China 1992 12 oz Silver Monkey

100 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1992 12 oz Silver Monkey 100 Yuan Proof Coin

This coin is a 12 ounce silver coin, .999 in fineness. It is one that makes up a full set of 100 yuan silver coins, featuring animals of the Chinese Zodiac. These 12 ounce silver coins were issued between the years of 1988 and 1999. Each of these coins is of proof quality, making the background face of the coins appear mirror like. The embellishments are finely detailed and have a three-dimensional quality. The obverse of each coin shows a great work of Chinese architecture, while the reverse face of each coin pays homage to one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

This coin was minted in the Year of the Monkey, 1992, and as such, features a reproduction of a painting of a family of monkeys on the reverse face. This painting was originally created by artist Gao Qifeng, who lived from 1889 to 1933.  Like many Chinese artists of the twentieth century, his work was influenced by Western technique, though he retained his traditional training in Chinese technique as well. The painting depicts a family unit of seven monkeys, five of which are children and two of which are adults. The monkeys are huddled together under a tree, heavy with peach blossoms. To the left of the family, one can see the denomination of the coin, 100 yuan. Gao’s use of perspective is particularly evident in this piece of art.

On the obverse face, one can see the Chinese characters that translate to, “The People’s Republic of China” at the very top edge of the coin. At the center of the coin’s face is an image of the Pavilion of Prince Teng, constructed in 653. This building is one of the great towers of China, and has been reconstructed many times over the centuries of its use. The latest reconstruction took place in 1989. The original building housed Prince Teng, and was erected by his brother, Li Yuanying. Teng ruled the city in which the tower is located, Nanchang. Directly below the pavilion, one can read the year of issue, 1992.

In China, the monkey is seen as a symbol of a playful heart and an extroverted spirit. Those born in this year are said to possess these qualities. They are also said to be pranksters because of their playful and excited nature. People of this year are also known to be highly intelligent and curious, though they are sometimes seen as nosy. Gao captures the friendly nature of the monkey in his painting, where the family plays together happily. In 1992, 500 of these silver monkey coins were produced by the China Mint.

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