|Value||100 pounds sterling|
|Composition||.9999 fine gold|
|Years of minting||2016|
|Design||Queen Elizabeth II|
The Lunar or Shēngxiào (生肖) coin series is a collection of British coins issued by the Royal Mint featuring the Chinese zodiac in celebration of Chinese New Year. First issued in 2014, the series has been minted in varying denominations of Silver and Gold as both bullion and proof.
The reverse design consists of a galloping Horse set against the background of the pre-historic Uffington White Horse located in Oxfordshire.Lettering on the coin reads "YEAR OF THE HORSE · 2014" a plus details of the mass and metal content of the coin. The Chinese character for Horse (馬) is displayed near the coin's centre.
In March 2014, it was reported that a number of 1oz bullion coins had mistakenly been struck with the incorrect die. Around 38,000 of the Lunar Horse coins were struck with an obverse intended for the Britannia series while 17,000 Britannia coin were stuck with the obverse for the Lunar series.
The reverse design consists of two Yorkshire Swaledale sheep facing each other and the background consists of a forest of trees. B As designer Wuon-Gean Ho explains "the ancient Chinese character for the word sheep looks a little bit like a tree" so the forest consists of a series of this character (羊).This character is further displayed near the coin's center. Across the top lettering reads "YEAR OF THE SHEEP · 2015" plus details of the mass and metal content of the coin.
The reverse design features a leaping Rhesus monkey jumping forward from a tree with another monkey also jumping in the background.Lettering on the coin reads "YEAR OF THE MONKEY· 2016" A plus details of the mass and metal content of the coin. The Chinese character for Monkey (猴) is displayed in the lower right of the coin.
The reverse design features a crowing rooster amongst ten sea thrift flowers, the number ten symbolising of perfection in Chinese culture.Lettering on the coin reads "YEAR OF THE ROOSTER · 2017" A plus details of the mass and metal content of the coin. The Chinese character for Rooster (雞) is displayed near the coin's centre. Unlike the previous coins in the series, the 2017 coin breaks the otherwise uniform smooth obverse design, opting for an obverse similar to that of the Britannia coin series.
Wuon-Gean explains on the Royal Mint's site that "The reverse design is a picture of a very happy, bounding dog that is jumping for joy! This dog is a mix between a West-Highland white Terrier and a Jack Russell – it’s really wirey and really energetic; he also looks like he’s smiling because his mouth is slightly open and it seems like he’s leaping across the waves. In reality the background is a hidden story, I like to put hidden motifs in my coins so the background is actually created from a nose pattern of another dog. The nose print is unique to every dog so the nose print is a portrait of another animal that this dog is potentially playing with – it’s a story of a dog in a landscape but the landscape is not what you expect it to be. The signature is in the foreground of the landscape and it’s looks like a little shell on a beach – it’s just a motif that says “Wuon-Gean” in very old characters at the front of the coin." The reverse design features the Chinese character (狗) displayed near the coin's center.
The reverse design on this Royal Mint Shēngxiào Collection coin celebrates the Year of the Pig. The design by Harry Brockway represents these traits and the cultural traditions behind the lunar calendar, and shows a female pig (or sow) suckling five piglets. Brockway includes an English Cottage in the background. Each coin features the traditional Chinese symbol for ‘pig’ appears below the sow's head (豬).
The rat is the seventh design in The Shēngxiào Collection and this coin was designed by illustrator P. J. Lynch. The design obviously features a rat itself, which had to be appealing and interesting. Lynch claimshe shows a rat as it twists, responding to a noise or something happening nearby. The rat is momentarily vulnerable, but also curious and unafraid. Lynch adds “As well as the twisting body I was able to have fun with the rat’s long curvy tail, which weaves its way around the composition through the flowers. I chose peonies because of their popularity in China and association with good luck. The arch of text frames the upper hemisphere of the design, and then the only other element is the Chinese character for ‘rat’. I have placed this so that the trailing stroke echoes the shape of the rat’s face and jaw. I wanted them to look like continental plates on a globe that might belong together.” The Chinese character for rat (鼠) is displayed near the coin's centre.
