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The Renminbi (RMB), also known as the yuan, serves as the official currency of the People's Republic of China. Governed by the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the Renminbi has been circulating for over half a century.

The primary unit of Renminbi is the yuan, supplemented by the smaller units of jiao and fen. One yuan equals ten jiao, and one jiao equals ten fen. To date, China has launched five series of Renminbi, including paper currency, metal coins, ordinary commemorative coins, and precious metal commemorative coins. The first three series have been phased out, leaving only the fourth and fifth series, released by the PBOC in 1987 and 1999 respectively, in current circulation.

Fifth Series of Renminbi Coins

The latest edition of Renminbi coins, falling under the Fifth Series of Renminbi, was introduced on October 1, 1999. The series includes eight denominations: 1 jiao, 5 jiao, 1 yuan, 5 yuan, 10 yuan, 20 yuan, 50 yuan, and 100 yuan. For 1 jiao, 5 jiao, and 1 yuan, both notes and coins were issued. The introduction of the 20 yuan note and the discontinuation of the 2 yuan note was a strategic move to optimize the structure of the currency denominations.

These coins, crafted from traditional Chinese mintage techniques and fused with advanced global currency design technology, showcase improved anti-counterfeiting measures and are designed for modern currency handling. Each coin features the emblem of the People's Republic of China on the obverse and the denomination decorated with different traditional Chinese floral patterns on the reverse.

Design Details of the Coins

1 Jiao: Chrysanthemum

1 jiao

On the reverse of the 1 Jiao coin is the Chrysanthemum, a flower symbolizing endurance and longevity in Chinese culture. Known as the "Autumn Herald", it is one of the "Four Gentlemen" in Chinese culture.

5 Jiao: Lotus

5 jiao

The reverse of the 5 Jiao coin features the Lotus, a symbol of purity and nobility, and a quintessential bloom of the Chinese summer.

1 Yuan: Chrysanthemum and Peony

1 yuan

The 1 Yuan coin showcases both the Chrysanthemum and the Peony. The Chrysanthemum, as mentioned, represents endurance and longevity, while the Peony, the "King of Flowers", symbolizes wealth and honor in Chinese culture.

Anti-Counterfeiting Measures

The PBOC has introduced a series of anti-counterfeiting measures to ensure the security of these coins. These measures include:

  • Micro-lettering: Tiny letters that can only be seen clearly under magnification.
  • Latent Images: Images or symbols that change when viewed from different angles.
  • Edge Lettering: Words or symbols engraved on the edge of a coin.
  • Security Groove: A groove on the edge of a coin that makes counterfeiting more difficult.
  • Holographic Effect: A rainbow-like effect that changes with viewing angle and is difficult to replicate.


The Fifth Series of Renminbi coins blends classic Chinese aesthetics with modern mintage technology, encapsulating China's rich cultural heritage and the evolving nature of its economy. These coins do more than facilitate transactions; they tell a story of national pride and identity.

Further Reading: New Edition Of Renminbi Banknotes

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