Shown here is the 150 yuan 8g gold Year of the Sheep coin. It is one of a series of twelve 8g gold lunar coins issued between 1981 and 1992 featuring the theme of the animals of the Chinese zodiac. The coins were struck at the Shenyang mint and have a diameter of 23mm. The reverse faces show works of art depicting the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Each individual animal is represented in the set, appearing on the reverse face of the coin corresponding to the year of that animal, starting with the Year of the Rooster in 1981. The obverse faces depict pieces of famous Chinese architecture.
The design on the obverse face of this coin is a picture of Yueyang Tower below the Chinese characters for “The People’s Republic of China”. The tower is situated on the shores of Lake Dongting in Yueyang, and was originally built by Lu Su, the commander of the forces of Wu (one of the warring factions during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280)), to facilitate the training and control of his navy. The year of issue, 1991, is struck below the design.
The painting featured on the reverse is by the renowned painter Zhao Shao’ang (1905-1998) and is entitled “Picture of Prone Sheep”. Below the rendering of the painting is the denomination, 150 yuan. The painting depicts a sheep lying under the shade of a tree. Zhao toured the world extensively during his artistic career and had his works exhibited not only in Asia but throughout Europe, North America, and Australia.
This coin has a fineness of 91.6% and a mintage of 7,500.
The sheep occupies the eighth position in the Chinese zodiac and embodies a creative and artistic spirit. People who are born in a sheep year are seen as peaceful, mild-mannered, and sympathetic individuals. They are intellectual and innovative types, but tend to be overly sensitive and shy.
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.