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Chinese Coin Collecting in Transition by Harry Zhang

Originally published on October 10 2015

In China, the domestic coins like modern commemoratives, the Republic of China, Qing Dynasty or even older have been dominating the coin market since early 1980's.

During late 1980's and early 1990's, international coins started arriving into the China markets, but almost of them were well circulated and difficult to locate any quality type coins. People about my age, who are in my Shanghai coin circle now, went to the outdoor stands by the streets to pick and choose the international coins. Though it might take us 1 hour or even more to ride there by bus, it was all fun. And sometimes, due to the lack of pricing information, we would pay much more than the real value of these coins. Now some of these early collectors have turned into the advanced collectors with target of slabbed high valued international and American type coins. But unfortunately, other collectors are still at a low level of date and low grade collecting.

As to collecting itself, people here may have different ideologies. Most of them don't really enjoy the coins or the collecting, but take them as a way to make money, the quick money. This is the main reason why people here would buy Chinese coins, for speculation. But international and American coins are seen as a way of investment, and it takes years or even longer to realize the value added.

As I have previously mentioned to Gerry Fortin, more and more young people now are choosing international and American coins as their aim. First, they understand these type coins can prevent their assets from devaluation and second, the Chinese products like Panda, are at high pricer level which is not affordable to them. The dollars may go through devaluation too, but there should be little effect on the high quality type coins.

As to the question about coin clubs in Shanghai, yes, we have some which originated from the Yunzhou Antique Mall. But so far, only for the domestic coins. It will take more time for people to accept the American coins widely. Challenges always come with opportunities.