China 1997 1 oz Platinum Unicorn
100 Yuan Proof Coin
About the China 1997 1 oz Platinum Unicorn 100 Yuan Proof Coin
The coin pictured above is one of five 1997 unicorn coins. Unicorn coins were produced by the mint over four years between 1994 and 1997. Of the five coins issued in 1997, one is gold, three are silver, and one is platinum. The reverse of the coins in this series show an image of the same traditional western unicorn.
The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People's Republic of China”. Below this inscription on all coins in the group is an image of two Qilin or traditional Chinese unicorns, below which is the year of issue, 1997. The Qilin are pictured on the obverse galloping along on plumes of smoke. The Chinese characters for “Qilin” are inscribed to the right of the image. The Qilin is a magical and mythical creature of traditional Chinese culture, revered and respected like the dragon and the phoenix. It has the head of a dragon with the antlers of a deer, the scales of a fish, the tail of a lion, and cloven hooves. Flames surround its head and body. While it may look terrifying, the Qilin is a peaceful creature, and only becomes hostile in its punishment of evil acts. The appearance of a Qilin is considered a good omen and heralds the birth or death of a respected ruler or sage. This is the 100 yuan, 1 oz platinum coin of the series issued in 1997. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity with a mintage of 500.
The reverse of the coin displays an image of a traditional western unicorn cantering along among flowers. It turns its head over its right shoulder showing its characteristic horn. Traditionally the unicorn is represented as a white horse with a single and distinctive spiralled horn. The horn of the unicorn was highly sought after during Renaissance Europe as it was thought to possess healing properties and the ability to neutralise poisons. The denomination is inscribed below the image. The top edge of the reverse face bears an inscription in Chinese characters: “Lucky Mascot Unicorn”, followed by an inscription in English: “UNICORN”.