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August 29, 2012

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Locals snap up 'Year of Dragon' coins in one day

LOCALS lined up to snap up Year of the Dragon commemorative coins issued by the People's Bank of China yesterday.

Long queues formed early yesterday morning around some bank branches, where coins sold out in half an hour.

The coin with a face value of 1 yuan (16 US cents) has a design of a boy performing a dragon dance.

The bank issued 80 million coins yesterday, many more than the previous Chinese zodiac coins, to meet the demand.

Commemorative coins became very popular among the Chinese public after some soared in value. China started to issue such souvenirs marked with Chinese zodiac signs in 2003. The value of coins minted to commemorate the Year of the Goat in 2003 has risen more than 300-fold to more than 300 yuan. The coin issued last year to mark the Year of the Rabbit has increased about 20 fold to over 20 yuan.

The authorities didn't say which branches had been issued the coins before hand to avoid repeating the chaos in 2008 when the commemorative note to mark the Beijing Olympics was issued. Many collectors still managed to find out and rushed to the branches early yesterday to obtain the coins.


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