others? I am very curious...... Is that the private investor of this series too rich and would like adventures or ?????

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #234 on: July 04, 2015, 09:02:32 PM »
Frank,

Why shanghai mints choose this series of medal as experiment and not others? I am very curious...... Is that the private investor of this series too rich and would like adventures or ?????
Shanghai Mint did not choose this series for experiment. It is the group of private collectors who demanded the different technologies, such as deep dish and high relief. Shanghai Mint just followed along. The process shows that Shanghai Mint was not prepared for the high relief on Yuanmingyuan, and did not foresee the difficulty. They cracked dozens of dies, and thought of pre-forming the blank to reduce the pressure required, which failed because of alignment issues. I guess they would not have accepted this project had they known the difficulty. But now they do have more experience, with fewer dies cracked for the Mountain Resort.

barsenault

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #235 on: July 04, 2015, 09:08:05 PM »
Can anyone riddle us westerners this? Why do we get the cookie cutter box and the easterners get the nicer one? It looks nicer at first glance.  Can someone post pictures of both boxes so we can compare and contrast. Box and case and COA?  Thanks.

Eastern:


Western: the one I got and many others got, and from what I've heard, but can't substantiate, we paid more for ours than did the easterners.  IF TRUE, why?  And why did they get the nicer box.  I can say some westerners are very unhappy about this decision.






Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #236 on: July 04, 2015, 09:18:18 PM »
Bob, you got it totally mixed up. The nicer box was custom ordered by the overseas distributor located in Malaysia. I believe he ordered around 200. All the Chinese have the cookie cutter boxes.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #237 on: July 04, 2015, 09:22:16 PM »
When and how will the distributors (Malaysia and China) release more of these?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #238 on: July 04, 2015, 09:28:32 PM »
Bob, you got it totally mixed up. The nicer box was custom ordered by the overseas distributor located in Malaysia. I believe he ordered around 200. All the Chinese have the cookie cutter boxes.

Why not standardize? Why make some cookie cutter and others nicer.  It is a little perplexing to us.  And trust me, I'm not a lone voice on this one, just the one willing to put my neck on the line and have -15 karma points. I'm assuming the private investor made this purchase for his region of the world? Whereas 'our guy' took the cheaper route? If so, why? Why not one standard? I'm only asking what others want to, but are afraid to or don't want to. Thanks.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #239 on: July 04, 2015, 09:40:18 PM »
Why not standardize? Why make some cookie cutter and others nicer.  It is a little perplexing to us.  And trust me, I'm not a lone voice on this one, just the one willing to put my neck on the line and have -15 karma points. I'm assuming the private investor made this purchase for his region of the world? Whereas 'our guy' took the cheaper route? If so, why? Why not one standard? I'm only asking what others want to, but are afraid to or don't want to. Thanks.
Long stories short. The group decided to keep the cookie cutter style of the boxes to be consistent. There is also a cost issue. But the overseas distributor insisted on a special box for the mainly Southeast Asian market. Since this is the first time to have an overseas distributor, some room was made for him. Even the Chinese collectors are trying to grab this box.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #240 on: July 04, 2015, 09:43:54 PM »
Shanghai Mint did not choose this series for experiment. It is the group of private collectors who demanded the different technologies, such as deep dish and high relief. Shanghai Mint just followed along. The process shows that Shanghai Mint was not prepared for the high relief on Yuanmingyuan, and did not foresee the difficulty. They cracked dozens of dies, and thought of pre-forming the blank to reduce the pressure required, which failed because of alignment issues. I guess they would not have accepted this project had they known the difficulty. But now they do have more experience, with fewer dies cracked for the Mountain Resort.

Thank's for your information. It is good to keep on trying.

