The coin pictured is one of twelve which make up a complete set of 500 yuan 5 oz gold lunar coins issued between 1988 and 1999. They are proof coins with a purity of 99.9% and have a diameter of 60mm. The reverse face of the coins in this set feature the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac while the obverse shows various famous Chinese buildings.
This is the 1994 Year of the Dog coin from the set. The obverse features the inscription “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Phoenix Pavilion of the imperial palace of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) at Shenyang. Below this is the year of issue, 1994.
The reverse shows a painting of a hound by Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) who was a Jesuit missionary in China and painter at the court of the Qianlong Emperor (reigned 1735-1796) of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). The image shows the hound standing alert to the right of a bamboo tree. The denomination, 500 yuan, is inscribed in the top right of the reverse side. This coin has a mintage of 99.
The dog is traditionally seen as loyal, compassionate, and generous in nature. Those born in the Year of the Dog are honest, trustworthy, and can keep a secret. As a result they are considered to have strong morals and ethics. However, this may lead them to be judgemental and somewhat cynical. Although they can be lazy, they are positive and make great team players.
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