1989 12 oz Silver Snake Proof Coin

Available on backorder



This large twelve ounce silver snake Chinese lunar coin from 1989 is 80 mm in diameter. It was struck at the Shanghai Mint and has an official mintage of 400. It is comprised of .999 fine silver. The coin depicts a snake on its reverse while illustrating the Jiayuguan Pass on its obverse side.

The snake is seen slithering its way from right to left in front of two patches of grass. The patch to the left consists of nine blades of grass, a very lucky number in Chinese culture. The patch toward the right is made up of twelve blades of grass. This image was taken from a work by the cotemporary Chinese painter Qi Baishi known as the Snake Draft. Encompassing this image are 81 dots, the equivalent of nine times itself or nine squared. Encircling the coin are nine figures depicting a snake entangled with a turtle; these images are exactly the same in appearance. The turtle and snake are both seen facing as though moving in a counter clockwise direction. They are met on both ends of the circle by two lookalike ornamental designs. Found on the bottom of the coin, slight off center toward the left is the number 100 followed by the Chinese character for the Yuan, thus indicating the coin’s face value.

The Jiayuguan Pass represents the first pass and gated structure seen on the western most end of the Great Wall of China. This 14th century structure is depicted on the coin as though it is being looked at by someone standing in front toward its left. It is a building deeply rooted in legendary Chinese folklore. However, it also represents the culmination of traditional Chinese architecture. Arching over the image of the Jiayuguan Pass are the Chinese characters spelling out the People’s Republic of China. Perfectly centered and slightly elevated from the bottom of the coin is its year of creation, 1989.

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100 Yuan