NGC recently graded a very interesting collection of 14 copper and 14 aluminium patterns featuring the historic Chinese leader, Mao Zedong who ruled from 1949 to 1976. These patterns bear the denominations Fen and 5 Fen. A pattern generally features a proposed design or may be issued to test the metal composition. These examples were issued from 1968 to 1969 when Mao was living the final few years of his life. The designs never saw light as Mao was against the idea of issuing coins showing his portrait. Mao earned so much respect that many people even wore badges depicting his image.
The obverse side of each pattern depicts a different portrait of Mao from several stages of his life. The reverse sides depict a location that’s related to Mao’s revolution like the Zunyi Conference, Yan’an Baota Mountain, scenes from Long March of the 1930s, Shao Shan sunrise scenery, Nanhu Boat, Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People.
Mao’s Communist forces were fighting against the then Chinese government during the Long March of the 1930s. One of the Shao Shan sunrise patterns does not include the characters. One of the Nanhu Boat patterns features a young Mao and another one depicts a side portrait.
All the pattern coins were bought for a total of 8.97 million yuan in November 2016 during the Beijing Chengxuan autumn auction and were graded in March 2019. The grades for aluminium patterns range from NGC MS 64 to MS 65, and for the copper patterns, the grading ranges from MS 64 BN to MS 66 BN.
Image Courtesy: NGC
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