China's central bank issued a set of gold and silver commemorative coins on Monday to mark the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City, the former office and residence of royal families and one of the world's most visited tourist attractions in modern days.
The new set consists of two gold and five silver coins, all legal tenders, according to the People's Bank of China.
All coins feature the national emblem on the obverse side, while the reverse is inscribed with different patterns, denominations, and Chinese characters reading, "The 600th Anniversary of the Forbidden City.”
With a maximum issuing limit of 100, one of the gold commemorative coins, which is 90 millimeters in diameter, is made of one kilogram of pure gold and has a face value of 10,000 yuan (about 1,428 U.S. dollars) – the highest among all coins issued this time.
The one-kilogram gold coin, showing the general view of the world-famous historic site on its back side, was called online as "the most expensive map of the Forbidden City," and has grabbed the attention of numerous private collectors and dealers since it was unveiled.
With a diameter of 130 mm and two kilograms of silver, one of the silver coins has a denomination of 600 yuan and was carved with the interior view of The Hall of Supreme Harmony – the largest hall and the most important in the Forbidden City, sitting at the heart of the site. A total of 3,000 pieces of these silver coins were issued.
Other gold and silver coins have face values of two, five and 50 yuan respectively, carved with traditional dragon and crane patterns, as well as decorative designs, which are auspicious symbols and appear on many statues, buildings and cultural relics of the imperial palace.
China Post issued a set of stamps featuring the paintings of landmark structures in the Forbidden City on July 11 to celebrate the 600th birthday of the ancient palace.
The set includes four stamps, each presenting an individual construction, and a small sheet with the Forbidden City layout. The total face value of the set is 11.4 yuan (1.63 U.S. dollars).
This year marks the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City. It was the seat of power for two consecutive dynasties – the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The ancient palace in central Beijing is currently home to the Palace Museum, which was established in 1925.
The museum, which houses more than 1.8 million cultural treasures and receives tens of millions of visitors per year, plans to launch a series of grand exhibitions to mark the occasion.
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