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Great Britain Gold Lunar Coins

The Royal Mint’s Gold Lunar Series is part of the Shēngxiào (translated as "Chinese Zodiac") Collection. The collection is inspired by centuries of tradition and has been named in honor of the Chinese zodiac or lunar cycle. Struck in fine gold and silver, this collection of coins from Great Britain are one of the most popular lunar coin series in the world. Whether this is your first foray into the wonderful world of Chinese Lunar coins, or you are adding to an already robust group of coins from other world Mints, the Royal Mint’s Gold Lunar Shēngxiào Collection coins are a worthy addition to your numismatic collection.


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The British Royal Mint, founded over a millennia ago in A.D. 886, holds a long tradition of quality. This commitment continues today with some of the most iconic coins struck, such as the Silver Britannia, the Queen's Beasts or the beautiful and remarkable Chinese Lunar Gold in this Shēngxiào Collection.

Chinese Zodiac

The lunar cycle is based on the astronomical positions of the sun and the moon. It cycles through a twelve year rotation, with each year being associated with one of twelve animals. These animals and their characteristics are often associated with people who are born in that year.

  • Horse - Talented, skilled, quick-tempered, coordinated, popular and independent.
  • Sheep - Gentle, compassionate, elegant, artistic and shy.
  • Monkey - Smart, skilled, clever and inventive.
  • Rooster - Eccentric, capable, talented and contemplative.
  • Dog - Loyal, honest, trustworthy, generous and stubborn.
  • Pig - Kind, friendly, shy, honest, informed and impulsive.
  • Rat - Ambitious, charismatic, quick-tempered and hard working.
  • Ox - Easy going, patient, temperamental, strong, alert and good communicator.
  • Tiger - Brave, aggressive, quick-tempered, sensitive and contemplative.
  • Rabbit - Known for being lucky, talented, clever and shy.
  • Dragon - Confident, brave, excitable, stubborn and gentle, but quick-tempered.
  • Snake - Wise, determined, vain, selfish and passionate.

Lunar Coin Designs

The annually changing reverse imagery is designed by British-born Chinese artist, Wuon-Gean Ho, with each annual design based on one of twelve Chinese zodiac animals. The series is struck in .9999 fine gold with weight and purity inscriptions incorporated into the reverse design.

The obverse on the series features the Jody Clark designed effigy of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in the definitive “fifth portrait.” The coins are the first legal tender Lunar Year coins struck by the Royal Mint and their face value appears under the Queen’s portrait.

The series started in 2014 with the majestic horse design, and continued in 2015 with the elegant sheep, 2016 with the intelligent monkey and 2017 with the talented rooster.