The coin pictured is one of twelve which together form a complete set of 100 yuan 1 oz gold lunar coins issued between 1988 and 1999. The reverse face of the coins in the set feature paintings of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The obverse of the coins bear the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People’s Republic of China”. Above the inscription on all coins in the set (except for the Year of the Dragon coin which shows an image of the Temple of Heaven) is an image of the National Emblem of China. The year of production is inscribed at the bottom of the obverse face.
This the 1994 Year of the Dog coin of the set. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity with a diameter of 32mm. It has a mintage of 1,900.
The obverse face features a picture of the National Emblem of China. The emblem, adopted in 1950 after the Communists took over from the Nationalists following the Chinese Civil War (1927-1950), comprises a picture of Tiananmen Gate with five stars above it, all surrounded by an outer ring of sheaves of wheat and an inner ring of sheaves of rice. Tiananmen Gate, built in 1420, is the iconic main entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing. The five stars stand for the Communist Party of China and the four social classes of Maoist thought. The rings of rice and wheat symbolise the agricultural nature of the Communist revolution.
The reverse features a painting “Picture of a Pair of Dogs” by Liu Kuiling (1885-1968). Liu was a renowned painter of animal and floral subjects. The painting depicts two small dogs, one in the foreground and one in the background, showcasing the artist’s skilful use of perspective. The denomination, 100 yuan, is inscribed below and to the left of the image. The top edge of the reverse face bears an inscription in Chinese characters pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Contains 1 oz pure gold purity .999 1 oz Au”.
The dog in Chinese culture symbolises loyalty, endurance, tenacity, and bravery. Typically seen as man’s devoted companion, the dog embodies fidelity and courage. Those born in the Year of the Dog are often considered to have loyal, moralistic, practical, and open-minded personalities, but can be somewhat cynical and sometimes lazy.
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