Set of seven coins commemorating the return of Hong Kong from Britain to China


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

These coins were issued to commemorate the historic Handover. The front of all seven coins show the flower of the bauhinia tree (Bauhinia blakeana) of Hong Kong instead of the usual portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The words 'Hong Kong' are written in both Chinese and English. The designs on the reverse of the coins symbolize the return of Hong Kong from Britain to China.The $10 coin depicts a bridge, symbolizing transition. The $5 coin has the stylized character shou ('long life') in the centre, surrounded by five bats bringing the five happinesses: long life, health, wealth, love of virtue, and death. The $2 coin depicts the He He brothers, the Harmonious Pair, who symbolize agreement and harmony. According to legend, the He He brothers were born of different fathers, and, after seven generations of discord, concluded that co-operation was more profitable and conducive to happiness.The $1 coin depicts the mythical qilin (Chinese unicorn), which symbolizes the illustrious offspring of virtuous rulers and wise administrators. The 50 cent coin depicts an ox, a powerful animal signifying the coming of spring and a new beginning. The 20 cent coin shows two butterfly kites with their tails knotted together. The 10 cent coin depicts a traditional Chinese sailing junk sailing on a calm sea with the wind behind it.


  • Title: Set of seven coins commemorating the return of Hong Kong from Britain to China
  • Date Created: 1997/1997
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 152.00mm (presentation pack); Width: 152.00mm (presentation pack)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1997,1076.57
  • Production place: Minted in Llantrisant. Issued in Hong Kong
  • Producer: Made by Royal Mint
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Issuer Monetary Authority, Hong Kong
  • Acquisition: Donated by Barrett, W L S

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