China 1990 12 oz Silver Horse
100 Yuan Proof Coin
About the China 1990 12 oz Silver Horse 100 Yuan Proof Coin
This coin is one a set of 12 ounce, 99.9% pure, silver coins of proof quality, produced by the People’s Bank of China from the years of 1988-1999. These coins are proof in quality and feature a mirror like background with raised, matte embellishments. Each reverse face of the coins of the set honors one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. The obverse faces of the coins each show a great work of Chinese architecture.
The coin above was minted in 1990, the Year of the Horse. This design features two horses on the reverse face and Dacheng Hall, or Hall of Great Achievement, on the obverse. In total, 1,000 of these coins were minted in the year of 1990.
On the obverse face of the coin, one can see Chinese lettering, which translates to “The People’s Republic of China.” This lettering is shown at the very top edge of the obverse face. The Hall of Great Achievement appears below. Below the image of the Hall is the year of minting, 1990. Dacheng Hall, located in Qufu, Shandong, is the main building in the series of monuments constructed to honor Confucius. The ten front columns on this structure are particularly notable, featuring beautifully detailed dragons. Legend says that these columns were covered when the emperor would visit Dacheng Hall, so as not to arouse his jealousy.
The opposing side of the coin features the replication of a painting by Xu Beihong, who lived and worked in China from 1895 to 1953. Xu was highly accomplished in using oil paints and Chinese ink. Xu is well known for his paintings of animals. Like many of his contemporaries, Xu had a flair for combining Western painting techniques like perspective and broad brushstrokes, with the delicate art of Chinese detailing. The painting shows two horses galloping across the face of the coin. One can see the motion as well as the detailing that Xu employed in his work. Below the two horses, one can see the legal tender face value of the coin, 100 yuan.
The horse is a sign of luck, charisma and energy in Chinese culture. The Year of the Horse is seen to be a particularly fortuitous year in which to be born. People born in this year are said to be self-aware, confident and independent. The horse itself is seen as a symbol of freedom and liberation. Xu captures this emotion well in his painting. One can almost feel the freedom and energy of the horses in the replicated painting that appears on the coin.