2002 5 oz Gold Longmen Grottoes

2000 Yuan Proof Coin

About the 2002 5 oz Gold Longmen Grottoes 2000 Yuan Proof Coin

In 2002 a series of five coins, three silver and two gold, were issued by the People's Bank of China in celebration of the magnificent cave art of the Longmen Grottoes.  The Longmen Grottoes are a series of extensive caves featuring some of the finest Buddhist artworks in China.  They were carved out by Buddhist disciples between 493 AD and 1127 AD in modern-day Henan Province.  The complex comprises approximately 1,400 caves containing up to 100,000 statues which vary in size from just 25mm in height to an outstanding 17m.  Most of the works date from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and in 2000 the site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Shown above is the 2000 yuan, 5oz gold coin from the series.  Its reverse face features a scene depicting the Emperor with his entourage saluting the image of Buddha with the denomination of the coin, 2000 yuan, inscribed below.  The obverse face features an intricate rendering of the Great Vairocana Buddha statue of the Fengxian cave in the complex, flanked by two Bodhisattvas and Buddha's two main disciples, Kasyapa and Ananda.  The Vairocana statue is 17.4m high with the ears alone measuring a staggering 2m in length.  Below the image is inscribed: “The People's Republic of China”.  Below is the year of production, 2002.  Inscribed above the image are the Chinese characters meaning: “Chinese Cave Art - Longmen”.

This impressive 60mm diameter coin is a proof piece with a fineness of 99.9%.  It has a mintage of 288.

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