China 1998 12 oz Gold Tiger

1000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1998 12 oz Gold Tiger 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 1998 Year of the Tiger coin from the set.  The obverse features the inscription “The People's Republic of China”, below which is an image of a gateway from the Badaling section of the Great Wall.  It is the most popular section of the Great Wall among tourists, lying just outside Beijing.  While the original construction of the Great Wall began during the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC), the Badaling section was built in 1505 AD during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). Below the picture is the year of issue, 1998.

The reverse shows a painting by the Chinese artist Hu Shuang'an (1916-1988).  The piece of work featured is entitled “Picture of Roaring Tiger”.  It shows a tiger standing prominently on an outcrop above a stubby tree, its back turned to the viewer as it turn it head and roars.  The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed to the right of the image.  This coin has a mintage of 99.

Whereas in western culture the lion is known as the \"King of the Beasts\", for the Chinese this title is reserved for the tiger.  The tiger is a symbol of courage and has a powerful and spontaneous nature.  This spontaneity sometimes borders on recklessness.  Those born in the Year of the Tiger are self-reliant, natural leaders, and never shy away from a challenge.  This can, however, make them unbearably competitive.  The powerful and reckless character of the tiger is captured by the artist in this painting, shown by his strong stance, the way he confidently turns his back to the viewer, and his seemingly vivid roar.

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