NGC Grades Important Collection of Chinese Patterns Featuring Mao Zedong

Posted on 8/7/2019

The fascinating group includes patterns struck in copper and aluminum.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has certified a spectacular collection of patterns featuring the likeness of Mao Zedong, the leader of the People's Republic of China from its founding in 1949 until his death in 1976.

These 28 patterns – 14 copper and 14 aluminum – were struck in the Fen and 5 Fen denominations. A pattern is a coin struck with a proposed design or composition. In this case, they demonstrate a remarkable combination of artistry and production techniques.

They were struck in 1968 and 1969, when Mao was in his 70s. During this time, Mao was revered in China to the extent that many people wore badges with his portrait. Mao was resistant to having his portrait on coinage, however, and the patterns were never adopted for circulation.

1968 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern, Yan'an Baota Mountain, graded NGC MS 66 BN.
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The coins’ obverses feature one of six different portraits of Mao from various times in his life. The reverses show places with a historic connection to Mao’s revolution. These include the Zunyi Conference and Yan'an Baota Mountain, themes from the Long March of the mid-1930s, when Mao's Communist forces were battling those of the Chinese government at the time. Others include Shao Shan sunrise scenery, Nanhu Boat, Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People.

The Shao Shan sunrise patterns include a version that shows the sunrise scenery without characters. The Nanhu Boat patterns include one with a youth Mao portrait and another with a side portrait.

The 28 coins were acquired in November 2016 at the Beijing Chengxuan autumn auction for 8.97 million Yuan (about $1.34 million USD). They were graded in March 2019 at the Shanghai office of NGC Shanghai Business Information Consulting Co., Ltd. (NGC Shanghai), the China-based affiliate of NGC.

“NGC is honored to have certified this magnificent group of patterns, which provide special insight into the history of Chinese numismatics,” said Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of NGC. “We were glad to have been able to perform our expert authentication, grading and encapsulation services at our facility in Shanghai.”

China Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern, Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery, before and after conservation.
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Before they were graded, Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), an affiliate of NGC, conserved all 28 coins in the set. NCS has conserved more than 1 million coins since it was founded in 2001 and performs these services on a regular basis in both in the US and China.

"These extraordinary coins benefited from the expert attention of NGC and NCS," said Michael Chou, CEO of Champion Auctions, who represented the owner. "Their services helped to reveal the true beauty of the coins and to protect them for future generations."

The aluminum patterns are graded between NGC MS 64 and NGC MS 65, while the copper patterns are graded between NGC MS 64 BN and NGC MS 66 BN. They include:

Zunyi Conference

1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Zunyi Conference, graded NGC MS 64
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Zunyi Conference, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Zunyi Conference, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery

Undated China Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (without characters), graded NGC MS 65.
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Undated China Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (without characters), graded NGC MS 65 BN
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Undated China Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (without characters), graded NGC MS 65 BN
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (with characters), graded NGC MS 65
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (with characters), graded NGC MS 65
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Shao Shan Sunrise Scenery (with characters), graded NGC MS 64 BN
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Tian'anmen Square

1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Tian'anmen Square, graded NGC MS 64
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Tian'anmen Square, graded NGC MS 65
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Tian'anmen Square, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Tian'anmen Square, graded NGC MS 65 BN
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Yan'an Baota Mountain

1968 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Yan'an Baota Mountain, graded NGC MS 64
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1968 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Yan'an Baota Mountain, graded NGC MS 65
Click images to enlarge.

1968 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Yan'an Baota Mountain, graded NGC MS 66 BN
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1968 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Yan'an Baota Mountain, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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Nanhu Boat

1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Nanhu Boat, graded NGC MS 64
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Nanhu Boat, graded NGC MS 65
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Nanhu Boat-Side Portrait, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Nanhu Boat-Side Portrait, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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1969 China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Nanhu Boat-Side Portrait, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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Great Hall of the People

Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 64
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 64
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 65
Click images to enlarge.

Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Aluminum Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 65
Click images to enlarge.

Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 64 BN
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Undated China 5 Fen - Mao Zedong Copper Pattern,
Great Hall of the People, graded NGC MS 64 BN
Click images to enlarge.


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