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Sales of Expo silver bars start

THE 2010 Shanghai World Expo organizers yesterday began selling the Expo silver bars.

The silver bars are available in three sizes - 50, 100, or 1,000 grams. The bars have a blue Haibao, the Expo mascot, and a cityscape engraved on the front and "EXPO" on the back.

Also on sale are a pack of five 50-gram bars, each with a Haibao, which joined together form the year "2010" and a cityscape.

The 50-gram bar sells for 468 yuan (US$68.52), the 100-gram bar 916 yuan, and the 1,000-gram bar 7,720 yuan. The five 50-gram bar pack costs 1,760 yuan.

A total of 24,000 bars are available. People can buy them at any branches of the Bank of Communications or China Golddeal Investment, the official retailer of the bars.

The first 10,000 Expo gold bars issued in December were sold out within a month. The bar is one of a series of three that will form a phoenix.

The second bar, engraved with the body of the bird, will be issued in October, said Liu Yan, advertising planning manager for the company.

Many customers bought the first gold bars as collector's items though some bought them as gifts, Liu said.

She said the value of gold bars issued for the 2008 Beijing Olympics was now five times the original price.

The Expo bars are made by the China Banknote Printing and Minting and are among 3,000 officially licensed Expo products.

The organizers yesterday held a fair to recruit sellers for licensed products. There are more than 100 shops selling licensed products in the country, and the organizers plan to increase that to 500 by the end of this year.


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