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Completion of Lunar Cycle Silver Kilo

By Chris Chatigny, Cataloger

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Friday, March 22, 2013 / Categories: World Coin of the Week
The Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April 2013 Hong Kong Auction is rapidly approaching and will feature over 400 lots of highly collectible Modern Chinese coinage. Included in this assortment of Modern Chinese is the ever popular “Lunar Series” commemorating the LunarZodiac and its associated twelve animals. This particular Lunar series began in 1981 with the Year of the Rooster, and culminated in 1992 with the Year of the Monkey. To commemorate the completion of the cycle, a silver one kilogram 200 Yuan piece was struck. This large collective piece is sure to entice any Lunar Series collector or Chinese numismatic enthusiast.

The impressive design on the obverse is a view of the magnificent White Pagoda of Behai Park, an imperial garden in Beijing. To the right is a white stone tower decorated with sun, moon, and flame motifs, with a pagoda and other buildings visible behind and at the water’s edge. The value and date can be found above and below the Temple. The upper Chinese legend reads “People’s Republic of China”. Two quatrefoil rosettes divide the upper and lower inscriptions. The lower inscription describes the occasion for this issue: “the 12th anniversary of the Chinese zodiac currency issue” or the completion of the Lunar Cycle. Two distinct variations of this piece can be found, the discernible difference between them is the amount of waterlines/waves found in the scenic design. This variety happens to be the eight water line type, which makes up less than half of the total population certified by NGC.

The reverse is equally remarkable; at the center is the Yin-Yang symbol surrounded by eight symbols known as “Ba Gua.” These symbols represent opposite forces of Yin and Yang: the top symbol of three solid lines is “heaven” and across from it at the bottom are three broken lines which represent “Earth.” Each symbol faces across from its pair (water and fire, thunder and wind, and mountain and lake) creating a balance. These pairings form interconnected and complementary groupings which are enclosed within an octagon. Surrounding this inner design are all twelve Lunar Animals as represented on their individual coins. They are in clockwise order: Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, and Snake. Each of these individual coins shows a great amount of detail so the display of all twelve on one piece is truly spectacular. This piece has a nice luster, and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Also included is its mint issue case and decorative display box as well. With a mintage of only 300 pieces this coin is sure to create high demand once it reaches the auction block in a few short weeks. This stunningpiece is just one of over 400 incredible Modern Chinese numismatic pieces featured in our April Hong Kong auction.

Look for this and other Asian numismatic rarities in our upcoming April Hong Kong Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction March 11th – 20th at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine California. For details please refer to the Auction Schedule/Details link under Current Auctions at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.566.2580.