China 1998 5 oz Silver Tiger

50 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1998 5 oz Silver Tiger 50 Yuan Proof Coin

Pictured above is a 5 ounce, 99.9% pure, silver coin commemorating the Year of the Tiger. This is one of a set of coins released between 1987 and 1998, a full twelve year cycle. Each of the coins in this set honors one of the animals of the Chinese zodiac on the reverse face and displays a famed work of Chinese architecture on the obverse face. The coins measure 70 millimeters in diameter, are all proof in quality, and bear the denomination of 50 yuan. In all, The People’s Bank of China released 1000 of these coins in 1998.


In China, the tiger is known to be king of the beasts. The tiger is a powerful sign under which to be born, and tigers are considered to be strong-willed natural leaders. Those born in this year are thought to be bold, impetuous, and sometimes dangerous in their rapidly changing desires and decisions.


The nature of the tiger is expertly wrought by Zhang Shanzai, the artist whose painting is reproduced on the reverse side of the coin. Zhang was the elder brother of another famous Chinese painter, Zhang Daqian. This painting is entitled, “Picture of a Tiger Roaring,” and it displays a massive tiger with its gaping maw open in a roar. The tiger stands on a cliff, displaying its prowess. To the right of the tiger is the face value of the coin, 50 yuan.


On the obverse face of the coin, one can see the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China. This section of the wall is just outside of the old imperial capital of China, Beijing. The Great Wall is really a series of walls and not a single structure. The earliest wall dates back to the Qin dynasty, and the concept of the wall as a method of protection regained popularity under the rule of the Yongle Emperor during the Ming Dynasty. This section of the wall was particularly important, as it guarded the entrance to the capital city. Above the Badaling section of the wall is the lettering representing, “The People’s Republic of China.” Below the wall, one can see the year of issue, 1998.

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