The China Mint released nine coins, five in gold and four in silver, in 1993. These coins feature a famous ancient Chinese painting by Italian missionary, Giuseppe Castiglione, on the reverse face and the Hall of Supreme Harmony on the obverse face. This is the ten yuan, 99.9% pure, silver coin of the series. It measures 40 millimeters across in diameter. In all, 7,000 of these coins were released in 1993. These coins are of proof quality, giving the background a mirrored finish and the embellishments a matte quality.
The painting featured is “Picture of a Peacock Displaying Tail Feathers.” This painting was created in the 18th century, a time of artistic and architectural revival in China, by Guiseppe Castiglione. Castiglione was a skilled painter who came to China in 1715 as a missionary. He took his painting skills to the court of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty, and he frequently painted animals and natural scenes. The painting here shows a scene of two peacocks, one displaying its beautiful feathers, and one with its tail closed. On the sides of the coin, one can see flowers and trees. Below the peacock in the foreground, one can see “1oz Ag .999,” the specifications of the coin. Above the tail feathers of the other peacock, one can see the denomination, ten yuan.
On the obverse is a detailed picture of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Hall of Supreme Harmony is one of the buildings of the outer court of the Imperial City. This hall was originally used for meetings with dignitaries and court officials. As the court grew, these meetings were moved to the interior of the city. During the Qing Dynasty, this hall was in use for ceremonial purposes. The hall was used for differing purposes from the early Ming Dynasty until 1912, the end of the Qing Dynasty. The Forbidden City, along with the Temple of Heaven, were commissioned by the Yongle Emperor. Yongle moved the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing after the end of the Yuan Dynasty. The stately appearance of this building contrasts to the gentle natural scene on the reverse face.
Above the image of the Hall of Supreme Harmony is the phrase, “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese lettering. Below it is the year of release, 1993.
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