Harry Brockway on the Royal Mint siteis quoted as saying “It was important to give an Eastern feel to the design yet with a ‘British twist". The design was inspired by eighteenth-century British paintings of prize cattle and he places the Ox in an English landscape.” Harry's design contains a variety of elements, including blossom trees and ploughs. He claims he explores the concept of a minimalist setting with a strong focus on the creature itself, the design has an emphasis on ‘less is more’. By stripping back the distractions and placing the ox centre stage, Harry believes his final design managed to portray the ox in its purest form. The Chinese character for Ox (牛) is displayed near the coin's centre.
|1/10 oz||1oz||5oz||1 Kilo|
|1oz||1 oz||1 oz PNC||5oz||1 Kilo|
|2014||Queen Elizabeth II||Ian Rank-Broadley||Horse||Wuon-Gean Ho||300,000||8,888||2014||1,488|
|2015||Queen Elizabeth II||Ian Rank-Broadley||Sheep||Wuon-Gean Ho||188,888||9,888||2,015||1,088|
|2016||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Monkey||Wuon-Gean Ho||138,888||8,054||2,016||588||88|
|2017||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Rooster||Wuon-Gean Ho||138,888||3,888||388||68|
|2018||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Dog||Wuon-Gean Ho||138,888||5,008||388||108|
|2019||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Pig||Harry Brockway||138,888||3888||288||38|
|2020||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Rat||P.J. Lynch||138,888||3898||198||38|
|2021||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Ox||Harry Brockway||3998||198||38|
|1oz Gold||1/10 oz||1/4 oz||1oz||1 oz Gold-plated||5 oz||1 Kilo|
|2014||Queen Elizabeth II||Ian Rank-Broadley||Horse||Wuon-Gean Ho||30,000||2,888||888|
|2015||Queen Elizabeth II||Ian Rank-Broadley||Sheep||Wuon-Gean Ho||8,888||2,888||888||4,888||38|
|2016||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Monkey||Wuon-Gean Ho||8,888||1,888||888||38||8|
|2017||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Rooster||Wuon-Gean Ho||8,888||2,088||688||38||8|
|2018||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Dog||Wuon-Gean Ho||1,008||888|
|2019||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Pig||Harry Brockway||8,888||1,088||888||58||38|
|2020||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Rat||P.J. Lynch||8,888||398||898||30||10|
|2021||Queen Elizabeth II||Jody Clark||Ox||Harry Brockway||398||898|
^A Coin mass and metal content are only displayed of bullion coins
^B This feature only appears on proof coins
The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom, British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories is denominated in pounds sterling, and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 (new) pence. Before decimalisation, twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The Royal Mint also commissions the coins' designs. As of 14 October 2019, there were an estimated 29 billion coins circulating in the United Kingdom.
The British decimal fifty pence (50p) coin – often informally pronounced fifty pee – is a unit of currency equalling one half of a pound sterling. It is a seven-sided coin formed as an equilateral-curve heptagon, or Reuleaux polygon, a curve of constant width, meaning that the diameter is constant across any bisection. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction in 1969. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.
The British decimal one penny (1p) coin is a unit of currency equalling one-hundredth of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction on 15 February 1971, the day British currency was decimalised. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the obverse; the latest design by Jody Clark was introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, designed by Matthew Dent, features a segment of the Royal Shield and was introduced in 2008. The penny is the lowest value coin ever to circulate in the United Kingdom.
The British decimal two pence (2p) coin – often informally pronounced two pee – is a unit of currency equalling 2/100ths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction on 15 February 1971, the year British currency was decimalised. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the coin, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.
The British two pound (£2) coin of the pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin’s introduction. Three different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the current design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The reverse design features Britannia.
The British one pound (£1) coin is a denomination of the pound sterling. Its obverse bears the Latin engraving ELIZABETH II D G REG F D meaning, "Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith". It has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the original coin's introduction on 21 April 1983. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The design on the reverse side of the current, 12-sided coin features four emblems to represent each of the nations of the United Kingdom — the English rose, the leek for Wales, the Scottish thistle, and the shamrock for Northern Ireland, also two or three oak leaves — emerging from a single 5-branched stem within a crown.
