Pictured here is the 1994 Year of the Dog coin from a series of 1/2 oz gold lunar scallop coins struck over a period of twelve years, the first of which was struck in 1993. The series comprises twelve coins commemorating the Chinese zodiac through the paintings of famous Chinese artists of these zodiac animals. Like the other coins in the series, this coin is 27mm in diameter. It has a purity of 91.6%.
This Year of the Dog coin was struck in 1994 at the Shenyang mint. It is of proof quality, has a denomination of 100 yuan, and a mintage of 2,300.
Shown on the reverse face of the Year of the Dog coin is a painting of a dog by Lang Shining (1688-1766), an Italian Jesuit missionary to China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). He was born in Milan, but came to China in 1715 where he stayed until his death in 1766. His work was highly valued at the Qing court, and he often painted portraits of the Emperor and Empress. The painting depicts a small dog standing under foliage looking up with its tail raised. To the left of the image of the dog is inscribed the face value.
The obverse face features the Phoenix Tower at the Imperial Palace in Shenyang, built in 1625 AD. Above the image of the Phoenix Tower is the inscription in Chinese: “The People’s Republic of China”. At the bottom of the face, below the image, is the year of issue.
The dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac, decided by the Jade Emperor of Chinese folklore, who called a meeting of the animals and ranked them in the zodiac according to their order of arrival at the meeting. The dog symbolises loyalty and affection in Chinese culture. Despite those born in dog years being considered easy-going people, they can be viewed as somewhat lazy.
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