This is a one ounce, pure, silver Chinese Zodiac coin, featuring the bull. This coin was authorized for release in 1997, the year of the ox. The coin bears the denomination of 10 yuan, and is .999 in fineness. This is a coin of proof quality. Proof coins are struck multiple times to create a mirror like back ground and matte finish embellishments. In 1997, 8,000 of these coins were authorized for production.
On the reverse of the coin, one can see the reproduction of a famous painting of an ox. This painting was originally created by Huang Zhou, who was also a reputed activist and collector of Chinese artifacts. The painting shows an ox drinking from a river. Huang was an artist from the age of fourteen, and also possessed a love for China. He joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1949 and was stationed in Xinjiang, a region that inspired his artwork. He combined traditional techniques from this region with Western emphasis on perspective. Above the ox in this reproduction is the information regarding the fineness of the coin: “contains .999 pure silver, one ounce.” Below the ox, one can see the face value of the coin, ten yuan. The ox has long been thought to represent dependability, honor and wealth. Those born in the year of the ox are said to be very reliable but sometimes difficult to sway in their opinions. The ox is a harbinger of prosperity in Chinese legend.
On the obverse face is the National Emblem of China, adopted in 1950. The emblem shows the iconic Tiananmen Gate, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace. This gate is the main entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing, still a national historical symbol in a now Communist Society. The gate is encircled by a sheaf of wheat and a sheaf of rice, symbols of the products that drove the revolution forward. Above the gate are five stars, the largest of which is a symbol of the Communist Party. The four remaining stars are signs of the four classes, as posited by Maoist Philosophy: the proletariat, the capitalists, the peasants and the bourgeoisie. Mao Zedong originally outlined these for classes in his treatise, ìBloc of Four Social Classes.î Below the gate, one can read the characters which signify, “The People’s Republic of China.” Below that is the year of issue, 1997.
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.