KOT good karma not bad karma ;) I use your trade mark keke

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #241 on: July 04, 2015, 09:46:15 PM »
When and how will the distributors (Malaysia and China) release more of these?
I just asked the distributors. Their inventory is already low. Nobody is willing to sell to them and so they cannot replenish their inventory. Their offering price of the silver proof is at RMB1050 now.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #242 on: July 04, 2015, 09:49:13 PM »
Call me crazy, spiteful...etc...but I totally disagree with this approach. And I have a sneaking suspicion that many collectors of this series would agree with me, if not publicly, privately.  Why not make the box available to everyone? Did it really add that much cost?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #243 on: July 04, 2015, 10:00:56 PM »
Call me crazy, spiteful...etc...but I totally disagree with this approach. And I have a sneaking suspicion that many collectors of this series would agree with me, if not publicly, privately.  Why not make the box available to everyone? Did it really add that much cost?
It was a group decision. Please understand this is just a group of individual collectors, not some organization with great insight/foresight and decision making power. I have heard people say that they would rather be consistent. Honestly, I don't understand why the box has become such an issue. If you grade the medal, it is separated from the box anyway. Many Chinese collectors have dumped the boxes because they are too bulky.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #244 on: July 04, 2015, 10:12:33 PM »
One more reason of the tight supply of the Mountain Resort is that the Chinese domestic distributor is selling to those who are not coin/medal collectors, the so called "outsiders", unlike what happened with previous releases. These medals are considered out of the market, as those people do not have access to the numismatic market and are unlikely to sell them back, even after the price increase. This is a clever market strategy, but it also means that when his inventory dwindles, to less than half of the 400 pieces he received right after the release, he cannot buy back. With nobody selling to him, he has to slow down his sales.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #245 on: July 04, 2015, 10:30:52 PM »
Hey Frank, thanks for the explanation.  Some folks do collect boxes and cases, along with the medal or coin.  I'm not one of them. But trying to help others understand why the difference. Thanks again.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #246 on: July 04, 2015, 10:36:57 PM »
Phew!  N26 N35 :001_wub:
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #247 on: July 05, 2015, 02:58:11 PM »
Please can someone tell me what the release price for the Colored Brass Mountain Resort medal is in Yuan or USD. Thanks!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #248 on: July 05, 2015, 05:23:11 PM »
Mountain Resort Medals' Buying Discussion for the Newbie!

I assume that most forum members are experienced coin collectors, investors and/or sellers and don't need my advice on how to procure this particular medal series. This short piece is mainly directed at a guest or new forum member who is not experienced or has not lived through a Classical Garden medal launch.

The Mountain Resort medal has been in the market for just less than one month. It consists of four medal N25s in the set namely Silver, Antique Silver, Brass, and Colored Brass medals. The medals were initially released in China and were sold directly to the public who pre-ordered the items. Some of the silver medals were allocated to two major distributors for post-launch sales.

The release price for these medals (ungraded) as far as I know, is shown in the Table together with other specific items of interest. According to my sources the price of the colored Brass medal was not announced. The price for a prior medal series' colored brass medal was 350 Yuan ($USD56.39) but the other three Mountain Resort medals had an offer prices that was more than those of previous series. The eBay sales prices do not include those where "offers" were made as the eventual sale amount was not made public.

Medal/Mintage   Release Price (Yuan)   Release Price ($USD)   eBay Sales/Offer ($USD)   Mintage
Silver (2oz)                      700                                 112.78                  215-249                              1000
Antique Silver (2oz)          900                                 145.01                  248-278                               380
Brass                               200                                  32.22                   99-120                                 420
Colored Brass                     ?                                        ?                     350-399                                180

Some graded medals (PF69 and PF70) have already been sold on eBay. Click the "sold listings" side button on eBay to get that information.

If you did not secure any one of these medals pre-launch in China you most likely will have to buy either from the two silver medal distributors or from resellers in China or abroad. The prices vary depending where you find the medals. Recent posts in this forum suggests that a three medal set consisting of the silver, antique silver and brass medals is being offered online by resellers in China for 2800-3000Yuan ($USD451.13-483.36). The same set was offered recently on eBay for $USD658 although that item has now been withdrawn.

What to do depends on your comfort level with your knowledge of precious metals and how much you are ready to spend on the medals. The silver medal price is likely to be the most stable due to having the largest mintage whereas the other medals' valuation may be more unstable due to their relatively low mintage and uncertain supply. Virtually all the lower mintage medals you see on eBay and other online coin auction sites will be from re-sellers.

