The coin pictured is one of a series of seven dragon and phoenix coins commemorating the dragon and phoenix in Chinese culture. Six coins, of which three are gold and three are silver, were issued in 1990. Four years later in 1994, the seventh coin of the series, a bi-metallic one, was issued. The obverse of the coins in the series bear the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is a picture of the Great Wall. Below this is the year of production. The outer edge of five of the coins have inscriptions pertaining to the coins’ specifications. The coins of the two smallest denominations, the 0.5 yuan 2g silver and 10 yuan 1g gold coins, do not bear this inscription.
The Great Wall as it stands today is a vast network of fortifications stretching over 21,000 km in length. After the unification of China under Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, the initial stages of construction on the Great Wall began. Little of that original wall remains, most of what is now visible today having been built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The reverse of the coins feature an image of a dragon flying with a phoenix. Their bodies curl around the outer edges of the coin face, with the phoenix above and the dragon below. These two divine and highly respected creatures in Chinese culture are signs of luck, fortune, and prosperity. The dragon symbolises a powerful masculine character, while the phoenix symbolises an outstanding feminine character. The denomination is inscribed between the two creatures, to the right and below the centre of the coin face.
This is the 5 jiao, 2g silver coin of the dragon and phoenix commemorative series struck at the Shenyang mint. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 50,000. It has a diameter of 15mm. The year of issue, 1990, is inscribed at the bottom of the obverse face.