China: New Gold And Silver Proof Coins In National Treasures Series Highlights Enlightenment And Foundation

The People's Bank of China have released the second set of commemorative and collector coins which is entitled Enlightenment and Foundation.

by Michael Alexander | Published on June 15, 2024

The first set of coins in the National Treasures series focused on the Dawn of Civilisation and traced early Chinese history back to the most important eras moving towards modern civilisation. The six-year series will depict cultural relics in various historical periods that has survived intact throughout the centuries of history and throughout of the origin and development of Chinese civilisation. The context, the stories and legends behind the feature ornaments jointly tell and describe the intriguing chapters of the Chinese nation. In chronological order, the upcoming series of commemorative coin sets is initially planned as 6 groups, corresponding to 6 historical periods. The first series represents

1) the prehistoric Neolithic period, the Xia, Shang, Western Zhou and spring and autumn periods. 2) The Warring States. 3) Qin and Han periods. 4) The Three Kingdoms, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties. 5) The Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties. 6) the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

The 2024-dated set comprises three silver coins of 5 Yuan, one gold coin of 50 Yuan and one gold coin of 200 Yuan. The commemorative coins are minted by Shenyang Mint Co., Ltd., Shanghai Mint Co., Ltd. and Shenzhen Guobao Mint Co., Ltd. on behalf of the People’s Bank of China. Two of the designs shown on the 5 Yuan silver coins feature a vivid colour print on the obverse enhancing the featured object.

1. 5 Yuan silver. Minted by the Shenzhen Guobao Mint Co. Ltd. and designed by artist Zhang Lei, the obverse side features the image of an ivory cup inlaid with turquois pieces created during the Shang Dynasty and unearthed from the tomb of the female general Fu Hao in the Yinxu site in Anyang, Henan province. The text 国 家 宝 藏·象 牙 杯 (National Treasure · Ivory Cup) is placed along the upper rim above the primary design which is depicted in colour. The denomination 5 is seen to the lower left.

2. 5 Yuan silver. Minted by the Shenzhen Guobao Mint Co. Ltd. and designed by artist Huang Qin, the obverse design depicts the Lotus and Crane Square Pot. Excavated in 1923 from the tomb of the Duke of Zheng, 770 – 476 BC in Lijialou, Xinzheng county. The vessel has a rectangular mouth, long neck, tapered bowl and ring foot. The cover was embellished with two-tiered lotus petals, and a crane centred including dragon-shaped handles on two sides, and dragon patterns on its surface. The text 国 家 宝 藏·莲 鹤 方 壶 (National Treasure·Lotus and Crane Square Pot) is placed along the upper rim above the primary design. The denomination 5 is seen to the lower right.

3. 5 Yuan silver.  Minted by the Shanghai Mint Co. Ltd. and designed by artist Yu Tian Xiang, the obverse includes an image of the relic known as the Bronze Medal with Animal Faces. Excavated in 1981 in present-day Henan Province, The bronze plaque with patina is thus far the earliest turquoise-inlaid bronze artefact in China dated to 1800-1770 BC and representing the Xia Dynasty, the first hereditary kingdom in Chinese history, established by Yu the Great. Also depicted is a tripod pedestal ding, a cauldron usually made of bronze and used to serve food and a zhang, an ancient type of jade tablet shown on the left. Shown on the right is a jue, a type of ancient Chinese pitcher used to serve warm wine during ancestor-worship ceremonies. The commemorative text 国 家 宝 藏· 兽 面 纹 铜 牌 (National Treasure · Bronze Medal with Animal Faces) is placed to the left of the plaque in a vertical direction. The denomination 5元 is seen to the lower right.

50 Yuan gold. Minted by the Shenyang Mint Co. Ltd. and designed by artists Yan Libo and Yan Zishun, the design features an image of the Sun Bird Gold Ornament, an ancient artefact unearthed in 2001 at the Jinsha archaeological site located in the city of Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It is ring-shaped and made of almost pure gold foil. The commemorative text国 家 宝 藏·太 阳 神 鸟 金 饰 (National Treasure· Sun Bird Gold Ornament) is shown in the centre of the primary design and the denomination 50元 is placed below the commemorative text.

200 Yuan gold. Minted by the Shanghai Mint Co. Ltd. and designed by artist Yu Tian Xiang, the obverse features the He Zun, a drinking and sacrificial vessel made by a royal nobleman named ‘He’ in the early Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 1000 BC) The vessel includes the inscription "China" which appeared for the first time in print is replicated and placed to the left of the primary design and which makes the vessel an important cultural relic. The commemorative text 国 家 宝 藏 · 象 牙 杯 (National Treasure · He Zun) is shown along the upper rim and the denomination 200元 is placed to the lower right of the primary design.

All coins in the National Treasures – Enlightenment and Foundation range share the same obverse design which features the National Emblem of the People's Republic of China. The country's name is placed over the emblem in Chinese characters 中 华 人 民 共 和 国 (People’s Republic of China) and the year of issue 2024 is placed below. 

 Denomination Metal Weight Diameter Quality Maximum Mintage 
5 Yuan X 3 .999 Silver 15 g. 33 mm. Proof & Colour 20,000 each 
50 Yuan .999 Gold 3 g. 18 mm. Proof & Colour 10,000 
200 Yuan .999 Gold 15 g. 27 mm. Proof & Colour5,000 

Available from the 6th June, each silver and gold coin is available as an individual purchase and solely distributed by the China Gold Coin Corporation. For details of these and other coins released by the People’s Bank of China, please visit their website.

Visit these great CDN Sponsors

CDN Sponsors

Author: Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander image Michael’s background in both numismatics and banknotes spans more than three decades and whose activities have varied from being a dedicated world coin collector to coin & medal design, marketing, theme concept and production. His additional interests include banknote research and in 1997, he founded the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre to further these interests and activities. The company continues to offer monthly currency bulletins to both online and printed publications which includes information about the latest banknote news and releases from Central Banks and Monetary Authorities around the world. Michael has been a contributor to COIN NEWS magazine based in the UK since 1998 where many of his in-depth interviews, articles and bulletins have been published.

Related Stories (powered by Greysheet News)

View all news