The method of distribution of these medals has made it impossible for any particular seller to have a large hoard of medals that can be used to influence the market significantly. [This comment does not include the two silver medal distributors and does not imply positive or negative inference on their sales; I have absolutely no idea of who they are and how they are selling these medals. However, it seems that one or both of them may now be selling the ungraded silver medal for 1050Yuan ($USD169.17). Nothing negative or untoward has been documented with regards to their sales. They also seem to be upfront with their prices. They are supposed to be buffers and a price stabilizing mechanism from what I hear]. One individual eBay or other online seller is not likely to have a lot of medals on hand at each point in time.

The minimum price that you can buy these medals is at the launch price outlined in the Table but this is not likely at this time as prices have already risen past that amount. The future trajectory of the prices is also uncertain; although a continued upward trend is likely given recent price trends it is also impossible to be sure that the prices won't fall in future.

Finally, if you are one of those who like graded coins and medals you have to decide on what grade you want to buy and at what price then search eBay and online to see what the offerings are.

Study other posts in this forum thread to gain a comprehensive idea of various perspectives of the Mountain Resort medals and other medals in the Classical Garden series.

Best wishes and Goodluck!

Disclaimer: I am a self-taught coin collector and investor. I have bought the medals I discussed in this post. I am not a coin expert. This posting is for fun, education and scholastic exercise. Please consult family, coin experts and your investment adviser(s) for advice if you decide to buy coins and medals.


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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #249 on: July 07, 2015, 01:02:27 AM »
The following table shows the actual mintage of the Classical Garden medals released so far. Information was abstracted from fwang2450's table posted in "Reply #8, December 17, 2014". I added the data for the Mountain Resort medal.

Gold has had the lowest mintage followed by Copper. Both medal types have been largely reserved for the sponsors except in the case of Xiequyuan where the four medal types were made available for sale to the public.

Silver is the only medal minted consistently in all six medal releases. Brass proof has only been minted in the last two medal series.

This comparative table view can also be used to determine possible future trends in valuation of specific medals. For example the Brass proof YMY medal mintage is double that of the Mountain Resort medal. Does it mean that the latter will be more valuable? The Xiequyuan antique silver medal has the lowest mintage followed by the Lan Ting variety; both are difficult to get and the least affordable compared to antique silver medals from other medal series.

A table displaying NGC/PCGS grading profile for these medals will complement the present table.
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Offline madronya

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #250 on: July 07, 2015, 03:52:03 PM »
I don't know if this has been posted before,  this is such a long thread I can't scan it all,  but I have noticed that my Mountain Resort Antique silver medal has a different obverse/reverse orientation compared to the silver, brass, and matte brass.

The latter three have medallic orientation, where you flip the medal left to right to see the reverse in the correct position.  The antique silver is the opposite, "coin orientation",   where you have to flip it top to bottom.

strange...


Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #251 on: July 07, 2015, 04:00:40 PM »
I don't know if this has been posted before,  this is such a long thread I can't scan it all,  but I have noticed that my Mountain Resort Antique silver medal has a different obverse/reverse orientation compared to the silver, brass, and matte brass.

The latter three have medallic orientation, where you flip the medal left to right to see the reverse in the correct position.  The antique silver is the opposite, "coin orientation",   where you have to flip it top to bottom.

strange...


This is intentional. I believe after Lan Ting, all the antique finish medals had coin orientation, so that people can tell the "true" antique finish from self-made antique finish.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #252 on: July 07, 2015, 04:11:55 PM »
thanks!  makes sense.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #253 on: July 07, 2015, 06:14:50 PM »
I don't know if this has been posted before,  this is such a long thread I can't scan it all,  but I have noticed that my Mountain Resort Antique silver medal has a different obverse/reverse orientation compared to the silver, brass, and matte brass.

The latter three have medallic orientation, where you flip the medal left to right to see the reverse in the correct position.  The antique silver is the opposite, "coin orientation",   where you have to flip it top to bottom.

strange...



This is intentional. I believe after Lan Ting, all the antique finish medals had coin orientation, so that people can tell the "true" antique finish from self-made antique finish.

Yes, I remember when I first noticed the different orientation on the antique silver medal. With my heart pounding I quickly searched various internet resources thinking I had a rotation error coin! It didn't take long for me to see that they were all like that. Thoughts of untold riches quickly evaporated!!!

