China issues commemorative coins for world-renowned Buddhist grottoes

Xinhua, August 18, 2010

Beijing, China -- The People's Bank of China, or the central bank, issued on Tuesday a set of gold and silver coins featuring the famous Buddhist grottoes in Yungang of north China's Shanxi Province.

The commemorative coins, with three gold and two silver coins in each set, are legal tender in China, said the central bank in a statement on its website.

The largest gold coin will be 90 mm in diameter, contain one kilo of pure gold, have a face value of 10,000 yuan and a maximum circulation of 100.

The medium-sized gold coin will be 60 mm in diameter and weigh five ounces. It will have a face value of 2,000 yuan, and a maximum circulation of 800.

The smallest gold coin will be 27 mm in diameter, weigh half an ounce, have a face value of 200 yuan and a maximum circulation of 10,000.

The larger silver coin with a diameter of 100 mm, will contain one kilo of pure silver, have a face value of 300 yuan and a maximum circulation of 3,800.

The smaller silver coin will be 40 mm in diameter, contain two ounces of pure silver, and have a face value of 20 yuan. The maximum circulation will be 20,000.

All the coins will show the magnificent sceneries of Yungang Grottoes on their heads.

The ancient Yungang Grottoes are located in Datong City, Shanxi Province. In 2001, the Yugang Grottoes were listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO, which described it as "a masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art."

China's central bank issues commemorative coins every year to mark events or cultural traditions. It has issued seven sets of commemorative coins this year including the current set.

The other six sets of commemorative coins regard the 30th founding anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, the listing of the Agricultural Bank of China, the Wudang Mountains, the 16th Asian Games, the 2010 Shanghai Expo and the classical Chinese fiction "Outlaws of the Marsh," or "Water Margin."