China 1988 12 oz Gold Dragon

1000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1988 12 oz Gold Dragon 1000 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twelve which make up a complete set of 1000 yuan 12 oz gold lunar coins issued between 1988 and 1999.  They are proof coins with a purity of 99.9% and have a diameter of 70mm.  The reverse face of the coins in this set feature the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac while the obverse shows various images of famous and iconic Chinese architecture.

This is the 1988 Year of the Dragon coin from the set.  The obverse features the inscription “The People's Republic of China”, below which is an image of a section of the Great Wall featuring two watchtowers, winding up the mountainside.  Construction of the Great Wall was started under orders from the first emperor and unifier of China, Qin Shihuang (259-210 BC) in 220 BC.  Below the image is the year of production, 1988.

The reverse features two intricately detailed dragons facing each other, their bodies snaking their way symmetrically towards the top of the face above an image of a tempestuous sea.  The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed below the dragons and above the sea.  This coin has a mintage of 500.

The dragon is unique in the Chinese zodiac, being the only mythical animal of the twelve.  It is thought of as extremely potent and the most powerful of all the zodiac animals and commands a great deal of honour and respect.  It is considered highly fortuitous to be born in the Year of the Dragon.  Traditionally the dragon represents such attributes as strength, power, ambition, health, intelligence, honesty, patience, and charisma.  While in western culture dragons are seen as evil beasts to be rooted out and killed, in Chinese culture the dragon is revered and represents a force for good.

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