China 1993 5 oz Gold Peacock
500 Yuan Proof Coin
About the China 1993 5 oz Gold Peacock 500 Yuan Proof Coin
This coin is one of nine peacock coins minted in 1993. It is the 500 yuan, five ounce, 99.9% pure, gold coin of the series. This coin measures 60 millimeters in diameter. Of the nine coins produced in this year, five are gold and four are silver. In all, 99 of these particular coins were released.
The reverse displays an ancient Chinese painting of note, \"Picture of Peacock Displaying Tail Feathers,\" by Giuseppe Castiglione. Above the painting, one can see the denomination, 500 yuan. Below it are the metallic properties, \"5oz Au .999.\" The obverse face of the coin shows the Hall of Supreme Harmony of the Forbidden City in Beijing. At the top edge of the obverse, one can see \"The People's Republic of China\" in Chinese letters. Below the Hall, one can see the year of issue, 1993.
The Hall of Supreme Harmony is one of the halls that makes up the outer court of the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was constructed in the early Ming Dynasty, between 1406 and 1420. The Emperor Yongle commissioned the Forbidden City after he moved the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing. During this time, he also commissioned the Temple of Heaven and the Yongle Encyclopedia. The Hall of Supreme Harmony was used for meetings in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and for ceremonies during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
On the reverse face, one can see a rendering of Castiglione's painting. The peacock in the background displays his feathers, and the peacock in the foreground has a demurely closed tail. Around the two peacocks are trees and shrubs. Castiglione, named Lang Shining in Chinese, was an Italian Jesuit missionary who had a particular talent for painting and architecture. He was given a place as a court painter for the Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. Castiglione was particularly prone to painting natural scenes and animals, like the one shown here. He was also renowned for his skill in architecture and was commissioned by the emperor to aid in important designs and layouts. Castiglione was responsible, in part, for the 18th century artistic revival in China. He introduced Western technique to Chinese artists, inspiring them to begin using perspective and three dimensionality.