Very Rare 1995 500 Yuan Gold Unicorn

This week we again focus on a very rare modern Chinese gold commemorative issue, a 500 Yuan Gold Unicorn from 1995 that we are offering in our December Macau Showcase Auction. This coin boasts a low serial number (003 of 099) and a high grade (Proof-69 Deep Cameo, certified by PCGS). Its size (5 ounces of gold) is quite impressive. This piece is tied with fewer than a dozen at this grade for finest known honors.

As discussed in a blog a few weeks back in this blog () , the unicorn is an important creature in Chinese culture. The obverse depicts the “western” unicorn (shown as a mother and fawn), while the reverse portrays the mythological animal in the more traditional “eastern” or Chinese version, also known as the Qilin. These have been known in Chinese mythology dating back to the 5th century BC, and are generally considered a good omen, usually symbolizing the arrival of serenity or prosperity.

The Chinese Government issued the Unicorn Series from 1994 to 1997, with coins struck in gold, silver, platinum, and in various sizes from 1/20 of an ounce to a kilogram. Many of the gold and platinum issues, particularly the larger sizes, came from very low mintages and were not available to collectors in the Mainland until recent years. As such, demand for these modern rarities has increased, and we expect strong bidder participation when this coin crosses the block.

We are now accepting consignments for our April Hong Kong auction, including single rarities to entire collections of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian coins for that sale. Since our first sale of the Wa She Wong Collection in December 2010, the popularity of these events, and the selection of fine numismatic properties offered has increased. We invite you to be a part of our success. If you are interested in consigning, contact a consignment director, and let our team of experts do the rest.

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