China 1989 12 oz Gold Snake

1000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1989 12 oz Gold Snake 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 1989 Year of the Snake coin from the set.  The obverse features the inscription “The People's Republic of China”, below which is an image of the gate to the Shanhai Pass, located in the town at the very eastern end of the Great Wall where it meets the Pacific Ocean.  It was one of the major passes of the Great Wall and of high strategic importance.  Below this is the year of production, 1989.

The reverse features a painting of a snake by the famous Chinese artist Qi Baishi (1864-1957).  His work is characterised by playful brush strokes in watercolour.  The painting featured is called “Snake Draft” and shows a snake slithering its way past a tuft of grass.  The image is surrounded by a ring of small images of a snake curling around a turtle.  The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed below the rendering of the painting on the bottom edge of the face.  This coin has a mintage of 200.

The snake is traditionally seen as a sign of wisdom and awareness.  It is the wisest of all the zodiac animals.  People born in the Year of the Snake are often good communicators, but despite this tend to be introverted and private in nature, being deep-thinkers and schemers.

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