China 2008 1/2 oz Gold Rat

200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2008 1/2 oz Gold Rat 200 Yuan Fan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is the 200 yuan Year of the Rat fan-shaped coin from a series of twelve 1/2 oz gold fan-shaped lunar coins.  The twelve coins each feature one of the twelve animals which make up the Chinese zodiac.  Each coin has a mintage of 6,600 pieces and has a fineness of 99.9%, containing 1/2 oz pure gold.  They are brilliant uncirculated (BU) coins.  The design on the obverse of the coins in the series is of a variety of sections from the Great Wall, while the design on the reverse is a picture of the animal featured on that coin.

The year 2008 was the Year of the Rat.  The picture featured on the reverse face shows two rats, one standing up on its hind legs, the other on all fours with its head turned towards a bunch of grapes hanging down behind it.  The denomination of 200 yuan is inscribed in the top right corner of the coin face.

The rat is the first of the twelve animals in the cyclical order of the Chinese zodiac.  Because of its position as the first of these creatures, Chinese astrology considers it to be symbol of pioneering spirit and leadership.  People born in the Year of the Rat are therefore seen as good leaders with ambitious and industrious personalities.  However this sometimes alienates them, as their selfish nature and motivation give them a drive to succeed at all costs, even to the detriment of others.

The section of the Great Wall shown on the obverse face is Yanmen Pass.  It appears below an inscription in Chinese meaning: “The People's Republic of China”, and the year of issue, 2008.  Yanmen Pass lies in the Gouzhu mountains in Shanxi province and is one of the three important passes in the area.  Its name, meaning wild goose pass, comes from the geese that were observed annually flying over it.  The pass itself is about half a mile wide and has three gates.  The structures that stand today were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), but the pass was originally built further to the west during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

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