Gold has always held a special place in Chinese culture and has been used a means of trade and exchange for thousands of years. Recorded uses of gold in transactions can be found in Quin and Han dynasties. Many emperors in China regarded gold as lucky and adorned themselves in garments that were rich in gold colors and hues and also used to wear gold jewelry.
On the Chinese New Year, and specifically during the spring festival, it is a common tradition to buy gold and gold jewelry. Gold is also exchanged as gifts. The cultural significance of gold is apparent through occasions in China where individuals dance at the forefront of the golden dragon masks. In Chinese art and culture, use of gold is quite common and a representation of prosperity is often associated with the color gold. In fact in China’s pillar of destiny, gold is included to represent wealth.
After People’s Republic of China was founded, gold trading was regarded as a state monopoly. With the exception of state officials, nobody could trade in gold or possess it. Buying or selling of gold by private citizens was regarded illegal by private individuals. After this rule was removed, the demand for gold has been growing exponentially. China began minting precious metal coins in 1979 with the well known Chinese Panda Coin appearing for the first time in 1982, in four sizes – 1 oz ½ oz ¼ oz and 1/10 oz. Unlike most gold coins, each year (with the exception of one), has brought about a new panda design on the coin. Better known sizes are from 1/20 oz to 1 oz, whilst larger gold coins exist in sizes of 5 oz, 12 oz and kilogram. In Chinese pinyin, gold is called ‘huang2 jin1’.
With respects to gold reserves, China ranks second in the world. Presently there is a surge in the number of people buying gold. Possession of gold at one time could lead to imprisonment however, this is not the case anymore. The Chinese government and several of the top Communist Party leaders like former vice chairman Cheng Siwei have been vocal in encouraging gold investment by Chinese citizens.
Gold is available from the banks and also from the gold ATMs that have been set up in Beijing and many other different prime locations around the country. This gold is available in four sizes in exchange for cash.
Gold mining in China has expanded considerably in recent years with China now leading production of the precious metal. Approximately 274 tons of gold were mined in 2007 compared with South Africa at 272 tons. In 2008 it increased to 300 tons. People’s Bank of China have been actively taking steps to promote gold ownership and is actively pursuing the expansion of their own gold reserves since September 2009.
Chinese coins offer all of the options an investor could possibly want, modestly priced premium gold bullion coins and collectible, low mintage proof coins. ChineseCoins.com offers the full spectrum of modern Chinese coins in gold, silver, platinum and even palladium.