The coin pictured above is one of six 2001 Beijing Opera coins. Of those coins issued in this year, one is gold and five are silver. The reverse of the coins in this series show colour images of characters from the Beijing Opera. The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below this inscription on all coins in the group is an image of the Grand Opera Tower situated in the Garden of Virtue and Harmony at the Summer Palace in Beijing. Below this is the year of issue, 2001.
Constructed to celebrate Empress Dowager Cixi’s 60th birthday, the Grand Opera Tower of the Summer Palace in Beijing was built specifically for the performance of opera. Cixi (1835-1908) was originally a concubine at court, but following a coup 1861 ruthlessly rose to prominence and effectively ruled China for 47 years holding the office of Regent. The special design of the tower allows for the creation of unusual visual effects during the performance.
This is the 200 yuan, 1/2 oz gold coin of the series issued in 2001. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity with a diameter of 27mm. It has a mintage of 8,000.
The reverse of the coin shows a vivid colour image of a character from an opera, Gathering of Heroes, showing the brightly coloured costumes often used in the Beijing Opera. Gathering of Heroes tells the story of a battle of the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280) during which the heavily outnumbered allied forces of Wu and Shu managed to defeat the forces of Wei at the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 AD. To the right of the image on the reverse face in Chinese characters is inscribed: “China’s Beijing Opera, Gathering of Heroes.” The denomination is inscribed to the left of the image.