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Scarce 1980 Archers Piefort 300 Yuan

By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist & Consignment Director, U.S. & World Coins and Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger

Author: Greg Cohen & Chris Chatigny / Wednesday, October 01, 2014 / Categories: Crossing the Block

Among the early scarcities of the modern commemorative China mint issues are the Piefort gold issues of the 1980 Olympiad. From a mintage of only 500 pieces, these were already a scarcity at the time of mintage, and remain a tangible reminder of the epic Olympic games of that year. The specimen being offered in our sale is graded Proof-69 Deep Cameo by PCGS and is accompanied by the original box and certificate. Adding to the intrigue of this piece is the odd 300 Yuan denomination, one of a very few coins in the entire series to have that value.

This piece is part of the “Summer Games” set released in June of 1980 to commemorate the recognition of the Chinese Olympic Committee by the International Olympic Committee (the governing body for all things related to the Olympics). These inaugural pieces were the first of their Olympic Series which would later include many collectible and fantastic Olympic designs. They also were the first pieces to commemorate sports in China. Notably, these 1980 Olympic issues feature the inscription: “Chinese Olympic Committee” instead of “People’s Republic of China.” The Olympic rings make an appearance on the obverse side of the coin, but would eventually be phased out, as the Olympic rings are proprietary to the International Olympic Committee.

This design features archery, one of the ancient sports of China. The design, done in the style of an ancient stone painting, evokes China’s long cultural history and heritage. As with many modern world issues, a portion of these gold issues were melted due to the then record high gold prices attained in 1980, and this added to their scarcity. A search of auction prices online reveals no recent records for an example being sold, and as such we anticipate strong participation from serious collectors when this nearly perfect, superb gem crosses the auction block.

Catalogs for our inaugural Macau auction are in the works, and will be available in a few weeks. If you are interested in receiving a catalog and are not on our mailing list, be sure to contact a Stack’s Bowers auction services associates. If you are looking to consign world or ancient coins, we are accepting consignments for our January New York International and April Hong Kong, as well as our August 2015 official ANA auction sales. Be sure to contact one of our consignment directors to discuss your collection, and allow us help you realize top dollar for your numismatic items.