This also answers a question I have asked myself many times; how do you recognize DIY antique silver coins? My only hope then was that the grading agencies will pick it up due to their expertize. Now I know how, at least for the post Lan Ting classical garden medals.

Thanks for the observation and answers!
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Offline poconopenn

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #254 on: July 08, 2015, 12:09:54 AM »
Now that Bob mentioned me saying the "mintage trap", I might as well explain it a little further.

Rarity is the top priority with circulating coins, whether it is a pattern, a bank specimen, a trial strike or a survivor of melting/confiscation/aborted production run. Circulating coins are strictly controlled and regulated by the government. They normally have a humongous mintage. Circulating coins with a small mintage are exceptions and as such they are very special.

With medals, often the mintage is determined by the mint or the private group/person commissioning the medal. The mintage can be manipulated to the advantage of the sponsors/commissioners. It can be artificially very small. If we apply the same rules as those for circulating coins and blindly seek rarity with medals, we may fall into the mintage trap.

I am not saying rarity is not important with medals. The Great Wall silver medals are extremely rare and highly sought after. There are some early brass medals mostly from Shanghai Mint which have a tiny surviving mintage due to loss after their release. (Who cared about brass medals with little melting  concept of value?) Their current rarity was not intentional at the time of striking. Before someone decides to fork out a large sum of money for a new medal of a small mintage, beware of the difference between circulating coins and medals. There are tons of such medals of a small mintage out there, and more are on the way. If I see a piedfort version of the Nanjing pandas with an even smaller mintage, I won't be surprised at all. Keeping a perspective on it will save us from falling into the mintage trap. 


Just want to give additional insight of “mintage trap” for medal collection.
 
Collector base:
 
The valuation of any commercial product is determined by the ratio of supply and demand. For coin collection, the mintage is supply and collector base is demand. Assuming the ratio of number of circulated coin collector and number of PM commemorative coin collector is 20 to 1 and the ratio of PM commemorative coin and medal is also 20 to 1, the valuation of medal with mintage of 100 will be about the same as the PM commemorative coin with a mintage of 2,000 and circulated coin with a mintage of 40,000. (The ratios given herein are for illustration and no scientific base, but the trend, IMO, is correct.)

Brand name:

Brand name takes time and money to establish. For example, currently, 1995 W 1 oz. US silver eagle with a mintage of 30,125 has a valuation of $4,200 (PF69). Its mintage is higher than proof 1 oz. silver pandas (1989-1996) which have a mintage from about 8,000 to 25,000. The current valuation of 1 oz. silver proof pandas (PF69) is about $200 to $600.  It is true that the collector base of American Eagle is greater than silver panda, but the brand name definitely also plays a role in this instant.

The quality of Official mint medal vs. mint medal:

Most medals issued prior to 2000 are official mint products which require the approval of the People’s Bank of China or China Gold Coin Inc. After 2000, all third party commissioned medals produced by Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Nanjing do not have the approval of the PBOC or CGCI and in practical, be called as “mint medal”, not “official mint medal” as labelled by NGC.  It is my understanding that some of the "mint medals" may not made at production lines at mint for coin production. There are differences in quality control process for coin and medal if they are not produced at the same production line. IMO, there is a quality difference between “official mint medal” and “mint medal”.

Attached is an official mint medal issued in 2009 in commemorating the 60th birthday of the founding of the PRC by China Gold Coin Inc. and produced by Shenzhen Mint. This plated copper medal was received as gift when I purchased the coin set. The quality of this medal matches the coins recently produced at Shenzhen Mint. 

