This coin is a one ounce, 99.9% pure, silver coin released in 2003 to honor the Year of the Sheep. It measures 40 millimeters across at the widest point of the coin. From 1993 to 2004, a coin of this type was released each year to memorialize the animal corresponding to that year. Each coin in the series features a painting of the animal, mostly by famed Chinese painters, on the reverse face. This was a full lunar cycle of twelve years. The mintage of this particular coin is 6800.
This coin, released by the Shenyang Mint, is proof in quality and bears the denomination of 10 yuan. The proof quality of the coin means that the background of the coin appears mirror-like and that the raised embellishments have a matte quality, making the decorations appear three-dimensional.
On the reverse face of this coin, one can see a painting of two sheep by an anonymous painter. The two sheep, a ewe and her lamb, are pictured in an affectionate and caring position. The lamb nurses gently and the ewe looks on sweetly. This portrait represents the nature of the sheep. Next to the sheep, on the right, is the face value, 10 yuan.
A Han Dynasty (206-220AD) pictogram of a ram is shown on the obverse face of the coin. Surrounding the ram’s head are bunches of rice and decorative tiles. Inscribed above the ram are the Chinese characters translating to, “The People’s Republic of China.” Below the ram pictogram is the year of issue, 2003.
The goat, or sheep, is an especially artistic sign in the Chinese zodiac. Those born in this year are known for their senses of aesthetics and fashion. They are also said to be nurturing, caring and kind folk who enjoy helping others around them. They may also enjoy being protected and well taken care of. This sentiment is aptly displayed by the peaceful scene displayed on the coin.
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