Serial number 1 1996 Gold Kilo Unicorn

One of the more popular series of modern Chinese coins is the Unicorn series of 1994-1996. These were offered in a range of denominations and in gold, platinum and silver. Kilo gold issues were struck in 1994 and 1996 and the latter had a tiny mintage of a mere 18 pieces. In our upcoming December Macau auction we offer serial number 1.

The obverse features a rearing Unicorn surrounded by a wreath of flowers. The unicorn represents purity and grace, and in medieval Europe the horn was highly sought by alchemists for its alleged healing properties. The reverse shows a traditional depiction of the Qilin, a symbol of prosperity and longevity in Chinese culture. This fearsome, yet mainly peaceful beast possesses the head of a dragon with deer antlers on a body full of fish scales, cloven hooves and a lion’s tail. It is one of the most revered mythological creature in China, behind only the dragon and phoenix.

The coin we offer in our Macau auction is a superb gem, graded Proof-66 Deep Cameo by PCGS, and is serial number 1 of only 18 struck. There has not been a 1996 gold kilo Unicorn sold at auction. For comparison, the last 1994 kilo Unicorn sold for $708,000 in a December 2011 auction sale. This extremely rare modern issue will certainly be the centerpiece in the next collection it graces. Our inaugural Macau auction will feature a great selection of classic and modern Chinese issues. If you are a collector of Asian coins, and do not yet receive our Hong Kong (or Macau) catalogs, be sure to contact auction services to add your name to our mailing list. The sale will also be available for viewing and bidding at If like our many successful consignors, you have Chinese or other world coins you would like to consign to one of the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio auctions, either in Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Baltimore or Macau, be sure to contact one of our consignment directors. Whether you are buying or selling, we look forward to working with you. 

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