The 1996 Chinese gold coin weighing one half ounce of .999 fine gold was made in commemoration of the famous historical novel known as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The first half of this lengthy book written by Luo Guanzhong includes the pivotal Battle of Guandu. This coin, which was granted a mintage of 2000 and a face value of 50 Yuan, contains a portrait of Luo Guanzhong on its reverse side. The coin’s opposite side depicts advancing troops at the Battle of Guandu.
Luo’s picture shows him from the shoulders up. He is seen donning headwear resembling a modern bandana and a robe. This clothing style was commonly worn by those men holding high positions in government or the military. Directly beneath Luo’s bust are the Chinese characters that read the “Peoples’ Republic of China”. Under these characters is the year of the coin’s make, 1996. Beginning at the coin’s nine o’clock position are many characters arching their way around the coin’s upper edge until reaching the three o’clock position. These characters translate roughly as Luo Guanzhong, the writer of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
On the coin’s obverse side is a highly designed image showing the forces of Cao Cao advancing toward those of Yuan Shao during the Battle of Guandu in the year 200. In the center of these advancing troops is Cao on horseback leading his army while holding his sword high above his head. He is flanked on both sides by flag waving infantry men and horsemen. The infantry is situated in the coin’s background above Cao while also supporting him from behind. The horsemen are seen under Cao, in the image’s foreground. Their faces and chariots are positioned to where they are facing the coin’s viewer. There is also a figure standing in front of his comrades, including Cao. This individual’s name is unclear but he is surely motivating his fellow infantry men by waving them forward. Immediately to the left of Cao’s horse is the number 50 followed by the Chinese character for the Yuan.
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