This is the final coin in the series of flower-shaped silver coins released from 1993 to 2004. This 2004 coin was minted by the Shenyang Mint in order to commemorate the Chinese New Year in the year of the monkey. Like the other coins in this series, the monkey coin features a Chinese painting of a monkey on the reverse.
This coin is one ounce of pure silver, .999 in fineness and 40 millimeters in diameter. The coin, like the others in the series, is proof in quality. It bears the face value of 10 yuan. In all, 6800 of these flower-shaped monkey coins were minted.
“Monkey with Peaches,” by Liu Jiyou is featured on the reverse face of the coin. This very detailed and expressive painting demonstrates Liu Jiyou’s combination of styles. Like his contemporaries, he often incorporated Western artistic style with Chinese themes. One can see, from the wide brush strokes and the perspective employed, that Liu was employing much of his learning about Western style while creating this painting. The monkey pictured here is perched upon a tree branch, and looks towards ripe peaches hanging from the tree. Directly below the peaches, one can see the face value of the coin, 10 yuan.
On the obverse face of the coin, one can see a replica of a decorative cut out of a monkey. These cut-outs are traditional Chinese decorations that show stylized animals. Around the edge of the coin is a pattern of leaves. Among the leaves at the top edge of the obverse face are the Chinese letters representing, “The People’s Republic of China.” At the bottom edge, one can read the year of release, 2004.
The monkey is seen as a playful, carefree and funny animal in Chinese culture. Because of its reputation, people born in this year are said to be playful and quick-witted. These associations may be because of the quick and sometimes volatile nature of the animals themselves. Monkeys are also known to be inventive and ingenious, though at times they may offend more sensitive people with their senses of humor.