Coin of the Week: 1991 5 oz Silver Xin Hai Revolution 80th Anniversary Proof Coin

When people think of Chinese history they often have a picture in their minds of either modern China, featuring the likes of Mao Zedong, Sun Yatsen, and Yuan Shikai, or else – and probably more likely – dynastic China, with its extensive palace complexes and the Great Wall. But when was the Chinese political structure so radically altered in the course of history? What set in motion the events that would allow China to become what it is today? The answer is the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, a theme which is commemorated on the 1991 5 oz silver Xinhai Revolution 80th Anniversary proof coin.

The Xinhai Revolution, so-called because of its date of occurrence according to the traditional Chinese calendar of stems and branches, set in motion the events that would topple the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912). The two main political movers and shakers in the event were Sun Yatsen and Yuan Shikai – two figures who appear prominently in Chinese memory as revered revolutionaries.

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Such is the significance of this event in China, that the People’s Bank decided to issue a four-coin (two gold and two silver) set of commemorative pieces celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. The 5 oz silver piece is the largest and most impressive of the set. This silver proof coin has a purity of 91.60%, a denomination of 50 yuan, and an officially published mintage of 1500. However, an actual mintage of 1003 is thought to be more accurate, making this coin rather rare and sought after. The obverse features an image of the Headquarters of the Wuchang Uprising, the uprising that was pivotal to the success of the 1911 Revolution as a whole. The reverse depicts Sun Yatsen stood smartly in uniform, set against an inspiring background of charging revolutionary soldiers.

In September 2013, such a coin sold online for 39,000 yuan. Another 1991 5 oz silver Xinhai Revolution 80th Anniversary proof coin, currently available in our coin store, could be yours in proof condition for a similar price of $6,380, including free shipping. This already rare coin can only have got scarcer over the course of a year, further increasing its potential value as an investment. And with only one left in our store, now would be a good time to seize this opportunity.