China issues commemorative coins for Year of Rat
BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank has issued a series of commemorative coins for the Year of Rat, with each set containing 10 gold and seven silver coins.
The seventeen coins come in circular, fan-shaped, flower-shaped and rectangular forms, according to the People's Bank of China.
The front side of each coin features China's national emblem, while the back side has the image of a rat.
Golden coins range from 3 grams to 10 kg, while silver coins go from 30 grams to 1 kg.
The PBOC issued a limited number of 18 pieces of the refined 10-kg golden coins with each having a denomination of 100,000 yuan (about 14,200 U.S. dollars).
The Year of the Rat is the first zodiac sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. It will start on Jan. 25, 2020 and last until Feb. 11, 2021, when the Year of the Ox begins.
The Chinese Zodiac is represented by 12 animals to record the years and reflect people's attributes, including the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
According to the Chinese Zodiac story, in the competition held by the Jade Emperor to decide the zodiac animals, the quick-witted rat asked the diligent ox to let him ride on the ox's back as it crossed a river, and jumped down before the ox crossed the finish line, winning the race and becoming the first of the zodiac animals.