The Royal Mint’s new coins for Chinese New Year

The Royal Mint, the company that manufactures all of Britain’s coins, wants to help bring you good fortune next Lunar New Year with limited edition Year of the Sheep coins.

The seven coins are part of the Shēngxiào Collection (Shēngxiào are the 12 Chinese zodiac animals) and are all struck in either 999.9 fine gold or 999 fine silver (the remaining three).  Some are rarer than others, such as the Five-Ounce Gold Proof coin (only 38 available) and the One Ounce Gold Proof coin, of which only 888 – an extremely lucky number in Chinese culture will be struck.


British Chinese artist and printmaker Wuon-Gean Ho has designed the coin.  This is the second design she has created for the Shēngxiào Collection, the first being the Year of the Horse for 2014.  In the video below she talks about her artistry, her beautifully detailed design for the coin and its background, and what it was like working with the craftsmen at The Royal Mint to take her creation to the next step.

The coins cleverly combine British craftsmanship and Chinese culture and traditions, as shown in Wuon-Gean Ho’s use of British breeds of animals (Swaledale sheep found mainly in Yorkshire) and infusing the designs with Chinese ideology and history. We can’t wait to see what she’ll unveil for the Year of the Monkey in 2016!

The Royal Mint was founded over 1,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious companies in the UK and one of the world’s leading manufacturers of coins and medals with a rich history and tradition of world-renowned craftsmanship.


Year of the Sheep

The Sheep (or the Goat – the Chinese word 羊 can mean both sheep or goat, but one of two different characters in front of it define it as one or the other) is the eighth sign and animal in the Chinese zodiac or “Shēngxiào” and its associated element is “Earth” (though 2015 is “Wood”). It is said that people who were born in the Year of the Sheep or Goat are creative, intelligent, reserved, mild-mannered and sympathetic.

Born in the Year of the Sheep?

02/01/1919 – 02/19/1920

02/17/1931 – 02/05/1932

02/05/1943 – 01/24/1944

01/24/1955 – 02/11/1956

02/09/1967 – 01/29/1968

01/28/1979 – 02/15/1980

02/15/1991 – 02/03/1992

02/01/2003 – 01/21/2004

02/19/2015 – 02/07/2016

02/06/2027 – 01/25/2028

01/24/2039 – 02/11/2040

02/11/2051 – 01/31/2052

Chinese New Year begins on 19th February.

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