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #255 on: July 09, 2015, 10:07:16 AM »
"Beware of the mintage trap" is similar to what a parent or well meaning family member tells a child or younger member of the family. "Mind the gap" is frequently blasted in the British underground railway. "Be careful, all that glitters is not gold!" others may say. To the nascent collector/investor a low mintage coin or medal does not always mean a good and reliable investment or collectible piece. To the coin/medal entrepreneur, producing a low mintage coin does not automatically justify a high price tag! There are other determinants of value when considering valuation of coins and medals!
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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #256 on: July 09, 2015, 10:35:09 AM »
The quality of Official mint medal vs. mint medal:

Most medals issued prior to 2000 are official mint products which require the approval of the People’s Bank of China or China Gold Coin Inc. After 2000, all third party commissioned medals produced by Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Nanjing do not have the approval of the PBOC or CGCI and in practical, be called as “mint medal”, not “official mint medal” as labelled by NGC.  It is my understanding that some of the "mint medals" may not made at production lines at mint for coin production. There are differences in quality control process for coin and medal if they are not produced at the same production line. IMO, there is a quality difference between “official mint medal” and “mint medal”.


Do you means all quality of the medal mints before 2000 are better quality than current mints medal even by same mints let say shanghai mints?

some china medals mints before 2000 are by those Official mints subsidiary or even non-government govern mints company. Are those also consider better ? As understand, NGC does not grade some of them even it is mints by those official mints subsidiary or close and appointed partners. Why if the quality is good as compare to current one.

Do you means some china medal after 2000 mints by those official mints might not produce at their factories. Are they outsources it ? If yes, Why those private investor would like do to so and not go to those factories by themselves?

New century mints and so on is private mints which run by private person rather than government support or link mints like Shenyang mints, shanghai mints and so on. How you classify them ?

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #257 on: July 09, 2015, 12:47:00 PM »
"Beware of the mintage trap" is similar to what a parent or well meaning family member tells a child or younger member of the family. "Mind the gap" is frequently blasted in the British underground railway. "Be careful, all that glitters is not gold!" others may say. To the nascent collector/investor a low mintage coin or medal does not always mean a good and reliable investment or collectible piece. To the coin/medal entrepreneur, producing a low mintage coin does not automatically justify a high price tag! There are other determinants of value when considering valuation of coins and medals!

I should have acknowledged poconopenn's earlier insights. Thanks!
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #258 on: July 09, 2015, 01:56:51 PM »
The quality of Official mint medal vs. mint medal:

Most medals issued prior to 2000 are official mint products which require the approval of the People’s Bank of China or China Gold Coin Inc. After 2000, all third party commissioned medals produced by Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Nanjing do not have the approval of the PBOC or CGCI and in practical, be called as “mint medal”, not “official mint medal” as labelled by NGC.  It is my understanding that some of the "mint medals" may not made at production lines at mint for coin production. There are differences in quality control process for coin and medal if they are not produced at the same production line. IMO, there is a quality difference between “official mint medal” and “mint medal”.

Attached is an official mint medal issued in 2009 in commemorating the 60th birthday of the founding of the PRC by China Gold Coin Inc. and produced by Shenzhen Mint. This plated copper medal was received as gift when I purchased the coin set. The quality of this medal matches the coins recently produced at Shenzhen Mint.  

There was a discussion on the official mints vs private or official medal companies yesterday in a QQ group in China. In my opinion, medals are artwork. As such, the most important consideration when buying a medal is its artists, i.e. the designer and the engraver, not where it is made. In fact, in the 1990's many Liaoyin Mint medals were designed and engraved by Shenyang Mint designers and engravers (some retired, some not), including the Yungang brass medals that Bob Arsenault posted, which were designed and engraved by Song Jinming, who designed numerous base metal and precious metal coins and medals at Shenyang Mint. It is really arbitrary to say that his works at Shenyang Mint are worth collecting because they were made by an official mint, and his works at Liaoyin are second class because it was only a medal company, although owned by the government.

Many of the large copper medals from Shanghai Mint were outsourced to the New Century Medal Co., as Shanghai Mint does not have enough equipment for them. In the Classical Garden series, the Yuanmingyuan medals were struck at Shanghai Mint proper, with many cracked dies because Shanghai Mint was not used to high relief 2 oz medals. Because of that, the Mountain Resort medals were struck at their branch factory which mainly produce medals, large and small, and the hassle of cracked dies almost disappeared, with no compromised quality.

Enjoy the art, wherever it is made.

