This is the fifth in a set of 15 gram silver, Chinese Zodiac coins, released by the China Mint between the years of 1981 and 1992. Each of the reverse faces of these coins features one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. On the obverse face appear great works of Chinese architecture.
This coin bears the face value of 10 yuan, and was minted in 1985, Year of the Ox. It shows a famous painting of an ox on one side and the Marble Boat of Beijing’s Summer Palace on the obverse face. It is .90 in fineness. In the year of 1985, 10,000 of these coins were released by the China Mint.
The Summer Palace Boat, which appears on the obverse face, is actually a waterfront pavilion. It was built on stone slabs, supporting the wooden building above. It was constructed in 1755 for the use of emperors and dignitaries. The wood of the Palace was painted to resemble marble. Appearing below the image are the Chinese characters that translate to “Summer Palace Marble Boat.” The year of minting appears below these characters. Above the boat, one can read “The People’s Republic of China.” This coin had a mintage of 10,000. The coins were released in small blue boxes. Each box contained information about the coin.
Han Huang’s painting of an ox appears on the reverse face. Han was a painter during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Han worked for the emperor as an official, but also took an interest in art and music. He was particularly adept at painting and calligraphy, as one can see in this rendering. Unfortunately, his works have not been especially well preserved. The paintings that do remain feature oxen, horses and people. This painting shows a large bull, turning its large head toward the viewer. The face value, 10 yuan, is shown below the hooves of the bull.
The ox is considered to be an emblem of perseverance, dependability and hard work. This is likely due to the history of the bull as an animal of farm labor. This born in this year are known to be self-reliant, accountable, and stalwart. They may also be considered stubborn, overly traditional or conservative. Overall, though, an ox is always reliable.
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