Author Topic: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"  (Read 4123 times)

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Offline fwang2450

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We have seen enough discussions on pandas, lunars, pagodas and goldfish. As a diversion, I translated Huang Ruiyong's post "Three Little Dragons and Five Golden Flowers", which discusses some interesting early gold coins. The post was written in 2006, so the prices cited in the post are out of date, although they can be used as a good indication how much gain the coins have made in the past 6 years despite the currrent downturn. If anyone finds the article interesting, please provide some feedback. Otherwise I would hestitate investing more time translating similar articles or posts.

On "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
By Huang Ruiyong

The concept of "Three Little Dragons" is just my idea, referring to the 1982 Soccer gold coin, 1983 Marco Polo gold coin and the 1986 Year of Peace gold coin. They are named "Three Little Dragons" because these coins were the jewelry on the crown among early PRC gold coins. They share several characteristics among them: 1. They were all issued during the days of China Mint, before the China Gold Coins Co. was founded. 2. The actual mintage was very limited: the 82 Soccer had a mintage of 1261, the 83 Marco Polo had a mintage of 1033, and the 86 Year of Peace had a mintage of mere 940. 3. They all had international themes: the 82 Soccer was issued for the 12th World Cup. Many other countries, including the hosting country Spain, were issuing soccer coins at the same time. Marco Polo was an Italian, known internationally for his "The Travels of Marco Polo". As early as in 1982, the 37th UN Plenary Session passed a resolution, naming 1986 the International Year of Peace. More than 100 countries and 300 NGOs took the resolution seriously and reacted positively to it. 4. They are all coins sought after because of their themes: the 82 Soccer has always been the key date among all the sports coins. It was mainly sold in Europe, and European coin dealers would combine 82 soccer coins from various countries into one set for sale. As a result, the Soccer gold coin as a single piece is hard to come by. In addition, the Chinese character "Game" on the coin is a non-standard simplified Chinese character. Strictly speaking, this coin is an error coin, which adds to the fun. The market price of the Soccer gold coin has always been twice the price of the Woman Sword Dancer, the next key date among sports coins. The current price is between RMB 9000-9500. The silver Marco Polo coin, which shares the same design as the gold coin, won the "Most Historically Significant Coin" award, and has been sought after by global coin collectors. But without any doubt, in the set of four 83 Marco Polo coins, the 1/3 gold coin contributes the most value, priced at around RMB9000 at the moment. The Year of Peace gold coin has been fully absorbed due to its international theme, and its market price has been constantly elevated, around RMB 8000-9000 at the moment. These "Three Little Dragons" occasionally show up in the Lugong market (in Shanghai), but have been absent from the Madian Market (in Beijing). They are on their way to the auctions of major auction houses in the future. 5. The workmanship is amazingly exquisite: the figure and muscle texture of the players in the Soccer coin are beyond any critique; Marco Polo's wise eyes reflecting rich experience leave an everlasting impression; the charm of the slim girl in the Year of Peace coin is ever so striking. We feel that the designers and workers put their whole heart into designing, sculpturing and striking these coins. The designer/sculptors of these early coins were selected by the People's Bank from the major art schools, with the special approval from the State Council. They have mostly become masters now, and these early coins were the peak of their artistic creativity. Although we have better coin making machines these days, the current workmanship of gold coins may well be inferior to that of the early years. 6. They were all issued in a set with matching silver coins. The Soccer set was made up of one gold coin and two silver coins; the Marco Polo set had two gold coins and two silver coins; the Year of Peace set had one gold coin and one silver coin. The Marco Polo and Year of Peace gold coins are matched with silver coins of the same design.

