The coin pictured above is one ounce of 99.9% pure silver. It is one of the lunar coins authorized for release by the China Mint from the years of 1988 to 1999. This particular coin features the monkey, as it was minted in 1992. The monkey, a replica of a famed work of art, appears on the reverse, and the National Emblem of China is shown on the obverse face. This coin has the legal tender face value of ten yuan. In 1992, 8,100 of these coins were released for production.
Each of the lunar coins, released between 1988 and 1999, feature the National Emblem of China on the obverse face. The 1988 dragon coin is the only coin that differs; it displays the Temple of Heaven. The Emblem of China was adopted for state use in 1950, after the culmination of Mao’s agricultural revolution. The Emblem gives homage to several symbols: one of Chinese dynastic history, and two that symbolize the revolution and the Communist Party’s subsequent rise to power. The Tiananmen Gate is the center of the Emblem. This is still the entrance to the Forbidden City, or Emperor’s Palace in Beijing. Dominating this symbol of imperialism are symbols of the revolution. Encircling the gate, one can see sheaves of wheat and rice, the fuel of the revolution. Above the gate appear five stars, the largest representing the Chinese Communist Party, and the remaining four iconizing the four classes of China. Below this symbol appears the characters meaning, “The People’s Republic of China,” and the year of issue, 1992.
On the reverse face appears a replica of a painting of a monkey, representing the Year of the Monkey, 1992. “Picture of a Monkey” is the reproduced painting. It was created by Liu Jiyou (1918-1983). Liu was the son of another famous artist in China, Liu Kuiling. Both artists grew up in the countryside and were exceptional at capturing scenes of animals and nature. Liu Jiyou was also was known for his figure painting. Liu Jiyou became Director of the Federation of Chinese Artists and a Vice-Chairman of the Beijing Human Figure Painting Research Institute. This painting shows a monkey sitting on a branch. The monkey glances over his shoulder. At the very top edge of the coin, one can read the details about the metal of the coin: “contains .999 Ag, one ounce of pure silver.” To the left of the monkey is the denomination of the coin, ten yuan.
In the Chinese Zodiac, and in Chinese culture, the monkey is known to be intelligent, quick-thinking and very inquisitive. It is also known to be the most innovative and analytical of the signs. People born in this year are said to be competitive, sociable and confident. They may also be vain, arrogant or manipulative.
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