The coin pictured is one of twelve which make up a complete set of 500 yuan 5 oz gold lunar coins issued between 1988 and 1999. They are proof coins with a purity of 99.9% and have a diameter of 60mm. The reverse face of the coins in this set feature the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac while the obverse shows various famous Chinese buildings.
This is the 1990 Year of the Horse coin from the set. The obverse features the inscription “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Dacheng Hall of the Temple of Confucius in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius. The Dacheng Hall pictured is the centre of the temple complex. Below this is the year of issue, 1990.
The reverse features a rendering of a painting of two horses drinking side by side at a river bank. The painting is a work by the famous Chinese artist Xu Beihong (1895-1953) who was an expert in the use of oils and Chinese ink. He is recognised particularly for his paintings of horses and birds, combining traditional Chinese painting styles and western techniques with bold brushstrokes. The denomination, 500 yuan, is inscribed below the image. This coin has a mintage of 500.
Those born in the Year of the Horse are traditionally considered to be highly self-confident, independent, and gifted individuals. The horse is seen as a symbol of freedom, determination, and quick-wittedness. As a result it is one of the most popular Chinese zodiac signs.
We are available to assist you with any questions on this or other Chinese coins. Our unique expertise and experience in Chinese numismatics covers modern, imperial, republic and circulating coins. We pride ourselves in servicing our clientele to work in building special collections or locate key date coins with help from our global network and have done so since 2004. In addition, we are frequently top bidders on coins and collections when looking to divest.