Looking for Chinese Coin Prices & Values?
Browse our coin price guide subscription packages and find all the pricing and values of your Chinese coins.
Modern Chinese Unicorn Coins
Your Guide to Modern Chinese Unicorn Coins
Brought to you by Majestic Rarities
|What do Modern Chinese Unicorn Coins Look Like?
1994 Colossal Unicorn Set in its original box with all 12 coins
1995 Colossal Unicorn Set, showing 8 pieces of the 12 piece set
1996 5 oz Gold Unicorn
1996 1 oz Platinum Unicorn
Modern Chinese coins (1979 - present) have taken center stage in the numismatic arena. Collectors, investors and dealers have been paying attention to this heavily traded segment of the hobby.
One of the more popular and heavily collected modern Chinese coins is the Unicorn. These mythical creatures were depicted on coins minted from 1994 - 1997. This is a short series with many low mintage coins. They are struck in gold, silver and platinum, along with a bimetallic coin struck in both 1994 and 1995. They are struck in size from 1/20th of an ounce to as large as 32.15 ounces.
Unicorn coins were struck by the China mint for export. These modern Chinese coins were extremely popular at the time of issue and still carry the same, if not more importance and popularity today.
The stories about unicorns date back thousands of years in which emperors, philosophers, kings and other noble people discuss sightings of these mystical animals. Unicorns are known for their magical sense, strength, purity, courage and overall goodness. They are shown in many famous paintings, coats of arms, family crests, movies, books and modern Chinese coins.
The Unicorn series of coins was marketed in many different forms. These were offered in the almost never-seen colossal sets. These sets contained all of the Unicorns minted that year except for the Gold Kilo. The 1994 and 1995 sets have 12 pieces, while the 1996 set contains 14 pieces. There were only 15 colossal sets issued each year resulting in their extreme rarity. The box developed to hold these coins is truly spectacular. Very few of these original boxes still remain. To own an original colossal set box is very special as only 15 were made each year and almost never appear.
Besides the colossal sets, Unicorns were distributed in many forms, such as two-coin sets, three-coin sets, four-coin sets and five-coin sets. These are so popular that all sets are in demand and becoming scarce. It is important to know what is included in each set, therefore, always ask. A person can be offering a three-piece set. This three-piece set could have one silver and two small gold Unicorns, three small gold Unicorns, three large silver Unicorns, three platinum Unicorns, or other combinations. The key is to always ask so you know what you are purchasing for each of these sets.
Some people collect Unicorns by date while others collect them by denomination. It is not unusual to find people who attempt to acquire all of these modern Chinese Unicorns. This is a wonderful aspect of allowing the collector and investor several options to collect.
Some of the highlights of this series are the 5-oz gold Unicorns struck in 1994, 1995 and 1996. These Unicorns have planned mintages between 99 and 108 pieces. Many people feel the actual mintages are less than the planned mintages and almost everyone agrees the actual amount of 5-oz gold Unicorns that survive is much less than actual amount minted. This is due to coins being melted by people not knowing the rarity and value. No 5-oz gold Unicorns were struck in 1997.
Other highlights include the coins with planned mintages in the 500-piece range. The platinum 1 oz and 1/4 oz coins minted in 1996 are prized pieces to add to any collection. All of the 20-oz silver Unicorns minted in 1994, 1995 and 1996 fit into this 500 pieces or less category. Perhaps the most under valued coin in this category is the platinum 1997 Unicorn. This is a sleeper coin that is much tougher to find than any of the other coins with supposedly the same low mintage.
The 1 oz gold Unicorns have low mintages for 1 oz gold coins. The estimated mintage figures are super low: 1994 and 1996 boast less than 1,000 pieces. The 1995 mintage is believed to be less than 800 pieces. These are extremely low amounts for 1 oz gold coins.
Unicorns are popular, very well struck modern Chinese coins with beautiful designs and low mintages, the exact combination needed for a successful series.
Articles in the Modern Chinese Coin series:
More to Come on Modern Chinese Coins:
- The Lunar Series
- Year of The Child
- Dragon, Phoenix, and more
- Quality and Grading of Chinese Coins
- Modern Chinese medals vs. coins
- 1/20th ounce Modern Chinese coins vs. kilo coins
The content of this article has been provided by Majestic Rarities. Please visit their website to see coins on display and a great deal of information contained in the blog section. Majestic Rarities has a 2012 Modern Chinese coin calendar available, and they are in the process of writing a coffee table type of book called History, Culture and Modern Chinese coins.
Featured Chinese Coin Dealers
Majestic Rarities | Website | Email
Professional Chinese coin dealer specializing in Rare Modern Chinese Coins (1979 to present). The leader in this area of numismatics. Paying highest prices. If you don't sell to them, you're not receiving the best value for your coins. View Dealer >>