Chinese Silver dragon phoenix Dollar
Republic of China Year 12 (1923)
The Twelve Symbols national emblem
weight: 26.89 grams; Silver 900; size: 38.9 mm
The Twelve Symbols national emblem (Chinese: 十二章國徽 ) was the state emblem of the Empire of China (1915–16) and the Republic of China from 1913-1928. It is based on the ancient Chinese symbols of the Twelve Ornaments.
The supporter sinister is a dragon, which symbolizes strength and adaptability. Theazure dragon already featured on the national flag during the preceding Qing dynasty.
On the back of the dragon is fire, which symbolises light and brightness.
behind the head of the dragon is the crescent moon of the moon rabbit who is constantly pounding the elixir of life
The supporter dexter is a fenghuang, or pheasant-phoenix, and represents peace and refinement.
The phoenix holds pondweed or algae in its right talon, a symbol of purity and brightness.
behing its head are three stars, which could be the Fu Lu Shou stars, which symbolise happiness, prosperity, and longevity
Both creatures hold in one of each claws the zongyi (Chinese: 宗彝), which is a sacrificial cup, symbolising devotion and loyalty.
The dragon and phoenix represent the natural world. In yin and yang terminology, a dragon is male yang and the phoenix a female yin. Therefore the emperor was often identified as the dragon, while the empress was the phoenix. The inclusion of the phoenix into the national symbol, opposite but equal to the dragon, can be seen as a symbol of women being equal to men, and a visual and poignant representation of women's rights in the new China.
Featuring as the crest on top is an abstract symbol of the sun of the three-legged crow.
In the middle functioning as the escutcheon is the axe head, which symbolises courage and resolution, but also executive justice. The blade of the axe head is pointing downwards, the head is shaped like a sloping mountain.
Overlaid on the axe head are grains of rice, which symbolise nourishment and the country's agriculture. It can also be seen as a symbol of the concept of a moderately prosperous society.
In the center of the axe head framed by a pentagram is a simplified symbol of a rice ear, which again stresses the importance of agriculture as the basis of the country's wealth and prosperity. The shape on the emblem is based on a carved stone dating to the Han dynasty.
The downward-pointing blade of the axe head features a hardened edge in shape of the four sacred mountains. These represent tranquility and steadiness. The fifth Center Great Mountain is represented by the axe head.
The mountains represent earth, the cups metal, the pondweed water, the rice grains wood, and fire, which are all representations of wu xing.
The figure 亞 fu underneath the axe represents two animals with their backside together. This symbolises the capability to make a clear distinction between right and wrong.
The fu sign is in the middle of complex interlacing ribbons, which connect the dragon, the phoenix and the axe to each other. The ribbons could symbolise Great Unity and Harmonious Society.
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