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #259 on: July 09, 2015, 03:31:48 PM »
There was a discussion on the official mints vs private or official medal companies yesterday in a QQ group in China. In my opinion, medals are artwork. As such, the most important consideration when buying a medal is its artists, i.e. the designer and the engraver, not where it is made. In fact, in the 1990's many Liaoyin Mint medals were designed and engraved by Shenyang Mint designers and engravers (some retired, some not), including the Yungang brass medals that Bob Arsenault posted, which were designed and engraved by Song Jinming, who designed numerous base metal and precious metal coins and medals at Shenyang Mint. It is really arbitrary to say that his works at Shenyang Mint are worth collecting because they were made by an official mint, and his works at Liaoyin are second class because it was only a medal company, although owned by the government.

Many of the large copper medals from Shanghai Mint were outsourced to the New Century Medal Co., as Shanghai Mint does not have enough equipment for them. In the Classical Garden series, the Yuanmingyuan medals were struck at Shanghai Mint proper, with many cracked dies because Shanghai Mint was not used to high relief 2 oz medals. Because of that, the Mountain Resort medals were struck at their branch factory which mainly produce medals, large and small, and the hassle of cracked dies almost disappeared, with no compromised quality.

Enjoy the art, wherever it is made.
Again, great information about where and how some of our MCC coins and medals are made.

One by-product of the "artwork pricing" debate is the inherent tacit acceptance of the skills that go into the design and production of medals. Other important components of the artwork rightly include the person(s) who did the design and engraving of the medals.

There has always been resistance to new players in the arts scene be it music, literary works and fine arts. Medallic arts are also influenced by such considerations. Herein lie the trip wires! Works by Artist xyz at the Govt mint versus his additional works at the private mint: same quality, same value?!
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Offline pandamonium

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #260 on: July 09, 2015, 08:12:42 PM »
There was a discussion on the official mints vs private or official medal companies yesterday in a QQ group in China. In my opinion, medals are artwork. As such, the most important consideration when buying a medal is its artists, i.e. the designer and the engraver, not where it is made. In fact, in the 1990's many Liaoyin Mint medals were designed and engraved by Shenyang Mint designers and engravers (some retired, some not), including the Yungang brass medals that Bob Arsenault posted, which were designed and engraved by Song Jinming, who designed numerous base metal and precious metal coins and medals at Shenyang Mint. It is really arbitrary to say that his works at Shenyang Mint are worth collecting because they were made by an official mint, and his works at Liaoyin are second class because it was only a medal company, although owned by the government.

Many of the large copper medals from Shanghai Mint were outsourced to the New Century Medal Co., as Shanghai Mint does not have enough equipment for them. In the Classical Garden series, the Yuanmingyuan medals were struck at Shanghai Mint proper, with many cracked dies because Shanghai Mint was not used to high relief 2 oz medals. Because of that, the Mountain Resort medals were struck at their branch factory which mainly produce medals, large and small, and the hassle of cracked dies almost disappeared, with no compromised quality.

Enjoy the art, wherever it is made.


Now that you explained that, i am still lost.   It will take a lot of research to understand what/where/who for each MCC.   The debate of private vs official is muddy water not clear.    Most of us will just sit back and let others figure it out........the art is fantastic.....

Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #261 on: July 09, 2015, 08:51:48 PM »

Now that you explained that, i am still lost.   It will take a lot of research to understand what/where/who for each MCC.   The debate of private vs official is muddy water not clear.    Most of us will just sit back and let others figure it out........the art is fantastic.....
To add to the complexity, after 1992, most medals from Shanghai Mint were managed by Shenquan Trading Co, a subsidiary of Shanghai Mint. They were not struck at Shanghai Mint proper, but in two satellite factories away from the Shanghai Mint campus. These facilities are specially equipped with presses to strike large size and thick medals, something Shanghai Mint has little use for in their production of circulating coins and precious metal coins. These two facilities even have their own designers and engravers. But medals from these two satellite facilities are still considered "official mint medals".

If you are still confused, just follow the artists. Who cares whether a medal is struck at Shanghai Mint proper or by one of the satellite factories or outsourced to a third party private mint?

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #262 on: July 09, 2015, 11:19:02 PM »
By Lei Ting
(This article was written by Lei Ting, who is one of the organizers of the Chinese Classical Garden series of medals. Pictures of Yuanmingyuan and Lan Ting are attached below.)

