Author Topic: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals  (Read 210642 times)

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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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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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andrewlee10

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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 ?

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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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.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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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 »
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.

Agreed.  There are always exception. In average, “official mint medal” has a better quality than “mint medal”, or medals made by the private mint, especially for small size and regular thickness.

When you have chance to see many medals minted during last 35 years by China Mint, you will see the differences in quality of the artistic design and minting technique. For example, the original 1984 great wall copper medal shows a much better 3-dimensional details. The stone bricks on the wall have different shape and size. The frosty treatment gives a different shades to provide a clear 3-dimensional details. This type of frosty treatment has not been seen in the mountain resort series or any recently minted medals. It takes time and skill, and requires a higher budget, to produce frosty surface with different shades. Third party commissioned medals were produced for profit or in commemorating to certain event or person, usually with a lower budget, unlike official mint medals, which were supported by China Gold Coin Inc. could afford to use the best technology available.

Few years ago, I read an article wrote by a quality control manager at China Mint. He claimed that the defective rate at Shanghai Mint was about 25%. He further claimed that the defective rate at China Mint was lower than US Mint’s 30%. All defected coins were melted to produce new blanks. I doubt very much that third party commissioned “mint medal”, due to its low budget, can afford to use the same quality control standard applied to the “official mint medal” or coin. This is in consistency with the observation of many varieties in recently minted low mintage “mint medals”.

In the last few years, the four official China mints had produced more than 100 medals each year. The production lines are booked fully. Just like any business, if the contract budget is low, the mint will outsource to private mint and to reserve the production space for higher profitable contracts.
 
Shanghai New Century Medal Co. was incorporated in 1985 and has a long history of making large size copper as well as high relief medals. This private mint also received ISO certificate in 2009. It is considered as best private mint inside China.

Shanghai Baituo Medals Co., Ltd. also produces high quality gold and silver medals. Example is attached. This silver medal weighs 435 gm. with a mintage of 50. Pictures are copied from Yin Guging Museum.

Here are links to the collection of medal specialist Yin Guoging. Enjoy!

Gold and silver medals

http://www.coin001.com/museum.php?action=myshowdata_showlist&uid=8461&child_category_show=70&fid=45&&Comeon=1

Large size copper medals from Shanghai Mint

http://www.coin001.com/museum.php?action=myshowdata_showlist&uid=8461&child_category_show=58&fid=45&&Comeon=1

Large size copper medals from Shenyang Mint

http://www.coin001.com/museum.php?action=myshowdata_showlist&uid=8461&child_category_show=59&fid=45&&Comeon=1

Large size copper medals from Shanghai New Century Medal Co.

http://www.coin001.com/museum.php?action=myshowdata_showlist&uid=8461&child_category_show=61&fid=45&&Comeon=1&page=1




Offline poconopenn

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #264 on: July 09, 2015, 11:42:43 PM »
Pictures of summer mountain resort.

andrewlee10

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #265 on: July 09, 2015, 11:58:32 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.

Totally agree. Liaoyin Datong and Qin Emperor look great

Offline pandamonium

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #266 on: July 10, 2015, 08:56:45 AM »
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?



Of course i am still confused as i live in the West.   Could you & poconopen or others make a list of famous artists and MCC they designed?   Maybe add a date & photos too.   If we had a list of artists to print and look at, it would make it alot easier to understand. 
Yin Guoging museum has one impressive collection.  Wow.......
25% to 30% defect rate when minting?   I had no clue it was that high of %......

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #267 on: July 10, 2015, 09:07:24 AM »


Of course i am still confused as i live in the West.   Could you & poconopen or others make a list of famous artists and MCC they designed?   Maybe add a date & photos too.   If we had a list of artists to print and look at, it would make it alot easier to understand. 
Yin Guoging museum has one impressive collection.  Wow.......
25% to 30% defect rate when minting?   I had no clue it was that high of %......

This will lead to more public awareness of the efforts of these designers and ultimately improved design quality as they will be no more anonymous in-house designers!
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #268 on: July 10, 2015, 10:06:23 AM »


Of course i am still confused as i live in the West.   Could you & poconopen or others make a list of famous artists and MCC they designed?   Maybe add a date & photos too.   If we had a list of artists to print and look at, it would make it alot easier to understand. 
Yin Guoging museum has one impressive collection.  Wow.......
25% to 30% defect rate when minting?   I had no clue it was that high of %......

Got an idea! Why don't we start a new thread dedicated to the artists and engravers behind these MCC coins and medals? It will act as some type of database or fact file that will not be lost in other threads and can be directly acessible. I'll start the thread and see how it goes. Here we go!
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Offline fwang2450

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Re: The Journey of the Chinese Classical Garden Series of Medals
« Reply #269 on: July 10, 2015, 11:33:33 AM »

When you have chance to see many medals minted during last 35 years by China Mint, you will see the differences in quality of the artistic design and minting technique. For example, the original 1984 great wall copper medal shows a much better 3-dimensional details. The stone bricks on the wall have different shape and size. The frosty treatment gives a different shades to provide a clear 3-dimensional details. This type of frosty treatment has not been seen in the mountain resort series or any recently minted medals. It takes time and skill, and requires a higher budget, to produce frosty surface with different shades. Third party commissioned medals were produced for profit or in commemorating to certain event or person, usually with a lower budget, unlike official mint medals, which were supported by China Gold Coin Inc. could afford to use the best technology available.

There is no question that the early medals spared no efforts for perfection. But some recent medals were worked on painstakingly. It took Zhu Xihua more than a year to finish his Mammoth copper medal. Even the engraving of Yuanmingyuan took two Shanghai Mint top engravers half a year, which is witnessed in the great details of the medal.

The Classical Garden series cannot be classified as one of those low-budget contracted releases. The sponsors are well-to-do businessmen/collectors, not dealers who want to make a quick profit. Also, Shanghai Mint put in more resources and incurred more cost than they were paid for. More than two dozen dies cracked in striking Yuanmingyuan, which resulted in a huge cost. The dies for Mountain Resort were modified three times before put into production. Shanghai Mint treats the series as their own products, as the sponsors were asked to surrender their copyright of the series to Shanghai Mint.