China 1995 Bimetallic Unicorn

25 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1995 Bimetallic Unicorn 25 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twelve 1995 unicorn coins.  Of the twelve coins issued in this year, six are gold, four are silver, one is platinum, and one is bi-metallic.  The reverse of the coins in this series show an image of two western unicorns - a foal and an adult.  The adult stands with its head bowed protectively over the foal which lies at the front hooves of the adult.  The western unicorn is a traditional symbol of purity and grace, valued by scientists and alchemists during the European Renaissance for the healing properties of its characteristic horn.

The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People's Republic of China”.  Except for the bi-metallic coin of the series, below this inscription on all coins in the group is an image a Qilin or Chinese unicorn, a magical beast and symbol of prosperity characterised by the head of a dragon, the hooves of an ox, the tail of a lion, and the scales of a fish.  Below the image is the year of issue, 1995.  For the bi-metallic coin, on the obverse below the inscription is an image of the Tower of Buddhist Incense, a prominent building at the Summer Palace in Beijing, built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1735-1796).

This is the 25 yuan, bi-metallic coin of the series produced in 1995.  The coin is made of an 1/8 oz silver outer ring with a 1/4 oz gold centre.  It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity with a diameter of 30mm and was struck at the Shengyang mint.  It had a planned mintage of 2,000, but an actual mintage of 1,612.  This is one of only two bi-metallic unicorn coins, one issued in 1994 and one issued in 1995.

On this bi-metallic coin of the series, the denomination is inscribed to the left of the image on the reverse.   The top edge of the reverse bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “1/4 oz Au .999 + 1/8 oz Ag .999”.  The edge of the obverse face bears a similar inscription: “Contains 1/4 oz pure gold purity .999 + Contains 1/8 oz pure silver purity .999”.

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