This coin is one of a series of gold lunar coins, the first of which was issued in 2005, which celebrate the twelve animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. The coins are scallop-shaped and each weigh 1/2 oz. They are proof coins with a diameter of 27mm. Appearing on the reverse of the coins is the year of issue and a painting of the zodiac animal corresponding to that individual coin’s year of production.
This is the 2006 coin commemorating the Year of the Dog. It has a purity of 99.9% and a mintage of 8,000 pieces. The denomination of the coin, 200 yuan, is inscribed at the bottom of the reverse face.
Also on the reverse face is a picture by Liu Kuiling (1885-1967). Born on the outskirts of Tianjin, he had easy access to the countryside allowing him to observe animals and plants first hand. He was a renowned animal and plant painter with a high attention to detail and incorporated western artistic concepts into his work. The painting is called “Picture of Hounds”. It depicts two dogs, one standing alert, panting with its tail raised. The other noses around some foliage in the background.
The obverse face features an image of a dog taken from an ancient Chinese bronze belt hook. Such bronze artefacts date from around 2000 BC. This image is surrounded by a decorative ornamental pattern. Above the image appears the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below the image is the year of production, 2006.
The dog is a loyal, trustworthy, and kind animal. It is a sign of determination and compassion. People born in a year assigned to the dog are said to make great friends and companions, but they can be stubborn and lazy at times. It occupies the eleventh position in the Chinese zodiac, being the eleventh out of the twelve animals to arrive at the meeting called by the Jade Emperor of Chinese folklore. This possibly explains the reputation the dog has for being a lazy animal.