China 1990 12 oz Gold Horse

1000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1990 12 oz Gold Horse 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 1990 Year of the Horse coin from the set.  The obverse features the inscription “The People's Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Dacheng Hall (Hall of Great Achievement) of the Temple of Confucius in Qufu, the hometown of Confucius.  The Dacheng Hall pictured is the central building of the temple complex and the primary location for making offerings to Confucius's memory.  Below this is the year of issue, 1990.

The reverse shows a painting of two horses side by side running at full gallop.  The painting is a work by the famous Chinese artist Xu Beihong (1895-1953) who was an expert in the use of oils and Chinese ink.  He is known particularly for his paintings of horses and birds, combining traditional Chinese painting styles and western techniques with bold brushstrokes.  The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed below the image.  This coin has a mintage of 500.

The horse is one of the most popular Chinese zodiac signs.  Those born in the Year of the Horse are extroverts and like to surround themselves with many people.  They are highly self-confident, energetic, independent, and gifted individuals and the horse is often seen as a symbol of freedom, determination, and quick-wittedness.  The freedom and energy that the horse represents is captured by the artist in the unconstrained way the horses are galloping.

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