This coin is one in a series of 15 gram silver Chinese lunar coins. These coins pay homage to the twelve animals of the Zodiac on the reverse faces, and to great works of Chinese architecture on the obverse faces. The coins were released from 1981 to 1992, and each features the animal corresponding to the year of release. These coins were originally released as a set in small blue boxes, each containing information about the coin.
This is the Year of the Rabbit coin, released in 1987. It is 90% pure silver, and is of proof quality. In all, 10,000 of these coins were minted for release.
On the obverse face of the coin, one can see the Yellow Crane Tower, located in Wuhan. The Tower has destroyed by war many times since its original creation in 223 AD. It was most recently rebuilt in 1981, only six years before the issue of this commemorative coin. One of the legends surrounding the Tower is that an immortal rode a yellow crane down from the mountain; subsequently, a tower was built to honor him. To the left of the tower, “Yellow Crane Tower” is inscribed. Below the image of the Yellow Crane Tower are the characters signifying, “The People’s Republic of China,” as well as the year of authorization, 1987.
A rendering of “Picture of a Pair of Hares,” painted by Liu Jiyou, graces the reverse face. Liu was the son of Liu Kuiling, another famous Chinese artist of the twentieth century. Liu Jiyou worked in China until his death in 1983. He was particularly well known for his animal paintings, much like his father. Both father and son were raised in the countryside, which inspired their art. Liu Jiyou is also known for his figure paintings. In this picture, two rabbits stand close together, with the rabbit in the foreground standing balancing on his hind legs. Below, one can see the denomination, 10 yuan.
In China, the rabbit is viewed as a peaceful, reserved creature that is a great symbol of luck. It is said that those born under this sign will be happy and lucky in life. They may also have a tendency to be reserved or shy, but will always be loyal, caring and sympathetic.
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