Shown above is one of a series of twelve 1/2 oz gold lunar scallop-shaped coins produced from 1993 to 2004. Each coin commemorates one of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals and features a painting of that animal on its reverse face. The paintings are by renowned Chinese artists. The coins in the series are 27mm in diameter and are of proof quality. With the exception of the 2003 and 2004 coins, they feature images of famous Chinese architecture on their obverse faces. The coins in the series are scallop-shaped or literally ‘plum blossom-shaped’, in Chinese.
The coin pictured above is the 1993 Year of the Rooster coin. It has a mintage of 2,300 and a denomination of 100 yuan. Its purity is certified as being 91.6%.
The animal featured on this coin is the rooster. The reverse face shows a representation of a painting entitled “Picture of a Rooster” by Xu Beihong (1895-1953). Xu was renowned for his ink paintings in a traditional Chinese style. He was also known for his skill in the use of oils and was considered one of the first painters to make huge oil paintings with classic Chinese themes. Having studied in Paris, he integrated western techniques learnt there into his traditional Chinese artworks to create a new style. The painting shows a rooster standing crowing on top of a post surrounded by two large sunflowers. The face value is inscribed to the left of the rooster.
The building featured on the obverse face is a gate tower from the city wall of Xi’an. Above this is the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below the image is the year of production, 1993. The city wall of Xi’an, once one of the ancient capitals of China, is an example of some of the oldest and most intact city walls in China. Construction began in 194 BC.
Loyalty and honesty are traits typically associated with the rooster. It holds the tenth place in the cycle of twelve. In Chinese culture, those born in years associated with the rooster are considered loyal, self-confident, and responsible. They seldom shy away from an opportunity to show-off at the centre of attention and are highly self-assured.
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.