There was great demand in China for these colorful low mintage coins, and domestic prices in the secondary market quickly rose. The official United States distributor, Panda America, has only a very limited supply available, including official presentation boxes and Certificates of Authenticity. Prices and availability are subject to change with market conditions. The Beijing Opera is considered as a national treasure, with a history of over 200 years. It is considered the most significant of all opera production companies in China, and plays a large role in Chinese culture. Colorful masks, inspired from ancient ceremonies and religious symbols, are created by the actorswith the colors representing the character's personality and fate. There is an old saying from the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties that "masks are for Gods, make-up for ghosts." It meant that to play a god you must wear a mask, but to play a ghost all you needed was to slap some paint on your face. This followed the idea that gods were sacred and it would be sacrilegious, perhaps even dangerous, to portray them, whereas ghosts, the embodiment of disease, poverty and evil were not subject to such respect. Craftsmen who carved Deity masks believed that as soon as the eyes were carved out of a piece of art, it then became animated with the spirit of the gods. Over time, actors began to think that it was less a sin to portray gods and spirits on the stage instead of in temples and palaces. In 2008, Beijing schools added Beijing Opera to their course-list as part of a coordinated effort to preserve the traditional art for another generation, that seems to be more interested in pop stars and Western culture.
Metal: Gold and Silver
Weight: 1/4 oz Gold and 1 oz Silver 2-pc
Mintage: 30,000 Sets
Denomination: 100 Yuan and 10 Yuan x 2-coin