China 2001 1/2 oz Gold Snake

200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2001 1/2 oz Gold Snake 200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin shown here is the 2001 1/2 oz gold fan-shaped Year of the Snake coin from a series of twelve 1/2 oz gold fan-shaped lunar coins issued from 2000 to 2011, each coin celebrating one of the twelve animals featured in the Chinese zodiac.  The coins have the following specifications in common: they are all 1/2 oz gold fan-shaped coins, contain 99.9% pure gold, and are brilliant uncirculated (BU) coins.  The large arc of the fan shape is 58mm long, while the small arc is 39mm long.  The central angle formed is 30 degrees.

The Year of the Snake coin has a mintage of 6,600 and a face value of 200 yuan.  Its obverse face shows the inscription “The People's Republic of China” written in Chinese characters.  Below this inscription and slightly to the right is the year of production, 2001.  Below this is a picture of the Chenghai Tower, built in 1579.  It is the most well-known of seven structures that make up Old Dragon's Head, the most easterly end of the Great Wall and extending some 23m out to sea.  It gets its name from the stone-carved dragon head that used to face out to sea but has long since crumbled away.

The reverse face shows an image of a golden snake winding and coiling its way around small clumps of flowers, its forked tongue extending out from its raised beady head.  Below and to the right of the image is the face value, 200 yuan.

The snake is deemed the wisest of all the zodiac animals.  People with the snake as their sign are seen as withdrawn and solitary characters but also as deep thinkers and are thought to be extremely cunning and enigmatic.  Symbolising sagacity and wisdom, the snake is highly respected in Chinese culture, but it is also regarded with a degree of superstition.  The Chinese used to believe snakes were gods in disguise, harming people as a form of revenge.  On the other hand, snakes were also seen as a sign of good luck.  If a snake entered a persons house, it was thought that they would have protection from disease and illness.

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