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 1995 Year of the Pig coin from the set. The obverse features the inscription “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Yonghe Temple, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and temple in Beijing. Work began on the temple in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). It is one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temples worldwide. Below this is the year of production, 1995.
The reverse shows a painting by Huang Zhou (1925-1997), a Chinese master painter whose work is characterised by a combination of traditional Chinese painting and western concepts of form and perspective. His paintings are heavily influenced by the Tajik ethnic minority, a people who he had extensive contact with during his time in the People’s Liberation Army. The painting shows five pigs and is simply called “Picture of Five Pigs”. It shows a sow surrounded her four piglets. The denomination, 500 yuan, is inscribed in the top right of the reverse face. This coin has a mintage of 99.
The pig is considered to have a caring, tolerant, sensitive, and peaceful personality. Those born in the Year of the Pig are obliging but this often means people take advantage of them. They can be a little naive and as a result are sometimes vulnerable. The artist captures the caring and hospitable nature of the pig in the family scene of the painting.
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.