The 1996 Chinese lunar silver coin weighing twelve ounces celebrates the year of the Rat and has a face value of 100 Yuan. Possessing a diameter of 80mm, this coin is comprised of .999 fine silver. It was struck by the Shanghai Mint which permitted the mintage of 500. The coin’s reverse side shows an image of a rat. The obverse side holds a portrait of the Wangjian Tower.
The scene on the coin’s reverse side is that of one rat resting on a perch that is attached to a simple scale. The rat is facing toward the right where a counter weight hangs lower than the rodent’s body. The sticklike scale responsible for suspending both the counterweight and rat has been etched with numbers used for measuring weight. A string protruding from the top of the coin, slightly left off center holds the scale in place. Directly above the scale is where the coin’s face value is depicted via the number 100 followed by the Chinese character for the Yuan. Toward the right of the counterweight there are two columns of Chinese characters, the first having four, the second two.
The structure found on the coin’s obverse site is an image of the Wangjian Tower located in the city of Chengdu. This four storied pagoda was constructed over a period of time extending from the late Ming period into the early times of the Qing Dynasty. The tower stands as a tribute to the great Chinese poetess Xue Tao who lived during 9th century Tang China. The coin’s image shows the pagoda towering over shrubbery resting at its bottom. Beneath the tower, slightly elevated from the bottom edge and perfectly centered is the coin’s year of make, 1996. Running along the top edge of the coin above the tower are the Chinese characters that read “People’s Republic of China”.
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