Between 1993 and 2004, the Shenyang Mint released a series of lunar coins struck of pure silver and in the shape of flowers. These coins are .999 in fineness and of proof quality. This coin, released in 1999, bears a rabbit on the reverse face of the coin, honoring the Year of the Rabbit. This coin is 2/3 of an ounce, 36 millimeters in diameter, and bears the face value of 10 yuan. In total, the Shenyang Mint released 6800 of these coins in 1999.
On the reverse face, one can see a painting by Ma Jin, who lived and worked in China from 1900 to 1970. Ma was very involved in the world of the famed twentieth century artists of China. Like others of his day, he studied Western technique while traveling in Europe. This style appeared in his works, mixed with traditional Chinese technique. This painting shows a single rabbit next to a small shrub. In the scenery, one can also see a lake or a pond. The face value, 10 yuan, is to the left of the rabbit.
The rabbit or hare is considered to be a lucky symbol in China. As such, the Year of the Rabbit is considered a fortuitous year in which to be born. Those born in this year are said to possess luck and follow a path of happiness in life. The rabbit is one of the artistic signs of the Zodiac. Those born in this year are supposed to be creative, artistic and very intelligent. They are also highly sensitive.
The Shanghai Garden of Happiness appears on the obverse face of the coin. Above this is “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese lettering. Below it is the year of issue, 1999. Pan Yunduan, a government official who lived during the Ming Dynasty, built this complex to house his parents in their later years. Unfortunately, this Garden caused poverty rather than happiness; the upkeep would bankrupt the family after its construction in 1577.
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