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Artist Yu Min honored for life’s work


The Lifetime Achievement Award in Coin Design was given to Yu Min, who was unable to be present Feb. 4 for the award ceremony in Berlin, Germany.

A Lifetime Achievement Award in Coin Design was given to Yu Min of the Shanghai Mint Co., Ltd., Feb. 4 at the Coin of the Year Award ceremony at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany.

He was unable to be present.

The trophy was accepted by Dr. Li Gang, Secretary of the Culture Department of Embassy of People’s Republic of China to the Federal Republic of Germany.

Dr. Li read a statement from the artist.

“I want to thank Krause Publications for giving me this prize and all my friends who care about and support me. It is a great honor to receive this world-known life achievement award.

“As part of the history of mankind, money not only records activities of human society, but also acts as the carrier of intercultural communication between different countries.

“The size of money is limited, but the creation of space of it is unlimited. I’m fortunate to have witnessed the development of Chinese modern commemorative coins in my over 30 years of money designing.

“The silver Panda designed by me had won the Best Silver Coin early in 1983, which helped to push Chinese Panda coins to the world. As the largest producer and consumer of commemorative coins, China will have a more significant influence on the development of commemorative coins.

“This prize is not only a praise for my lifelong career as a coin designer and engraver, but also affirms the development of Chinese commemorative coins in the past decades."


Accepting the award on Yu Min's behalf was Dr. Li Gang, secretary of the Culture Department of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the German capital. He is pictured here with World Coin News editor David C. Harper.

Giving the award was David C. Harper, editor of World Coin News, founding sponsor of the award.

The award is also sponsored by the World Money Fair.

The publisher of the Journal of East Asian Numismatics, Michael Chou, introduced Dr. Li. His publication is the third sponsor of the Coin of the Year Awards and it prepared a biography of Yu Min.

He graduated from Shanghai Arts and Crafts School in August 1980 and entered the Shanghai Mint (now known as the Shanghai Mint Co., Ltd) to design and to engrave coins in the design and pattern shop at the same year.

From February to June 1996 he went to Russia and studied in the Sculpture Department of Repin Academy of Fine Arts. He was enrolled as a member of the China Sculpture Institute in July 2004.

He began designing and engraving coins in 1980 and participated in the entire development process of gold and silver Pandas as a designer and engraver since the first gold panda coin was issued in 1982.

His 1983 silver Panda won the Best Silver Coin award in the Coin of the Year competition. He has designed and engraved dozens of commemorative Panda coins, including the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 gold and silver commemorative Panda coins, over the years.

The 2009 Panda coin designed by Yu Min was named the Best Commemorative Coin by a German magazine.


Among Yu Min's beautiful designs are the 1983 silver Panda (left), which won the Best Silver Coin award in that year's Coin of the Year competition, and the commemorative portrait of Chairman Mao (right) on the circulating coin marking the 100th birthday of Mao Tse-tung.

Among commemorative coins, he designed and engraved the portrait of Chairman Mao on the circulating coin to Mark the 100th birthday of Mao Tse-tung. It was very difficult to engrave a raised image of the chairman to be struck on a very hard nickel-clad steel coin. Yu Min accomplished this after repeated trials.

The artist created an image of Liu Shaoqi’s former residence for the circulating commemorative coin for his 100th birthday.

The plaster mold of the Chinese Year of the Goat circulating commemorative coin, the first coin of the Chinese Zodiac Signs series officially issued by the head office of Bank of China, was another work of Yu Min.

In the selection process of the 2008 Beijing Olympic coins, Yu Min’s design was one of the finalists and his four joint engraving designs (the fencing, pentathlon, archery and soccer coins) were adopted by the head office of Bank of China.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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