The coin displayed is a 1/2 oz gold lunar scallop coin issued in 2003 to commemorate the Year of the Sheep. It is one of a series of twelve other such commemorative coins which feature the animals of the Chinese zodiac issued between the years 1993 and 2004. The coins of the series are in the shape of plum blossom or a scallop and are 27mm in diameter. The mintage of each coin is 2,300. Paintings of the zodiac animals, mostly by famous Chinese artists, appear on the reverse faces.
The Year of the Sheep gold scallop coin is a proof coin with a denomination of 200 yuan and contains 99.9% pure gold. The reverse face features a picture by an unknown artist of a mother sheep with her lamb. The mother sheep is depicted nursing the lamb. To the right is inscribed the face value of the coin.
Featured on the obverse face of the coin is a decorative Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) pictogram of a ram. Surrounding the central pictogram is a design of eaves tiles and ears of rice. Above the pictogram is inscribed: “The People’s Republic of China”. The year of issue appears at the bottom of the obverse face.
The sheep comes eighth in order in the Chinese zodiac. It is a sign of the arts, and people who are born in the Year of the Sheep are thought of as being creative and artistic types. The sheep also symbolises a caring and peaceful nature at the same time as instilling a sense of optimism in people.
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.