This year, the People’s Bank of China will release its fourth series of coins celebrating different auspicious aspects of Chinese culture. Once again, four themes are featured, each with its own pair of proof 40 mm, 30 g .999 fine silver ¥10 and 20 mm, 5 g .999 fine gold ¥80. Mintages are 60,000 and 30,000 pieces, respectively.
March 22 was all about “shou ju mao die” [longevity]. A longevity stone, peony flowers, a cat, and a pair of butterflies on the common reverse provide visual puns on longevity by way of homophones in spoken Chinese.
April 20 wished blessings of “liu kai bai zi” [bountiful offspring]. The design here shows a boy shouldering a pomegranate tree branch. Pomegranates contain numerous seeds, and the implication is that the coin’s recipient will be similarly fruitful.
A good marriage, “zhu lian bi he,” features on May 18. Both coins are heart-shaped with selective gold-plating on the silver reverse but otherwise both are of the same dimensions and weight as the corresponding standard round issues. The design shows a pair of goldfish among lotus leaves, symbolic of an ideal marriage, along with the perfect match: a pearl set on a jade disk.
And if you have achieved longevity and bountiful offspring from an ideal marriage, then you should be experiencing happiness or, as the Chinese would have it, “xi shang mei shao” [happiness shining on your eyebrow]. This is symbolized by a pair of magpies singing in plum blossoms, as occurs on the reverse of the coins scheduled for release on June 20.
The coins have been struck by both Shanghai Mint and Shenzhen Guobao Mint.
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