The Bank of China has issued two 2011 coins commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund—30,000 Proof 10 Yuan, containing 1 oz. .999 fine silver, and 10,000 Proof 100 Yuan, containing ¼ oz. .999 fine gold. The silver coin features a Tibetan antelope in the foreground, with a bounding herd and a snow-covered mountain in the background. The logo of the WWF—a panda–standing in front of a world globe, is pictured on the gold coin.
The original panda-logo of the WWF was created in 1961 by the organization’s co-founder Sir Peter Scott, and was based on Chi Chi, a panda who was a popular attraction at the London Zoo at the time. The present panda-logo was introduced in 1986.
The exceptionally fine underfur of the Tibetan antelope or chiru insulates it against the harsh climate of the Tibetan plateau. Unfortunately, this fur, known as shahtoosh, also makes the chiru a target for illegal hunters. However, the antelope must be killed for the fur to be collected, and it takes around 4 chiru to make a single shawl. Shahtoosh shawls were traditionally given as wedding gifts in India. Despite strict controls, there is still demand for these luxury items. Within India, shawls are worth $1,000-$5,000; internationally the price can reach as high as $20,000.
The population of Tibetan antelopes is estimated to have declined by more than 50% during the last 20 years of the 20th century, and is currently thought to be between 75,000 and 100,000. The WWF works together with local herders, village leaders and reserve managers to develop conservation strategies and measures to tackle poaching and illegal hunting of this endangered animal. It works with the Tibetan Forestry Bureau to jointly develop and implement a conservation and management of the Chang Tang nature reserve.
For prices and availability of China’s 2011 coins commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the World Wildlfe Fund, contact official distributor Panda America at 800-472-6327 or visit www.PandaAmerica.com.