China 1995 12 oz Silver Pig
100 Yuan Proof Coin
About the China 1995 12 oz Silver Pig 100 Yuan Proof Coin
Above is a 1995, 99.9% pure, 12 ounce silver Zodiac coin, honoring the Year of the Pig. Each of the coins in this twelve ounce silver series honors one of the creatures of the Chinese Zodiac on the reverse face of the coins. On the obverse, one can see representations of some of China’s greatest works of architecture. All in this series are proof coins, bearing a mirror-like background and feathered embellishments, which stand out from the background with a three dimensional quality. These coins were produced from 1988 to 1999, a full twelve year cycle of the Zodiac. In all, 500 of this type of Year of the Pig coins were produced in 1995.
The obverse face of this coin shows the Yonghe Temple, a Buddhist monastery (or lamasery) and temple in the city of northeastern Beijing. Above the temple, one can see the Chinese characters that translate to, “The People’s Republic of China.” The monastery was constructed in 1694, during the Qing Dynasty. It originally was home to Prince Yong, one of the sons of the Kangxi Emperor. After the reign of Prince Yong ended, it was converted into a lamasery, a monastery specifically for Tibetan monks practicing the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism. The temple survived the destruction common to the Cultural Revolution, and was reopened for public use in 1981. Above the temple on the coin, one can see the Chinese characters that translate to, “The People’s Republic of China.”
“Picture of Six Pigs” by Huang Zhou (1925-1997) is featured on the opposing side of the coin. This picture honors not only the pig for the year of 1995, but also the well-respected Chinese painter. Huang was renowned as a master painter. Like many of his contemporaries, Huang employed the use of Chinese technique with Western perspective and sweeping brushstrokes. During his tenure in the People’s Liberation Army, Huang was stationed in Xinjiang. At that time, Zhou had a lot of time to observe and connect with the Tajiks, who inhabit this isolated northwestern region of China. His artwork shows some of this influence in both detail and color choice. This painting shows a sow and her five piglets under the shade of a tree. Between the tree branch and the pigs appears the face value of the coin, 100 yuan.
In Chinese myth and legend, the pig is associated with fertility. The Year of the Pig is supposed to be a lucky one for those who are trying to conceive, or for expectant parents. People born in this year are thought to be a straightforward, trustworthy and attentive. This is an especially emotional and sensitive sign, prone to nurture and care. The painting demonstrates this same feeling. One can look at the sow and see the tender scene of her piglets at her feet. This painting gives a positive and sweet feeling, the qualities that those who are born in this year are said to possess.