China 2003 1/2 oz Gold Goat

200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2003 1/2 oz Gold Goat 200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin seen above is part of a series of twelve 1/2 oz gold fan-shaped coins issued between 2000 and 2011 to celebrate each of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.  Every fan-shaped coin features the animal corresponding to that coin's year of production.  On their reverse faces are pictures of the animals and the denomination of the coin.  On their obverse faces are different parts of the Great Wall, the inscription in Chinese characters: “The People's Republic of China”, and the coin's year of production.

The coin pictured is the 2003 coin of the series and commemorates the Year of the Sheep.  It is a brilliant uncirculated coin containing 99.9% pure gold.  It was struck at the Shenzhen mint with a mintage of 6,600 pieces and has a denomination of 200 yuan.

The design on the obverse face features the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.  The Mutianyu section lies in the mountains 60km to the north of Beijing and served to keep the tribes living north of the wall at bay.  The wall that stands there today was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), although the original wall at Mutianyu was built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577).  The year of production appear above and to the left of the image.

On the reverse face is an image of three sheep - a family of a ram, a ewe, and a lamb.  The ewe stands in the background, its head lowered.  The ram stands in the foreground, its head turned to face the viewer, while the lamb lies curled up seeking protection at the ram's side.  The denomination is inscribed above and to the right of the image.

The sheep or goat in the Chinese zodiac is roughly equivalent to Cancer in the western zodiac.  Traditional Chinese astrology assigns righteousness, sincerity, generosity, and other such character traits to those born in the Year of the Sheep.  These people tend to be highly creative and artistic at the same time as being peaceful and caring individuals.  Sheep are particularly significant in Tibetan culture, where a sacrificial sheep can symbolically expiate human faults.

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