The British five pound (£5) coin is a commemorative denomination of the pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin’s introduction in 1990. Two different portraits of the Queen have graced the coin, with the latest design by Ian Rank-Broadley being introduced in 1998. The coin has no standard reverse; instead it is altered each year to commemorate important events. Variant obverses have also been used on occasion.
Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS is a British sculptor who has produced many acclaimed works, among which are several designs for British coinage and the memorial statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace in London unveiled in July of 2021.
The British florin, or two-shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Equivalent in value to one-tenth of a pound, it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten-pence piece, identical in specifications and value.
Britannia coins are British bullion coins issued by the Royal Mint in gold since 1987, in silver since 1997, and in platinum since 2018. The coin patterns feature various depictions of Britannia, a feminine personification of the United Kingdom.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (GML) is a gold bullion coin that is issued annually by the Government of Canada. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
A bullion coin is a coin struck from refined precious metal (bullion) and kept as a store of value or an investment rather than used in day-to-day commerce. A bullion coin is distinguished by an explicit statement of weight and fineness on the coin; this is because the weight and composition of coins intended for legal tender is specified in the coinage laws of the issuing nation, and therefore there is no need for an explicit statement on the coins themselves. The United Kingdom defines investment coins more specifically as coins that have been minted after 1800, have a purity of not less than 900 thousandths and are, or have been, legal tender in their country of origin. Under United States law, "coins" that fail the last of these requirements are not coins at all, and must be advertised as "rounds" instead. The American Eagle and Canadian Gold Maple Leaf series are the only coins available in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
This glossary of numismatics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts relevant to numismatics and coin collecting, as well as sub-fields and related disciplines, with concise explanations for the beginner or professional.
The Canadian Silver Maple Leaf is a silver bullion coin that is issued annually by the Government of Canada. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
In 1981, China began minting coins to commemorate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese lunar series consist of gold, silver, and platinum coins in a variety of sizes, denominations, and shapes. The reverse of each coin depicts the zodiac animal for the corresponding year of issue, while the obverse features an historical building or other notable cultural image.
One of the most profitable aspects of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is its numismatic product line. The first numismatic coin from the RCM was arguably the 1935 dollar commemorating the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. Though intended for circulation, it was the first Canadian coin commemorating an event. The decision to issue this coin was made in October 1934 by then-Prime Minister R.B. Bennett. There were economic and patriotic motivations for the release of a silver dollar, including a hope to boost the silver mining industry. In future years, the silver dollar would have a more emotional meaning for many Canadians because it was also the first coin to have the Voyageur motif on its reverse.
The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme based on the lunar calendar that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. Originating from China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
TheQueen's Beasts coins are British coins issued by the Royal Mint in platinum, gold, and silver since 2016. Each of the 10 beast coins in the series features a stylized version of one of the heraldic Queen's Beasts statues present at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II representing her royal line of ancestry. The silver coin is notable as the first two-ounce United Kingdom silver bullion coin. Engraver Jody Clark will design the entire series. In December 2016, a full line of proof-quality coins was announced. In 2017, the mint began producing a platinum version of the coin. In April 2021, the Royal Mint issued an eleventh "Completer Coin" that featured all 10 of the Queen's Beasts, taking the series to 11 coins in total. The April 2021 release included a "one of a kind" gold coin weighing 10kg and a denominated value of £10,000. Based upon the UK spot price at the time of release, the 10kg gold coin had an intrinsic scrap value of approximately £411,000. It was widely reported that the 10kg gold coin was the heaviest gold coin the Royal Mint had ever produced and that it had taken 400 hours to produce, four days to polish and has been described as a “Masterwork”. The Royal Mint announced that Completer Coin completes the Queen’s Beasts commemorative collection.
Wuon-Gean Ho is a British Chinese artist who specialises in printmaking and whose work has appeared in various international art exhibitions and art collections. She has taken on art residencies at a number of institutions including the Caldera Arts Center, Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Bluecoat Arts Centre and Aberystwyth School of Art. Examples of her work are displayed at both the National Art Library and the Tate Library. In 2014 she was commissioned by the Royal Mint to design their annual Lunar coin series for which she has done five years in a row.