Shown is the set of five 25 yuan, 1/4 oz platinum coins from the 1994 Scientific and Technical Inventions and Discoveries of Ancient China series. The complete 1994 series contains fifteen coins: five gold, five silver, and five platinum. The reverse of the coins in the series show various inventions and discoveries from Chinese history. On the obverse side of all the coins there is an image of a section of the Great Wall featuring crenelations in the foreground and one of the iconic watchtowers in the background. The Great Wall was built following the unification of China in 221 BC by the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi (259-210 BC). The Great Wall was built primarily to defend against attacks from the north, but also to control trade and taxes. The characters printed above the tower read: “The People’s Republic of China.” Beneath the image of the tower is the year of production, 1994. The set of five platinum coins are all proof coins with a purity of 99.95% and a mintage of 100 each.
The reverse of the five coins show five different inventions or discoveries of ancient China:
The first represents the invention tuned bells or chimes around 700 BC. Their unique lens shape allows the bells to make two distinct musical notes. The image shows a musician on the left and two sets of bells hung from wooden frames on the right.
The second represents the invention of silk fabric. The foreground shows a woman with a basket under her arm picking cocoons from a small tree, while the background shows a scene of silk being prepared and woven by a group of artisans.
The third represents the first time comet sightings were recorded around 2000 BC. The image on the reverse shows two observers in the foreground, one looks up, while the other points to the sky. In the background three more people look and point at a comet shown flying across a night sky.
The fourth represents the invention of the sailing mast in 1403 AD. The image shows a two-masted Chinese junk under sail. In the background a three-masted junk is shown at sea on the horizon.
The fifth represents the invention of the square-pallet chain pump in 1st Century AD. The image on the reverse shows two men operating the pump as they draw water up from a pool of water in the foreground. To the right is a profile image of the pump wheel. Above this in the background there are two men leading an ox in a field.