The Shanghai Mint is one of the most important mints in China with one of the longest histories. The mint began operations in Shanghai in 1920. Today, the Shanghai Mint is known as the producer of the legendary Chinese Panda series, the Dragon & Phoenix series, as well as the popular Chinese Lunar coins.
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In 1928, the Shanghai Mint became a subsidiary of the Chinese Ministry of Finance and started minting circulation coinage in 1933. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Shanghai Mint operation was relocated inland as a precautionary measure and five facilities were set up to share the coin striking duties. In 1946 operations in Shanghai were reinstated.
Today, the Shanghai Mint is one of three mint facilities that strike circulating coinage for the People’s Republic of China. It is also strikes commemorative and bullion coins that are popular with collectors all over the world. The China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, the current umbrella organization of the mint, is a subsidiary of the People’s Bank of China. The mint’s products have been distributed to dealers through the China Gold Coin Corporation since 1982.
The Chinese Panda is one of the most widely sought after and collected series in modern world numismatics. The coins have been struck in gold and silver since inception. The series includes a variety of weights denominations and sizes. They have had both proof and bullion finishes and are famous for having lower mintages. Due to the lower mintages, particularly the earlier issues can be scarce, especially in high grade. The series has a new reverse design annually that features the Giant Panda, and a reverse that features the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests in the Temple of Heaven near Beijing.
Chinese Lunar Coins were first struck in 1981 and consist of gold, silver, and platinum coins, in several different denominations and weights. Traditionally, they have been issued as scalloped coins and in the shape of fans. The reverse design of each coin features the zodiac animal relating to the lunar year of issue. The obverse features a notable historic or cultural image. The imagery of the Chinese Zodiac has been resoundingly popular with collectors on a global basis and has been adopted by various other world mints. These strong cultural symbols have been issued on bullion coins and bars all over the world.
The China Dragon & Phoenix Medal is based on the famous Chinese “Cash Coin” with the square hole in the middle. These proofs incorporate the timeless imagery of the yin and yang, emphasizing harmony and symbiosis. The reverse pictures the co-existence that fuses the masculine dragon which symbolizes power, ambition, and success with the feminine phoenix which symbolizes prosperity and longevity. The obverse of the issue features the only man-made structure visible from outer space, the Great Wall of China. These medals are struck in .999 fine silver in a variety of sizes.