1997 Kilo Gold Qi Baishi

2000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the 1997 Kilo Gold Qi Baishi 2000 Yuan Proof Coin

The Chinese master painter, Qi Baishi (1864 - 1957), was born in Hunan Province to a family of peasants where he became a carpenter by the age of 14.  He was primarily a self-taught painter, drawing influences from famous Qing (1644 - 1912) and Ming (1368 - 1644) Dynasty painters.  His work is renowned in China and has also gained significant recognition in international art circles.  Many of his works are characterised by playful watercolour brushstrokes depicting scenes, objects, and animals from nature.  One of China's most prolific 20th Century artists, he died in Beijing in 1957.   Recently in 2011 one of his works, which have now become highly sought-after, set a new record for the most expensive modern Chinese painting sold at auction, selling at $65.5 million.

Shown above is the huge 100mm diameter proof coin which forms part of an eight-coin series issued in 1997 at the Shenyang Mint in recognition of the life and work of Qi Baishi.  It is the 1997 1 kg gold coin of the series.  It is an impressive coin and attractive coin, with a face value of 2,000 yuan, a fineness of 99.9%, and a mintage of only 25.

Similar to all eight coins in the series, the obverse face features an image of Qi Baishi, who is shown with his wispy hair, flowing beard, and wearing his characteristic round spectacles.  The features of his face are intricately captured in this rendering.  Above the image are the characters: “The People's Republic of China”; below is the year of production, 1997; and to the left is an inscription reading: “Chinese Master Painter Qi Baishi 1864 - 1957”.

On the reverse face is a rendering of one of Qi Baishi's works, entitled “Painting of Longevity”.  It shows two baskets, one containing peaches, the other chrysanthemums.  To the left of the baskets, the artist has signed the painting and written the characters with the meaning: “Longevity”.  Struck on the right of the coin face is the face value, 2,000 yuan.

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