Author Topic: Shanghai 1998 Cu Ni China's 1st stock exchange 10th anniversary Wall Street bull  (Read 2256 times)

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Offline badon

Shanghai 1998 Cu Ni China's 1st stock exchange 10th anniversary Wall Street bull

luckmoneyro (new, ending, sold) showed me some photos of a coin he was thinking about buying for his inventory, and he asked me if I thought Western buyers would like them. The mintage is unknown, but luckmoneyro estimates it's around 2500 to 5000.

The bull design looked familiar to me, but I thought to myself "No, it can't be THAT sculpture" - but it was! It's the Wall Street Bull, a gigantic bronze sculpture named "Charging Bull", in New York City, USA:

The Charging Bull represents a "bull market", and was designed by Arturo Di Modica. Its story is a lot more interesting than most public works of art. The artist created the sculpture at a cost of $360'000 of his own money, and then he secretly put it next to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in December 1989. He did not have permission to put the 2500 kilogram sculpture in front of the building, but being so large, it could not be easily removed. By the time authorities arrived to clean up the "mess", the sculpture was literally being embraced by the people of New York as a symbol of American prosperity and national pride.

To this day, the other sculpture it is most often compared to is the Statue of Liberty! Wow! Can you imagine how proud the artist must have felt when he first found out about that? The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the USA, but technically the Charging Bull of Wall Street (not actually on Wall Street) is still the property of the artist. He has said he would be willing to sell it, but only on the condition that the new owner leave the sculpture in its current location. Either way, it has become an icon of New York and the USA, so no one is going to be hauling it away. It is there to stay.

So, to answer luckmoneyro's original question, would Western buyers be interested in the coins in the photos? The answer was easy - A BIG YES! Apparently the Shanghai stock market so greatly admired the USA's financial success, they went ahead and blatantly copied the Charging Bull design on this coin to commemorate the 10th anniversary of China's first stock exchange. Remember, the artist himself still owns the sculpture AND the copyright to the design. The few times the design has been used unnecessarily without Arturo's permission, he was able to sue the copyright violators. Basically, these coins are illegal, and maybe that's why we in the West are only learning about them now. The forbidden fruit is always the most desirable.

Unfortunately, I didn't learn about the copyright issues until today, more than a week after luckmoneyro bought the coins and listed them on ebay: Shanghai 1998 Cu Ni China's 1st stock exchange 10th anniversary Wall Street bull, for $8. These coins are dirt cheap, and luckmoneyro was able to get a few dozen of them, which I thought to be remarkable considering how hugely historically and artistically important they are. Could it be these coins have been hiding in the shadows since they were minted in 1998, solely because the copyright issue might cause problems with diplomatic and business relations with the USA? Oh the irony - it started with a gift from the artist, then admiration by China, then emulation by the Shanghai stock exchange, then commemoration in the 1998 Wall Street bull. That all seems pretty innocent, right? Well it doesn't matter to the legalistic West - copyrights are serious business.

Nameless Chinese sweatshops may be able to get away with making fake Nike shoes, and unauthorized copies of Beyonce's latest album, with little fear of a drone strike from the USA's Pacific Fleet Command, because they are small and unimportant enough they can "fly under the radar". However, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Mint are not nameless, and they cannot fly under the radar! If these coins start showing up in New York, New York lawyers are going to notice, and somebody is going to get in trouble. The last thing China wants is for their admiration and emulation to be misinterpreted as a theft or an insult, so it appears to me these coins probably just quietly went away, until today. Now NGC is certifying them!

In 2010, China got their own version of the Charging Bull, called the "Bund Bull", made by the same artist. That should make things pleasant between China and the West, so perhaps that's why these coins are coming out of hiding now.

More info and other details below.

Obverse text, Chinese:


Obverse bull market text, English:

Shanghai Finance and Securities Company
The tenth anniversary of the establishment

Reverse text, Chinese:

股市有风险 入市需谨慎

Reverse bear market text, English:

The stock market is risky
Investors must be cautious
Shanghai Mint

Note that "Shanghai Finance and Securities Company" was the original name for China's first stock market. It has been renamed to Shanghai Securities Co., Ltd. There is a newer stock exchange in Shenzhen. These two stock markets are probably akin to the 2 major stock markets in the USA, the NYSE, and the NASDAQ.

Charging Bull - Wikipedia

Installed in 1989, leans to left.

Bund Bull - Wikipedia

Installed in 2010, leans to right instead of the left like Wall Street Charging Bull.

Germany had their own sculptures installed at the Frankfurt stock exchange in 1988. The bear looks like the bear on the reverse of the coin, but horizontally mirror flipped. There are enough differences I don't think China copied the Frankfurt design, but it's possible they were inspired by it. Here's a photo of the Frankfurt bear, and I horizontally mirror flipped it to make it match the Chinese version a little better. As you can see, if it served as the inspiration for the bear design on the coin, it has been altered a lot.

Frankfurt Stock Exchange - Wikipedia
Börse Frankfurt – Wikipedia
Börsenplatz (Frankfurt am Main) - Wikipedia
Reinhard Dachlauer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edit by badon: Fixed Bund Bull photo that wasn't displaying due to a BBCode error.
« Last Edit: 2017 Apr 24, 06:30:18 PM by badon »

Offline badon


Offline badon