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China's New Fan Coins Commemorate "The Year of the Goat"
China issued the first fan-shaped silver and gold coins to commemorate the lunar-zodiac "Year of the Dragon" in 2000. The fan coin series continued in 2001, "The Year of the Snake" and 2002, "The Year of the Horse." The reverse of each year's fan-shaped coin is a different section of the Great Wall.

China has just released the fan-shaped coins for the upcoming "Year of the Goat," that begins on February 1, 2003. Only 6,600 ½ oz. pure (999 fine) gold and 66,000 1 oz. pure (999 fine) silver Prooflike Brilliant Uncirculated coins were minted.

The story of the fan's invention in China is lost to time. The likelihood, given the fan's elemental simplicity, is that it was invented by some happy accident in the time before time -- when big leaves would have been more abundant than paper, but all theories about the fans origin remain that … just theories.

More than 3,000 years ago, fans were made with bird's feathers and were one of the chief components in imperial pomp. They lent infinite gracefulness and charm to court dancers, who used fans to achieve the appearance of heavenly phoenixes in performances for the country's most powerful men.

With the progress of agriculture in the Han and Tang Dynasties, and the resultant mass-production of cloth, fans began to be made of silk and satin. This new material transformed the fan from accessory to artists' canvas as thousands of scholars and artists found it fashionable to demonstrate their genius by writing and painting on the silken surfaces.

Folded fans were reportedly introduced to China from Japan and Korea about 1,000 years ago. They were usually made with fine paper mounted on bamboo. Throughout history, Chinese fan makers have turned to a variety of materials besides traditional silk or paper. Sandalwood, ivory, even gold, silver and jade have all been used to construct fans.

Click Here to Shop for the China 2003 Lunar Year of the Goat Fan Shaped Coins.

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