1994 3.3 oz Gold Kuan Yin
300 Yuan Proof Coin
About the 1994 3.3 oz Gold Kuan Yin 300 Yuan Proof Coin
Shown above is the 1994 3.3 oz Gold Kuan Yin coin which forms part of a series of 11 coins issued in this year to commemorate the bodhisattva Kuan Yin, or Guanyin. This proof coin, measuring 55mm across, has a mintage of 128 and was produced at the Shanghai Mint. Its denomination is 300 yuan, and it has a fineness of 99.9%.
The reverse face shows an intricate rendering of the bodhisattva and goddess Kuan Yin holding a child. Kuan Yin is closely linked with compassion, and is highly revered by those practising Buddhism in East Asia. It is believed that Kuan Yin is the goddess who places the dead in a lotus flower for their transition to Sukhavati, or Heaven, thereby delivering them from eternal reincarnation. The full name, Guanshiyin, literally translates as Observing the Sounds of the World. She is worshipped in Chinese folk belief as a protector of women and children, hence she is often depicted holding a child. Kuan Yin, a popular goddess in East Asian culture, is held in high esteem because of her mercy and unconditional love. To the left of her image on the coin face appears the denomination, 300 yuan. To the right appear the traditional Chinese characters which translate as: “Bodhisattva Guanshiyin”. Kuan Yin has been featured on numerous series of coins and medals throughout the history of modern Chinese coin production - an indication of the importance and prominence of this figure in Chinese culture, both in China's past and today.
The obverse face shows the internationally recognised Great Wall. The original wall was built during the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 BC) as way of consolidating power following the unification of the Chinese Empire, and as a method of controlling trade via heavily guarded checkpoints and passes. It has become an iconic symbol of China today, and represents China's dynastic power and influence. Above the image is the are the characters: “The People's Republic of China”. Below is the year of issue, 1994.