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June 17, 2011

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Thousands queue up to pocket souvenir coins

LONG queues formed outside Shanghai banks early yesterday morning, as people waited for a coin marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China to go on sale.

Many people said they arrived as early as 6am to ensure they got the souvenirs.

Commemorative coins are very popular among the Chinese public after some soared in value.

Yesterday saw the launch of two coins, one celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China with a face value of 5 yuan (77 US cents) and the other a 1-yuan commemorative coin for 2011.

They were sold out within half an hour at many banks.

At a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on Shimen No.2 Road, more than 100 people were waiting when the branch opened at 8:30am, said the lobby manager. Each customer was limited to 1 set.

"Many are young people, showing that collecting coins is not only popular among the elderly now," he said.

By 10am, all the commemorative coins at the branch were sold. But still many people came looking for them.

"I want to buy the coin with a rabbit design for my brother as he was born in the Year of Rabbit," said Luo Ying, an office worker.

The People's Bank of China issued 60 million 5 yuan coins and 30 million 1 yuan coins yesterday. The brass alloy coins are legal tender and no other 5 yuan coins are currently in circulation.

The 5-yuan coin features the CPC emblem, a five-pointed star, a peace dove and peony, and an inscription stating "the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China."

The 1-yuan coin has a design of a girl and a rabbit - as 2011 is the Year of Rabbit.

While commemorative coins are collectable, this does not guarantee their value will appreciate, as most are issued in runs of at least 10 million.


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