25 Years of Chinese Panda Coins

The People’s Bank of China announced that they will issue a set of commemorative Panda bullion coins in gold and silver to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of issuing the Panda bullion coins. Released on January 25, the coins will feature the different reverse designs of the Panda silver and gold coins for the last 25 years. The obverse of the coin will feature the Hall of Praying for Good Harvest of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the title of the People’s Republic of China, year 2007, the Chinese characters that will translate to “Chinese Panda Gold (or Silver) Coin Commemorating its 25th Anniversary.”

The 1/25th ounce .999 gold Panda anniversary coins will be 12mm in diameter and have a face value of 15 yuan. Mintage is limited to 18,000 of each coin.

The quarter-ounce .999 silver Panda anniversary coins will be 25mm in diameter and have a face value of 3 yuan. Mintage is limited to 30,000 of each coin.

Both gold and silver coins were minted by Shenzhen Guobao Mint, Shanghai Mint, and Shenyang Mint. China Gold Coin, Inc. will distribute these coins for The People’s Bank starting January 25, 2007.

I have written in the past of my appreciation for the silver Panda coins. And like a lot of people, I also appreciate the cuddly look of the Giant Panda. Although I am interested in purchasing a silver set, the price may be an issue. As I was searching the Internet for availability, I saw one major dealer who has set pre-sale prices at $399 for the silver set and $1,199 for the gold. As they are distributed to other US dealers, I will compare prices looking for the best deal.

Wanna Be On Television?

On the Coin Collecting News Blog, A.C. Dwyer wrote that he received an email from ABC-TV looking for a families who are coin collectors to be involved with the show Wife Swap. Read the note here.

If you decide to apply and mention me and I will share the referral fee with A.C. Also, let’s talk after the show and I will post our discussion to extend your fifteen minutes of fame!

Presidential Dollar Tour

Last week, the US Mint announced that they will be traveling to ten cities to promote the Presidential $1 Coin program. This is the announcement that I wrote about earlier about the program being held in Houston and Chicago. The ten announced tour dates were announced as follows:

  • Chicago, Ill., Wednesday, Jan. 24: Thompson Center, Noon – 3 p.m., 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601
  • Houston, Texas, Wednesday, Jan. 24, The Galleria, 1-4 p.m., 5085 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77056
  • Detroit, Mich. Thursday, Jan. 25, Compuware Corporation, Noon – 3 p.m., One Campus Martius, Detroit, MI 48226
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, Thursday, Jan. 25, NorthPark Center, 1-4 p.m., 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75225
  • Boston, Mass., Monday, Jan. 29, The Hall at Paris,1-3 p.m., Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market Building, 2nd Floor,Boston, MA 02110
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., Monday, Jan. 29, Westfield Citrus Park, 1-5 p.m., 8021 Citrus Park Town Center Mall,Tampa, FL 33625
  • Hartford, Conn., Tuesday, Jan. 30, Westfield Meriden, 1-4 p.m., 470 Lewis Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451
  • Atlanta, Ga.,Wed, Jan. 31,Underground Atlanta, 1-4 p.m., 50 Upper Alabama Street, Ste 007, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Pittsburgh, Pa., Thursday, Feb. 1, Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills, 1-3 p.m., 590 Pittsburgh Mills Cir., Tarentum, PA 15084
  • Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 2, South Park Mall, 1-5 p.m., 4400 Sharon Road,Charlotte, NC 28211

Little Rock Central High Commem Design

Last week, the US Mint presented the design for the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar. The coin commemorates the first challenge by a state to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education ordering the desegregation of public schools. The nine students at the center of the showdown at Little Rock Central High School is being honored on this commemorative.

The obverse “features a simple, yet powerful design depicting students, accompanied by an armed United States soldier, walking to school.’ The soldier was a member of the 101st Airborne Division. The “Screaming Eagles” was called in by President Dwight Eisenhower to protect the students when Governor Orval Faubus refused to allow the Arkansas National Guard to provide protection in defiance of the federal order. The obverse design includes nine stars representing the nine students known as the Little Rock Nine trying to attend Central High School.

