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China honors Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s birth


Reverses of the PRC silver ¥10 (top) and gold ¥100 (bottom) proofs celebrating the 150th birthday of the republic’s founding father Sun Yat-sen. (Images courtesy China Gold)

Dr. Sun Yat-sen physician, revolutionary, founding father of the Republic of China, and the country’s first president, was born on Nov. 12, 1866. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth, the People’s Republic of China has struck an issue of gold and silver proof coins.

A 22.0 mm, 8g .999 fine gold ¥100 features a portrait of Sun. A 40.0 mm, 30 g .999 fine silver ¥10 shows his former residence in Cuiheng village, Guangdong. Mintages are 10,000 and 20,000, respectively.

The gold coin has been struck by Shenzhen Guobao Mint and the silver by Shanghai Mint.

Sun played a vital role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. Following the Xinhai Revolution he was appointed in 1912 to serve as Provisional President of the new republic. He subsequently co-founded the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party of China) and was its first leader.

In post-Imperial China Sun provided a unifying figure. Conflict rapidly followed his death in 1925.

He is unique among 20th century Chinese politicians in being revered by Chinese from both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In Taiwan he is known as Father of the Nation. In the PRC he is termed the Forerunner of the Revolution and mentioned by name in the preamble to the constitution of the PRC.

His prestige and influence was such that in World War II the Japanese invaders used his portrait in an attempt to legitimize and obtain acceptance of the note issues of their largest puppet bank, The Central Reserve Bank of China.

This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.

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