This coin is one of a set of 15 gram, 85% pure, silver coins that make up a set of twelve. These coins were minted by the People’s Bank of China between 1981 and 1992 to honor the animals of the Chinese Zodiac as well as great works of Chinese architecture. Each obverse face shows a structure significant to Chinese history, and each reverse face depicts a famous painting of one of the creatures featured in the Zodiac. This coin, minted in 1982, the Year of the Dog, features a dog on one side and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests on the opposing side.
This Year of the Dog coin bears the legal tender face value of 20 yuan, shown below the depiction of the dog on the reverse face. The coin is of proof quality, which makes the background of the coin appear to be mirrored, while the embellishments stand out and possess an almost three-dimensional quality. The mintage of this coin was 15,000.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is one of the buildings at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The Temple of Heave was originally built during the Ming Dynasty as a location for emperors to offer their prayers and sacrifices for a plentiful crop. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a circular building, built up on three circular slabs of marble. The building itself is made completely of wood, without the use of any metal. It is one of the central attractions at the Temple of Heaven, as it was one of the main structures there in centuries gone by. To the left of the building, one can see the Chinese lettering which translates to “Temple of Heaven,” and beneath the building is the year the coin was released, 1982.
The reverse face is graced by a replica of “Picture of a Standing Dog,” created by artist Liu Jiyou, son of Liu Kuiling. Liu Jiyou became well known as an artist in China during the latter half of the twentieth century. Like his father, he studied traditional Chinese technique as well as Western technique at Tianjin. Also like his father, Liu Jiyou excelled at painting natural scenes and animals due to his country upbringing. Later in life, Liu moved on to more figure drawings and paintings. This painting shows a cheerful dog wagging its tail and turn its head jauntily to the viewer. The face value, 20 yuan, is shown just below the dog.
In Chinese culture, the dog is seen as an emblem of loyalty, kindness and honesty. Those born in this year are said to be down-to-earth, morally focused and emotional. They may also be worrywarts due to their kind and sensitive nature. Overall, those of this year are the most loyal companions and friends that one can find, just like the dog itself is friend to mankind.
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