The coin pictured is one of seven commemorative dragon and phoenix coins. Six of these were issued in 1990, three of them gold and three of them silver, and one bi-metallic coin was issued in 1994. The obverse of the coins in the series bear the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Great Wall. Below this is the year of production, 1990, or in the case of the bi-metallic coin, 1994. The outer edge of the coins bear inscriptions detailing the coins’ specifications.
Construction on the Great Wall began during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC). It was built to keep out the barbaric tribes north of the Chinese empire and later to control trade at strategic passes and checkpoints. It measures 21,196 km in length and is recognised globally as one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements.
The reverse of the coins feature the same image of a dragon with a phoenix. The phoenix is pictured flying above the dragon as they appear to play with each other. Dragons and phoenixes are divine creatures and highly respected in Chinese culture. Dragons traditionally symbolise power and prosperity, embodying the yang or masculine element of the yinyang. The phoenix symbolises prosperity, immortality, and longevity, and embodies the yin or feminine. In this way, the dragon and the phoenix both visually and symbolically complement each other in the image. The denomination is inscribed between the two creatures, to the right and below the centre of the coin face.
The pictured coin is the 10 yuan bi-metallic coin of the dragon and phoenix commemorative series struck at the Shenyang mint. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 2,500. The coin comprises 1/10 oz gold and 1/28 oz silver. It has a diameter of 23mm. The top edge of the reverse face bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin in Chinese characters. It reads: “Contains 1/10 oz pure gold purity .999 + Contains 1/28 oz pure silver purity .999”. The obverse face also bears a similar inscription around the top edge. The year of issue, 1994, is inscribed at the bottom of both the reverse and the obverse face.
We are available to assist you with any questions on this or other Chinese coins. Our unique expertise and experience in Chinese numismatics covers modern, imperial, republic and circulating coins. We pride ourselves in servicing our clientele to work in building special collections or locate key date coins with help from our global network and have done so since 2004. In addition, we are frequently top bidders on coins and collections when looking to divest.