I don’t know about you, but one of my guilty pleasures is reading my daily horoscope in the hope it will reveal what my future holds. Today’s was scarily accurate, as it claimed I would excel with some personal writing and here I am penning this blog – I hope you enjoy reading!
But regardless of whether you’re a staunch zodiac reader, or a firm believer in taking fate into your own hands, I don’t doubt that we’re all familiar with it and could probably rattle off our star sign when asked.
But perhaps lesser known in Western culture is the Chinese Lunar Calendar and the 12 legendary animals that represent it.
The Chinese Lunar Calendar
More commonly known as the Chinese Zodiac, it is believed the Chinese Lunar Calendar begun around 2600 B.C. and is related to the worship of animals in Chinese culture. Legend has it before departing to the next life, Buddha asked every animal on the planet to comfort him and the twelve animals (including the rabbit, tiger and ox) that responded are now honoured in the lunar calendar that spans 12 years – one animal for every year.
Much like the Western Zodiac, your lunar animal sign depends when you’re born. And people born in specific lunar years are believed to have certain personality traits and characteristics related to their animal.
Turns out I was born in the Year of the Sheep – so I’m creative, compassionate, and friendly. I’d say that’s fairly accurate!
The incredible popularity of Lunar Coins
For over 40 years Mints from around the world have celebrated Chinese New Year with Lunar Coins. These issues have turned in to something of an international phenomenon, to the point where the lunar theme is the largest ongoing coin programme on the planet.
Most prestigious mints have a lunar series, including Australia, Canada, and of course our own Royal Mint here in the UK. With each selling millions of ounces of gold and silver coins each year inscribed with the year’s relevant lunar animal.
Collectors will snap these coins up for a variety of reasons. Some collect their own lunar animal, because they like the personal connection, others will collect a particular specification because it’s especially limited. Personally, I find they also make great birthday gifts for obvious reasons – my friends love them.
The Year of the Ox
The 12th February 2021 will mark the Chinese New Year, and with it the next lunar animal will be celebrated – the Ox.
The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac, and people who are born under the sign of the Ox are thought to be dependable, strong, and determined. Oxen are also notoriously hard-working and live long, fulfilled lives.
If this sounds like you the odds are that you’re born under the sign of the Ox. And this year your lunar animal will be celebrated on lunar coins all around the world.
What’s more, The Royal Mint has just released their brand new Year of the Ox range, including what’s perhaps the most sought-after specification of all – the 1oz Silver Proof Coin.
If you’re interested…
You can own the BRAND NEW Royal Mint Lunar Coin TODAY – the 1oz Silver Proof Year of the Ox coin.
This coin is sure to be the most sought-after yet because not only is the 1oz Silver Proof a key specification for collectors, but last year’s coin completely SOLD OUT! In fact, previous issues in the series with far higher edition limits have also sold out, so we don’t expect to be able to offer this latest edition for long.
The Royal Mint have just confirmed a brand new 50p series will be launching on 23rd September featuring characters from Britain’s favourite books – Winnie the Pooh!
Each design has been inspired by A.A. Milne’s classic children’s stories starting with Pooh Bear himself and is sure to be one of the most popular coin releases this year.
Originally published in 1926, Winnie the Pooh is a story about the adventures of Christopher Robin’s honey-loving teddy bear and his friends Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Kanger, and Rabbit.
Since then, Winnie the Pooh has featured in over 11 films, 11 television programmes, 4 different books, and has become a worldwide collectable item.
Whilst the designs of the upcoming 50p coins are currently top-secret, we can’t wait to see this loveable bear and his friends come to life once more, this time on the UK’s most collected coin.
But who is your favourite character? Let us know in the comments below!
And if you want to be the very first to hear of any updates, make sure you sign up at the bottom of this blog!
By signing up we’ll make sure you’re the first to know any updates about these new coins, including when they are launched. So what are you waiting for?
Back in January, I attended the largest coin show in the world – the World Money Fair. Thousands of collectors and hundreds of dealers and Mints from all over the world attend the annual fair to showcase their new releases and the very latest in minting technology.
I’m always looking for new and unusual coins to offer collectors, whether that be a shape, size or technologically advanced coins that push the limits on what can be achieved in the minting world.
So, ever since I arrived back in the UK, there’s been some incredibly exciting coin news I’ve been wanting to share with you.
But before you read anything else, you need to know that the majority of the range completely SOLD OUT before going on general release so you get the enormity of how big a deal this is!
Introducing Smartminting 2.0
Most collectors are already familiar with Smartminting technology. Only achieved by a small number of mints across the world, the exact techniques used in Smartminting are a fiercely guarded secret, but essentially the state of the art technology allows unprecedented levels of intricate detail and extraordinary high relief while only very slightly increasing the weight.
So what more could Smartminting 2.0 possibly offer I hear you ask?
This new technology (or ‘Smartminting Reloaded’ as it’s been coined in the collecting world) breaks many barriers that were previously considered impossible… Until now.
Take a look at the images I’ve included below, and you’ll see BOTH sides of the coin can now be struck to an incredible high relief proof finish. But that’s not all, the relief levels are 100% higher than what was previously possible!
And if that’s not enough, for the FIRST TIME EVER, Smartminting technology has been applied to a coin made from copper.
You’ll notice the incredible relief of the Eagle’s claws which make it look like they’re literally ripping through the metal and right through the other side of the coin!
Featuring ‘Incuse’ Striking
It also features ‘incuse’ striking. An incuse strike is a relatively new minting process that allows a design to be struck into a coin creating a ‘sunken’ design, as opposed to the standard raised relief. Few mints in the world have attempted Incuse striking as the unique and unusual format makes them more challenging to strike and, therefore highly unusual to come by.
The ‘Incuse’ strike is visible where the depth of the claw marks are left in the surface of the coin.
Also notice how the high relief of the Eagle’s head extends to the edges of the coin instead of just the centre, leveraging the whole surface area of the coin.
This ground-breaking technology has been deployed on a range of Majestic Eagle coins. The design featured was chosen to symbolise strength, leadership and vision and I’m sure you’ll agree it beautifully showcases just what the new Smartminting enhancements are.
However, to fully appreciate this coin, I ask, that you to watch this video. This coin really is an outstanding work of art and this video is the only way to fully appreciate this coin without physically holding it.
If you’re interested…
The Majestic Copper Eagle is strictly limited to JUST 5,000 collectors worldwide and I am delighted to have been able to get hold of an allocation to offer collectors. But they’ve been selling extremely quickly, so you’ll need to pre-order one now to ensure you can add one to your collection. Priced at JUST £55 (+p&p), click here to secure the Majestic Copper Eagle for your collection NOW >>