2008 Beijing Olympics coin carries $17,000 estimate at Spink Smythe

If, like us, you can't wait for the London 2012 Olympics, then you won't want to miss this: a chance to mark the event in style at Spink Smythe's Collector's Series Sale. The auction is offering a rare Chinese People's Republic 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2000 Yuan coin.

Only 2,008 of these coins were minted for the occasion, each bearing the common design for the Beijing summer Olympics, including a striking rendering of its colourised logo surrounded by two dragons.

On the coin's reverse are depictions of four sports: volleyball, boxing, hurdles and diving. Olympic rings are featured in the background.

Chinese Peoples Republic 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2000 Yuan coin
The rare 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2000 Yuan coin

This unique and eye-pleasing coin is rightly billed by Spink Smythe as "a seldom offered and impressive relic of the 29th modern Olympic games. The coin remains housed in its impressive presentation box styled as a 5.8 pound jade dragon.

An inscription at the dragon's base reads: "The official commemorative gold coin for the games of the XXIX Olympiad / 5oz / AU .9999." Lifting the jade dragon reveals this amazing and very rare coin. Both the coin and box were formerly of the noted Waldman Collection.

The numismatic collectible will appear in Spink Smythe's sale with a $15,000-17,000 presale estimate. This certainly won't be a hurdle for interested bidders - and we can definitely see bids on this coin climbing above its high estimate.

Chinese Peoples Republic 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2000 Yuan coin
The coin's 5.8 pound jade dragon presentation box

Of course, looking back to the 2008 Beijing Olympics is all well and good. But what about 2012? Well, we expect gold medals won at London 2012 to also be in great demand when they begin to appear at auction in years to come. You can read more about our views here.

Spink Smythe's Collector's Series Sale will be held in New York on January 16-18.

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