By adding the Year of Children gold coin and the 70th Anniversary of Xinhai Revolution gold coin to these three coins, we would then have "Five Golden Flowers". The Year of Children gold coin is from one of the only two gold coin sets issued before 1980. It also has an excellent international theme. Plus the denomination of 450 Yuan is the highest among 1/2oz gold coins. The only disadvantage is that its actual mintage is many more than the "Three Little Dragons", at 12589. On the other hand, the Xinhai Revolution gold coin has a mintage of 1388, similar to that of the "Three Little Dragons". It has the disadvantage of not being an international theme. In terms of workmanship, the Year of Children gold coin and the Xinhai Revolution gold coin are exceptionally exquisite. The sculpturing of figures on the coins was highly detailed. As far as I know, due to the surge of gold price right after the Year of Children coin was issued in 1980, some dealers had a large quantity of the coin melted, together with the 30th Anniversary of the PRC gold coins and the 4th National Sports Game gold medal. So its surviving mintage is smaller than the actual mintage. In addition, the packaging of this coin was not as solid as with other gold coins, and so high grade Year of Children gold coins are very hard to find, with its price easily breaking through RMB4000 before people even noticed it. However, compared with Longmen, Dunhuang and Tibet gold coins, its price is still undervalued, because the 20 plus years' time should have distanced it from the Longmen and Dunhuang coins. What I would like to add is that the Year of Children piefort gold coin is the favorite of top collectors. There are no more than 5 collectors who own it in Mainland China. Its issuing price was USD4000, very rare. Today the estimated price of a high grade piefort gold coin is at least RMB60000. Xinhai Revolution was the first gold coin from the PRC with Dr. Sun Yat-sen's face on it. It was distributed by the TAISEI STAMPS AND COINS (H.K.) LIMITED, which made quite a stir among overseas Chinese. The sculpture on the coin, "Revolt in Wuchang", was taken from the Monument to People's Heroes. The sculpture was exceptionally life-like, with a surprising effect. The coin's current market price is around RMB9000. All these "Five Golden Flowers" are getting more scare with each passing day, because of their very limited availability on the market, with an ever increasing effective demand. As they are deeply absorbed into the market, the selling price of one coin is always higher than the price of the previous one. The price goes up steadily. In sum, the "Three Little Dragons" or the "Five Golden Flowers" are all pioneers of modern Chinese gold coins, and they have taken their prestigious position in the history of gold and silver coins from PRC. These gems can still be found if you are lucky enough. If you miss the opportunity, probably you will only see them later on at auctions or at collector exhibits.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 12:21:01 AM »
Thank you for the translation.  That article is more aligned with my instinct about collecting culturally significant and artistically pleasing coins.  In fact, my avatar is the 1996 Invention & Discovery horse cart.  I find it both artistically pleasing and culturally significant, and at the mintage of 2900, it is not expensive, yet.

Offline NBM

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 12:44:56 AM »
fwang2450, most interesting and helpful.
Thank you again for your efforts.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 01:17:00 AM »
Good post, we need some photos of the gold coins...........

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 01:33:34 AM »
Good post, we need some photos of the gold coins...........
Images from Jibi.net, in the order of
Year of Children
Xinhai
Soccer
Marco Polo
Year of Peace

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 01:37:37 AM »
In fact, my avatar is the 1996 Invention & Discovery horse cart.  I find it both artistically pleasing and culturally significant, and at the mintage of 2900, it is not expensive, yet.
I still need the Rudder and the Suspension Bridge in this set.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 01:49:58 AM »
You'll find both the Rudder and Bridge beautifully composed and rendered.  Spectacular pieces.  I love the horse cart because it has the thrilling feel of a teenager finally driving his first cart!

Offline dobedo

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 08:00:53 AM »
Is this the same author "Huang Rui Yong" of Sheng Shi Feng Ya Song? I found this book on http://www.studychineseculture.com/book.asp?id=5144 by him (that's one of the very few sites I found which can ship directly from China to US with PayPal). Has anyone read it? Is it any good? Does it have lots of pictures like these 3 dragons and 5 flowers mentioned here?

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 09:53:41 AM »
Is this the same author "Huang Rui Yong" of Sheng Shi Feng Ya Song? I found this book on http://www.studychineseculture.com/book.asp?id=5144 by him (that's one of the very few sites I found which can ship directly from China to US with PayPal). Has anyone read it? Is it any good? Does it have lots of pictures like these 3 dragons and 5 flowers mentioned here?
Yes. That is the same author. Huang is as famous as Ge in China, but writes more about MCC and is known as the "high priest" of MCC because of his relentless effort to spread the MCC culture in China. Sheng Shi Feng Ya Song (Ode to Grace in a Prosperous Time) is a must read for MCC collectors, as it spells out approaches for beginners, intermediate collectors and top collectors. It has tons of information with pictures, such as discussion on patterns. The problem is that it is in Chinese only.

Offline pandaccumulator

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 08:54:42 PM »
fwang2450, thanks so much for the infor. I will get the book.

Offline flora79

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Re: Huang Ruiyong's "Three Little Dragons" and "Five Golden Flowers"
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 02:25:27 AM »
Thanks. I will try to get the book too