China 2004 1/2 oz Gold Monkey

200 Yuan Scallop Proof Coin

About the China 2004 1/2 oz Gold Monkey 200 Yuan Scallop Proof Coin

The coin pictured above is one of a series of twelve scallop-shaped coins struck between 1993 and 2004.  The twelve coins in this series are gold and weigh 1/2 oz.  They feature the twelve creatures of the Chinese zodiac.  On the reverse faces are paintings of the twelve animals, each coin bearing the image of the animal which corresponds to that coin's year of issue.

The coin shown here is the 2004 Year of the Monkey coin, and is the last of the twelve coins in the series.  It has a face value of 200 yuan and a mintage of 2,300.  Like the other coins struck since 2001, it is of 99.9% fineness.  It measures 27mm in diameter.  The reverse features a rendering of \"Monkey with Peaches\" by the Chinese painter Liu Jiyou (1918-1983).  Liu Jiyou, whose father was also a renowned painter and a great source of inspiration him, studied both Chinese and western painting techniques in Tianjin at the Academy of Fine Arts, techniques he later combined in his artworks.  The painting depicts a monkey perched on a branch in a peach tree.  The monkey looks over at a cluster of peaches hanging down from above.  The face value is inscribed to the right of the monkey.

The obverse face features a rendering of a traditional Chinese decorative paper cutting showing a picture of a monkey.  Around the edge of the paper cutting is a leafy motif.  Inscribed onto the leaves at the top of the coin face are the Chinese characters with the meaning: \"The People's Republic of China\".  At the bottom of the face, again inscribed over the motif, is the year of production, 2004.

The monkey is the ninth of the animals featured in the Chinese zodiac.  Considered the most flexible zodiac sign, people born in the Year of the Monkey have many talents.  They are innovative, self-assured, and inquisitive about the world around them.  They are seen as great problem solvers and inventors due to their intelligence, flexibility, and ability to improvise.

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