China 1995 12 oz Gold Pig

1000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1995 12 oz Gold Pig 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 1995 Year of the Pig coin from the set.  The obverse features the inscription “The People's Republic of China”, below which is an image of the Yonghe Temple (sometimes informally called the “Lama Temple”), a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and temple in Beijing.  Construction on the temple started in 1694 at the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).  It is not only one of the world's largest, but also one of the most important Tibetan Buddhist temples, known for its architecture and the artworks it contains.  Below the image of the temple is the year of issue, 1995.

The reverse shows a painting by Huang Zhou (1925-1997), a Chinese master painter whose work is characterised by a combination of traditional Chinese painting and western concepts of form and perspective.  His paintings are heavily influenced by the Tajik ethnic minority, a people who he had extensive contact with during his time in the People's Liberation Army.  The painting depicts a family of six pigs and is simply called “Picture of Six Pigs”.  It shows a sow tending to her five piglets under a tree branch.  The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed above the six pigs and below the branch.  This coin has a mintage of 99.

The pig, like the rooster, embodies and symbolises honesty.  But unlike the rooster, the pig prefers to be attentive rather than be the object of the attention of others.  Those born in the Year of the Pig are so obliging and willing to help that they often unwittingly make themselves vulnerable to others.  They can be a little naive and gullible.  The pig has a caring personality and this attentive and giving nature is shown in the family setting of the painting.

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