The coin seen above forms part of a series produced over a twelve year period, beginning in 1993 and ending in 2004. The series comprises twelve gold lunar coins, 1/2 oz in weight, all of them scallop-shaped, and with a diameter of 27mm. The designs on the reverse faces of the coins feature renderings of paintings of the twelve zodiac animas by renowned Chinese artists.
This is the 100 yuan 1995 Year of the Pig coin of the series minted by the Shenyang mint. The coin’s total mintage is 2,300 pieces and it is certified as being a coin of proof quality with a purity of 91.6%.
The painting that appears on the reverse is by the artist Huang Zhou (1925-1997), a famous Chinese painting who started taking painting lessons as early as the age of 14. His works are heavily influenced by the Tajik ethnic groups living on the border with northwest China where he was posted with the People’s Liberation Army. The painting is called “Picture of a Pair of Pigs” and shows two pigs foraging below a tree branch. The face value of the coin is to the left and below the image of the pigs.
The obverse face of this coin shows an image of the Wan Fu Pavilion at the Palace of Peace and Harmony in Beijing, built in 1694. The face value appears below the image. The Wan Fu Pavilion is one of the five main halls of the palace, which is one of the world’s largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. It is a wonder of Han Chinese and Tibetan architectural styles.
The pig is the twelfth and last of the zodiac animals. It is a sign of honesty, altruism, and hospitality. Chinese astrology sees those people born in the Year of the Pig as hardworking and helpful characters, but tending to be gullible and obstinate.