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Archive for December 28th, 2013

Dear Frances

Here is a refreshing article for opening up your new year in KL.
It is about the world first, Chinese religious coin with HM the Queen in one coin minted by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra and a legal tender of the Solomon Islands, a member of the British Commonwealth.

from IpohBornKid

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Scanned images of the Ji Gong coin (above) and the insert giving a description of the coin in Chinese & English (below).
A legal tender ($1.00) of the Solomon Islands.

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The Ji Gong Story
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At 16, his parents passed away and after 3 years mourning, he travelled around the country. As his money ran out, he decided to become a monk at the Lingyin temple (靈隱寺)in Hangzhou. The Abbot accepted him as a disciple/monk and named him Daoji.
As the story goes, Daoji often disguised himself as an insane monk of boundless virtue and performed many miracles to help the unfortunate and punished the wicked and the unscrupulous as well as using his power to destroy evil spirits and monsters. There are many stories about Ji Gong and these stories reflect the social life and Zen doctrines of that time. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (AD 1368-1911), his stories became widely known.
Today, more than 800 years passed, the Ji Gong’s story has become an endless literary resource and was also was also made into novels, paintings, sculptures movies and TV plays. The stories can play a role in enhancing individual/national morals and ethics.
The Ji Gong Coin
In Australia during mid-October 2013, the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) in Canberra became the first in the history of the British Commonwealth, to strike a coin depicting the image of Master Ji Gong on one side and the HM Queen II on the other side.
How the coin projected came about:
Early in 2013, Mr Edward Terence Mason, Director of the Australian Gold Coin Pty Ltd and Ms Dongyu Xing showed a coin from an Asian country with the Goddess of Mercy (Quanyin) to Dr Tony Pun. As the RAM was minting the Chinese zodiac coins (the 12 animals) with HM the Queen on one side, the question was asked whether it would be possible for the RAM to make a coin with 1 oz silver but with Master Ji Gong on the other side. At that moment, the Ji Gong coin was conceptualized and Mr Mason was given the task to investigate whether the RAM would mint such a coin. The rational of making this coin was also discussed and the idea to use the proceeds of the sale of the Ji Gong coin to assist fund raising for Ji Gong temples was agreed. A positive response was received from the RAM. Permission was also obtained to use the Queen’s image on the coin. At that point, the trio, Mr Mason, Ms Xing and Dr Pun decided to give the first preference to the Ji Gong temple in Sydney to raise funds for their development. The Ji Gong temple in Sydney accepted the idea and raised sufficient funds to sponsor the first 1,000 coins. The net proceeds to the sale of the first 1,000 coins would go to the Ji Gong temple in Sydney. By October 2013, the coins were produced and 1,000 of these coins were in the possession of the office bearers of the Chee Seng Khor Moral Uplifting Society Inc. in Sydney The coins were then taken to be exhibited and sold during the Ji Gong Conference(October 2013) in Macao to international delegates.

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Production of this coin was also assisted by the Hon Consul for Solomon Islands, Sir Trevor Garland, former colleague of Dr Pun at St Vincent’s Hospital. This coin is the first of its kind with HM the Queen and a religious icon Master Ji Gong. It is of historical significance in the recognition of Chinese culture and religion by Westerners and including Solomon Islands and Australia.
Photo: from left to right – standing, Dr Tony Pun, Edward Mason, sitting Ms Dongyu Xing and Sir Trevor Garland.

The copyright of the coin belongs to the Australian Gold Coins Pty Ltd and the image of Master Ji Gong was designed by Mr Mason. The total mintage of this coin is 10,000 and hence, it will be a valuable collector’s item. The coin is also available in pure gold (99.99%).
The Original Purpose of the Ji Gong Coin
The concept, as from the beginning, is to use the coin for fund raising purpose for Ji Gong temples. It is expected that those involved in selling the coins would donate parts of the net proceeds to the Ji Gong temple. As charity comes from the heart, there is no coercion in how much people will donate and such donations should be natural, generous and purposeful, each according to his/her conscience and ability.
Note: Dr Pun and Sir Trevor do not receive any financial benefits from the Australian Gold Coin Pty Ltd nor did they take any commissions for the sale of the coins. Their efforts are completely charitable as they both donate their time and effort for the Ji Gong Coin Project.

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