1.   Yuyuan
............................
2.Lan Ting[/b
...................................
3. Summer Palace
...............................

4. Yuanmingyuan

Time flies. Yuanmingyuan, the "garden of all gardens", quickly moved onto the radar screen of the development team. It had a glorious past. Therefore it became the top priority of the Classical Garden series. But today all that was left of the garden are just ruins. How can the past glory be represented? This thought weighed on our mind as well as on the mind of the three most outstanding designers of Shanghai Mint. After collective brainstorming, it was finally decided to draw inspirations from the painting Forty Scenes of Yuanmingyuan by the imperial painters of Emperor Qianlong – Tang Dai, Shen Yuan and Leng Mei, as well as the copperplate European Palace in Yuanmingyuan by Giuseppe Castiglione. Combined with designs drawn from onsite observations by the designers, a grandiose medal was finally accomplished with Chinese style landscape and the Hall of National Peace on the obverse, and the ruins of the Water Wonder on the reverse.
.............................................................

5. Imperial Summer Resort (to be continued)


It was very brave of the Classical Garden medal organizers, yet very important, to include the Yuanmingyuan in the panel of medals for the series. This imperial garden still brings back strong memories and represents an unhealed wound in the Chinese psyche. It marks a past of gross injustice and overwhelming destruction that cannot in anyway be justified. It was a deliberate maneuver that has been repeated the world over in the past and up to the present day, and in media. It is not just the physical destruction that matters, it is also what such actions do to the mind.

Yuanmingyuan, also known as the Imperial Garden, Old Summer Palace, Garden of Gardens and the Versailles of the East, is located about five miles northwest of Beijing and was built on 350 hectares (864 acres) of land for and by the Qing dynasty starting in the reign of Emperor Kangxi. Construction started in 1709 (1707 by some accounts) and took 150 years to complete. In it's heyday the sprawling complex consisted of palaces, gardens, man-made lakes, waterfalls, art galleries, museums and temples. It was eclectic in design and consisted of a blend of Chinese land scape and architecture with notable western influences, Tibetian and Mongol styles.

Just like everything destructive it took only three days for 3500 British, French and Indian troops to virtually destroy the whole complex in 1860 during the Second Opium war. This was ostensibly in retaliation for the torture and death of 20 out of a group of a little less than 40 (2 envoys, 1 journalist) troops sent under a white flag to negotiate with the Prince of Kung. Part of the complex was rebuilt only to be razed to the ground in 1900 by Allied troops (from Britain, USA, Russia, Japan, Italy, Austria, France and Germany) who had been sent to quell the Boxer Rebellion. The destruction was so complete that it even included timeless trees in the surrounding areas of the garden.

Untold treasures, books, cultural artifacts, were plundered by the marauding forces on both occasions. Many of the stolen items are on display in many world museums and hidden in private collections. Attempts have been made to retrieve some of these items with very limited success. Individual Chinese business men have made financial arrangements to facilitate the return of some items but a massive proportion still remains hidden and unaccounted for.

Perhaps the main tragedy of Yuanmingyuan is that it is still largely in ruins. Over the years parts of it have been used as farms, factories, schools, garbage disposal sites, colonies and parks. There has been controversy about what to with the garden. Some propose a complete restoration while others insist that it should be left in ruins as a continuing lesson to future Chinese generations of the consequences of foreign power domination of their country. Meanwhile it is a major tourist attraction but still a very painful sight to behold.

Replicas of varying completeness have been built in some parts of China. The largest so far is almost completed and is being built by the Hengdian Studios at a projected cost of 30 Billion Yuan ($5 Billion USD). It is located in Zhejian province and is billed as a film set (probably to overcome objections).

So whenever I look at the Yuanmingyuan medal, I see more than what is just depicted on the medal. I see how destructive man can be. Foreign occupation is invariably exploitative and ultimately destructive. I see how difficult it is to rebuild a destroyed heart, mind and soul. Such destructive acts are not just of historical importance, it is still happening today. It is being carried out both collectively and individually. It is being carried out in front of every one of us, TODAY!
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Offline poconopenn

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #263 on: July 09, 2015, 11:31:31 PM »