TRIAL STRIKES (SPECIMENS)




Mint officials perform a trial strike in order to test the dies, before the production run begins. The coins obtained from these strikes are sometimes used for presentation purposes, or more often just recycled by the mint. Occasionally, a few of these coins may make their way into the hands of collectors.


Modern Chinese trial strikes are usually made on a metal blank similar to the one which will be used for the production coins. Sometimes trial strikes are made on blanks of a different metal composition.


Chinese trial strikes are unique in that they always have a trial stamp -- a two-character Chinese inscription (see photos above). These two characters literally mean ‘sample coin’.


Mintage figures are not available for the earlier, pre-1989, trial strikes, however there were possibly less than 100 produced for each coin type.  From 1989 onwards, the Chinese mint began producing trial strikes in larger numbers, up to 18,000 pieces per design, for promotional purposes. These uncirculated coins were distributed in small plastic display holders of various designs. In several years, there were also proof trial strikes minted.


Numismatists in China believe that many of the trial strike pieces ended up in general circulation, as the actual availability does not match the supposed supply. Thus, the prices paid for good quality examples can be quite high.


In my opinion, the collecting of high-grade examples could be a very interesting and worthwhile specialty for the adventuresome numismatist. The book is not yet written on this, very special, niche of Chinese numismatics!


Some trial strike examples are listed below. The list below is not complete as I always update the commemoratives page before this one. For a more complete listing, please check the commemoratives page.


MORE EXAMPLE PHOTOS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

 

EXAMPLES,
SHOWING THE VARIOUS LOCATIONS OF THE TRIAL STAMPS

1986 Year of Peace

1988 Ningxia

1991 1st Woman’s

1992 1st Constitution

1985 Tibet

1987 Mongolia

1986 Year of Peace

1988 Ningxia

* Five platinum 1982 Pandas struck with dies intended for the gold Panda were produced for presentation purposes. One was recently offered through PandaAmerica for $100,000.


NOTES:


PURPOSE OF THIS SITE: This site exists to catalog and to provide accurate information and to list buying prices paid for modern coinage of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).


COINS INCLUDED ON THIS SITE: This site does not include all modern Chinese coins. Only those designs and series that are currently in demand are included. Most issues after the year 2000 are not included here because of insufficient collector demand.


MINTAGE: Actual mintage figures, when known, are designated by an “a” after the mintage figure. In cases where the actual figures are not known, the planned mintage figures are given. The Chinese mints did not keep accurate data during the early years, and there are constant debates amongst the numismatic community as to the correct figures. Any mintage figures given are the best available, but no guarantee can be made as to their accuracy.


COIN GRADES: Grades listed above refer to Uncirculated (equivalent to MS-65) and Proof (equivalent to PF-68). For a description of these grades, please refer to one of the two recognized grading and authentication services: Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC).


CATALOG NUMBERS: Any KM numbers listed refer to the standard Krause catalog numbers for World Coins. The Y numbers are those assigned by R.S. Yeoman (Y#) in his Modern World Coins and Current Coins of the World.


Please email me if you notice any errors or have other information to contribute to this site.



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