The 1990 Dragon and Phoenix Gold and Silver Coin series is one of the hottest collections that every precious metal coin enthusiast dreams of. This series includes a 20 oz gold coin, 20 oz silver coin, 2 oz gold coin, 2 oz silver coin, 1 oz silver coin, 1 gram gold coin and a 2 gram silver coin.
To promote Chinese culture, the People’s Bank of China authorized the China Mint Company and China Gold Coin Corporation to mint and issue a set of dragon and phoenix commemorative coins. In total there would be six such coins including three gold and three silver coins. The obverse design of each gold coin consists of the national name of the People’s Republic of China and the issuing year and depicts the ancient Great Wall of China. The reverse design shows a dragon and phoenix and a motif of clouds, and shows the precious metal content, precious metal weight and corresponding face value in Chinese Yuan (Renminbi).
The 1990 Dragon and Phoenix gold and silver series were initially planned for release in 1989 but due to the political turmoil and the famous student uprising at the time, they opted to change the date that the coins would be issued. Almost all the coins with the date of 1989 on the obverse were destroyed which was of considerable loss to the Shenyang Mint. Then Shenyang Mint switched to creating the 1990 coins of the Dragon and Phoenix series, which still used the initial design, the only difference being the year shown on the coin, just beneath the Great Wall of China on the obverse. Shenyang Mint had also planed to mint ¼ oz coins in this series but that plan was later foiled.
The 1990 Dragon and Phoenix coins are of very high aesthetic value. On the reverse of the coins are the dragon and phoenix seen flying and playing with each other.
Like the unicorn, or Qi Lin in Chinese, the dragon and the phoenix are divine creatures in traditional Chinese culture. Legend has it that the snake-like dragon, armed with scales and bear paws, is the God of Wind and Rain. In ancient times, rain means harvests and a good life to farmers, so the dragon has been long held in high regard by the Chinese people.
The phoenix is regarded as the King of all Birds. In Buddhism, the phoenix is the bird that can always come back to life after death, so it is called the Bird of Immortality.
In China’s traditional culture, dragon and phoenix have quite a number of positive meanings. The Dragon is usually an outstanding male, while on the other hand, the Phoenix is symbolic of an outstanding lady. Hence, the Dragon and Phoenix are also used then to describe a happy marriage.
Chinese people sometimes refer to themselves as the “Descendants of Dragon”, while the phoenix has become the symbol of happiness, an ideal for people to aspire to. In ancient times the Chinese regarded the dragon and phoenix as symbols of prosperity, peace, luck and happiness.
On the obverse is the Great Wall, one of the most famous Chinese architectural wonders. Below the Great Wall is the year of issue – 1990.