China 1994 5 oz Silver Dog

50 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1994 5 oz Silver Dog 50 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin pictured here is the 5 ounce, 99.9% pure, silver 1994 Year of the Dog commemorative coin. This is one in a series of coins produced between 1987 and 1998. All of the coins are proof in quality and 70 millimeters in diameter. Each of the coins in the series shows a famous work of architecture on the obverse face of the coin and a rendering of the animal that corresponds with the year of release on the reverse face. In all, 1000 pieces of this design were authorized for release in 1994.


On the obverse face of the coin, one can read “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese lettering at the top edge of the obverse face of the coin. At the bottom edge, one can see the year of issue, 1994. The famous architectural work on the obverse face is the Phoenix Pavilion from the imperial palace at Shenyang. This pavilion was built during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) as housing for the royal family in Shenyang. The pavilion is triple-gabled and features a set of stairs leading to its entrance.


On the reverse face, one can see a painting of a dog, perhaps a greyhound. This painting was created by Giuseppe Castiglione, or Li Shining (1688–1766). Li emigrated to China in 1715 as an Italian missionary, and he earned himself a place at the court of the Qianlong Emperor. Li was an excellent court painter, renowned for his natural scenes. Li also painted images of the emperor and empress. The hound is shown here next to a bamboo tree. He stands as if poised to run. Above his head is printed the legal tender face value, 50 yuan.


The dog is seen as one of the most loyal signs of the zodiac. People born under this sign are extremely dependable friends and care providers. Dogs are said to have a strong moral compass and excellent judgment of character. Because of their strict ethics, dogs may sometimes be judgmental or negative. Although dogs can be somewhat laid back, they make excellent companions and can be relied upon in a crisis.

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