Between 1988 and 1999, the People’s Bank of China produced coins honoring the animals symbolic of each of the twelve years. This gives homage to the Chinese zodiac, ad well as the creatures that permeate the mythology and legend of China. This deeply rooted part of Chinese culture appears on the reverse of each coin, while the symbol of the Mao’s agricultural revolution appears on the obverse.
This is the 1993 coin of the series, which pictures a rooster and hen, for the Year of the Cock. This coin is one ounce of pure silver, .999 in fineness. In total, 9,000 of these coins were authorized for release during the year of 1993.
On the front of the coin, one can see the National Emblem of China. The National Emblem shows a circle of wheat and rice, inside of which appears the Tiananmen Gate, one of the entrances to the Imperial City. Above the gate are five stars. The largest star is the symbol of the Communist Party; the other four stars are the four social classes outlined in Mao’s Bloc of Four Social Classes. The characters representing, ‘The People’s Republic of China’, are just below the National Emblem. Below these characters is the year of issue, 1993.
The opposite side shows the illustration, “Painting of a Pair of Chickens”, created by Liu Kuiling. Liu was from the rural North of China, which gave him a strong passion for painting scenes of nature and farm life. One can see Liuís gift for detail and his use of Western-style perspective. The illustration shows a rooster in the background, and a hen in the foreground. The chickens stand upon a grassy patch, and to their right, one can see a large flower. Directly to the left of the rooster is the face value of the coin, 10 yuan. Above the denomination are the details of the coin’s make-up: ‘.999 Ag, contains one ounce pure silver.’
The chicken, specifically the rooster, is a symbol of loyalty and a strong work ethic in China. People born in this year are said to be hardworking and honest, yet often have a propensity for showing off and trying to be the center of attention.
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