Year of Peace

The United Nations, founded on the 24th October 1945, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1985. At the 37th meeting of the United Nations, following the 40th anniversary celebrations, it was decided that 1986 would be designated the International Year of Peace. At the 40th anniversary ceremony each member pledged to protect peace and defend the mankind’s future by close cooperation between nations and the United Nations itself. To commemorate the International Year of Peace in 1986, the People’s Bank of China issued a set of coins, of which one is a 1/3 oz 100 yuan gold coin, one is a 27g 5 yuan silver coin, and two are 1yuan copper-nickel alloy coins.

Featured on the reverse faces of the coins is a rendering of the Goddess of Peace statue surrounded by doves – an internationally recognised symbol of peace. On the silver and gold coins of the series an inscription in Chinese characters which translates as “Peace” appears to the right of the statue. This inscription appears to the left of the statue on the two copper-nickel coins. The bottom of the coin faces bear the inscription, again in Chinese characters, which reads: “International Year of Peace”. The face values of the gold and silver coins are inscribed to the left of the statue, while they are inscribed to the right of the statue image on the copper-nickel coins.

Featured on the obverse faces of the coins is the National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China, above which is the inscription in Chinese: “The People’s Republic of China”, and below which is the year of issue, 1986.

The gold coin of the set is a proof coin of 91.6% purity and a mintage of 1,000. The silver coin is also a proof coin, but with a purity of 90% and a mintage of 1,500.

Interestingly, of the two 1yuan copper-nickel coins, one is a specimen coin. These specimen coins were produced as a trial before the full production run to test the dies used to strike the coins and used as presentation or display pieces. The specimen coin bears two characters on the obverse face, one either side of the National Emblem, which together translate as “sample coin”. It is unknown how many of these sample coins were struck. The other copper-nickel coin has a mintage of 27,048,000.

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