Children At Play
In 1994, the People’s Bank of China issued a set of eleven coins featuring ancient Chinese paintings of children. Of the eleven coins in the set, five are gold and six are silver. All coins are of proof quality and are of 99.9% purity. The set comprises one 5 oz 500 yuan gold coin; one 5 oz 50 yuan silver coin; four 1 oz 10 yuan silver coins; one 12 oz 100 yuan silver coin; two 1/4 oz 25 yuan gold coins; and two 1/2 oz 50 yuan gold coins.
Featured on the reverse faces of the coins are four paintings of groups of children at play. The images show children playing with a cat; children playing with toy boats; children with a tray; and children with fruit. Below the image is inscribed the face value of the particular coin. In Chinese history, paintings with children as their subject matter emerged during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) and became popular during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties (960-1911). The images often appear as decorations and designs on jade ware, lacquer ware, ceramics, and embroidery.
Featured on the obverse faces of the coins is an image of a corner tower of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The corner towers were built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The corner tower pictured makes up part of the defensive structures of the Forbidden City which include the moat, the walls, the gate towers, and the other three corner towers. The top of the coin face bears the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People’s Republic of China”. The year of issue, 1994, appears below the image.
Mintage figures for this set range from 99 pieces at the rarest for the 5 oz 500 yuan gold coin, to 8500 for two of the four 1 oz 10 yuan silver coins.
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