This coin is one of twelve lunar scallop-shaped gold coins weighing 1/2 oz. They were issued between 1993 and 2004 by the Shenyang mint and together make a complete series of coins, each one being a proof coin, 27mm in diameter, and celebrating a different animal from the Chinese zodiac.
This is the Year of the Tiger coin, issued in 1998. It has a mintage of 2,300 and a fineness of 91.6%. It’s face value, 100 yuan, is inscribed on the left side of the reverse face.
The reverse face features a painting by Zhang Shanzi (1882-1940), a Chinese artist famous for his paintings of tigers. The painting, “Picture of a Roaring Tiger”, depicts a tiger stood on a rock, its head turned towards the viewer and roaring with its teeth bared.
On the obverse is the inscription “The People’s Republic of China”, below which is a picture of the Badaling section of the Great Wall. The year of issue appears below this picture. Construction on the Great Wall began in the Qin Dynasty (221-207) following the unification of China to defend against barbaric tribes to the north. It was extended, modified, and repaired throughout Chinese history, mainly during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The tiger is a powerful sign in the Chinese zodiac. Considered the king of all the animals in Chinese culture (in the same way that the lion is the king of the beasts in western culture), the tiger symbolises natural leadership and daring. Tending to be unpredictable and competitive, people who have the tiger as their zodiac sign can also be sensitive and emotional. The tiger is the third in the order of the Chinese zodiac.
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