The reverse depicts the Little Rock Central High School as it looked in 1957. Little Rock Central High School was designated a National Historic Site in 1998 and continues to operate as a high school in the Little Rock public school system.

The obverse of this coin was designed by Richard Masters, a Master Designer with the Artistic Infusion Program. US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers sculpted the design. The reverse was designed and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. It is a powerful design that is fitting for this anniversary. It may be one of the few commemoratives I may buy.

Images are from the United State Mint. Click any image to enlarge.

Houston and Chicago To See New $1 Coin First

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Federal Reserve is set to distribute the first coin of the Presidential $1 Coin Program featuring George Washington in Houston and Chicago. As part of the initiation of the program, George Washington reenactor Carl Closs will visit a Houston elementary school to introduce the coin and George Washington to the students.

The image is from the Houston Chronicle and is an example of the real coin.

American Banknote Company Archive Auction Sale

An area of numismatics that some find interesting is scripophily and notaphily. Scripophily is the collection of study of stock and bond certificates. Notaphilly is the collection of paper money or bank notes. Checks, while commonly classified as scripophilly is actually a part of notaphilly. Both areas spotlight the beauty of the engraving and the originality of the vignettes that adorn these paper items.

Just like other areas of numismatics, there is no “correct way” to collect scripophilly. Collectors look for items based on theme, age, historical significance, signatures, printer of the paper, paper quality, type of engraving, the beauty of the engraving, and so on. Themes can be developed for any collector to appreciate. For example, I own examples of the Monopoly railroad stock set. Other popular themes are automobile companies, high tech companies, popular food service companies, beverage companies, and more.

I was introduced to other areas of notaphilly when someone gave me US Military payment certificates (MPC) that would be used in the on-base post exchanges (PX). While historically interesting, I was intrigued by seeing a check signed by then New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt to pay a bill from an Albany-area merchant.

A common theme of these paper examples were the use of fine engraving to better secure the documents. The fine engraving attempted to discourage hand copying and be too fine for the evolving technology of photography from being able to image this paper. The idea was why create mundane designs when they can be made beautiful. This resulted in people wanting to collect these items for their beauty, history, and the function they represent.

The American Banknote Company is this country’s oldest security printing company. Tracing its history back over 200 years, ABN produced the country’s first postage stamp, US and world banknotes, and stock certificates for many companies. Some of the most beautiful and interesting security printing was created by ABN. ABN has maintained an archive of the items they have printed over the years. Now with the advent of new technologies, including digital printing services, ABN has been selling its archive in public auctions.

This week, H.R. Harmer, the auctioneer who sold Franklin D. Roosevelt’s stamp collection, announced they will be auctioning the final lots from the ABN archive. The auction will consist of over 1,400 lots of stock certificates and samples from world bank notes that will include examples from many well know companies.

The auction will be held January 31, February 1 and 2 in West Caldwell, New Jersey and as a live auction on eBay. You can view the items for auction on eBay or via H.R. Harmer’s catalog website. This should be fun!

CFA To Approve Last State Quarters

The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) is scheduled to meet on Thursday, January 18, 2007. On the schedule is the final approval of the designs for the 2008 50 State Quarters® reverses to commemorate Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. Unless H.R. 392 passes, 2008 will be the last year of the program.

The CFA meets at the National Building Museum, 401 F ST NW, Washington, DC in Suite 318 starting at 10:00 AM. Meetings are open to the public.

DSS Denounces Spy Coin Claim

Defense Security Services (DSS) issued a press release stating that summary report claiming that radio frequency transmitters were found in Canadian coins is not true. “This statement was based on a report provided to DSS,” according to the release. “The allegations, however, were found later to be unsubstantiated following an investigation into the matter.”

DSS is blaming an editing error with the item appearing in the report.

Although the release said the story was not true, The Associate Press quoted agency spokeswoman Martha Deutscher saying, “What’s in the report is true. This is indeed a sanitized version, which leaves a lot of questions.”

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