August Hong Kong recap – Lot 62123: Completion of Lunar Cycle Gold Kilo

The Stack’s Bowers & Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction has just
concluded and we would like to one of the many great prices realized, in this
case for the gold 2,000 Yuan commemorating the
completion of the Lunar Cycle. This hefty piece garnered an astounding
$192,000. This particular series of Lunar Series coinage began in 1981 with the
Year of the Rooster, and culminated in 1992 with the Year of the Monkey. To
commemorate the completion of the cycle, a gold one kilogram 2,000 Yuan piece
was struck. This large collective piece holds great appeal for any Lunar Series
collector or Chinese numismatic enthusiast.

The obverse is impressive; at the center is the Yin-Yang symbol surrounded
by eight symbols known as “Ba Gua.” These symbols represent opposite forces of
Yin and Yang: the top symbol of three solid lines is “heaven” and across from
it at the bottom are three broken lines that represent “Earth.” Each symbol
faces across from its pair (water and fire, thunder and wind, and mountain and
lake) and balance is created. These pairings form interconnected and complementary
groupings that are enclosed within an octagon. Surrounding this inner design
are all 12 Lunar Animals as represented on their individual coins. They are in
clockwise order: Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger,
Rabbit, Dragon, and Snake. Each of these individual coins shows a great amount
of detail so the display of all 12 on one piece is truly spectacular.

The reverse design features a view of the magnificent White Pagoda of
Behai Park, an imperial garden in Beijing. The tower to the right is a white
stone tower decorated with sun, moon, and flame motifs, with a pagoda and other
buildings visible behind and at the water’s edge. The value and date can be
found above and below the Temple. The upper Chinese legend reads “People’s
Republic of China.” Two quatrefoil rosettes divide the upper and lower
inscriptions. The lower inscription describes the occasion for this issue: “the
12th anniversary of the Chinese zodiac currency issue” or the completion of the
Lunar Cycle. With a mintage of only 20 pieces (with this example stamped #20
and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity) this coin is sure to be in
high demand once it reaches the auction block. The frosted devices are all very
attractive and complete with no breaks or flecks. The hard mirror surfaces are
entirely lustrous; some hallowing can be seen around the devices of the reverse
and a few very light hairlines can be found if scrutinized closely. There is a
thin point of contact in the mirrored half of the obverse Yin Yang which
accounts for the slightly lower grade. A few small copper spots can be noted,
mostly relegated to the outer rim. This is the only example to have been graded
by PCGS and is only the fifth graded overall.

We are currently accepting consignments of Chinese and other Asian coins
and currency for our April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. In addition, we are
taking consignments of world and ancient coins as well as world paper money for
our October 2017 Collectors Choice Online Auction and our January 2018 New York
International Auction. Time is running short, so if you are interested in
consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a
single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

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