Royal Mint starts Lunar series

Year of Horse on silver, gold coins
Published : 11/02/13
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The Royal Mint has launched its first-ever Lunar Year bullion coin program.

Dubbed the Shengxiào Collection, the new series offers a total of six coins, with both bullion and collector issues in the series sharing a design. The 2014 coins commemorate the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac calendar.

The program features 1-ounce silver and gold coins, each in bullion and Proof versions; a Proof 5-ounce silver coin; and a Brilliant Uncirculated tenth-ounce gold coin.

All silver coins are .999 fine, and all gold coins are .9999 fine, matching the new fineness adopted for Britannia bullion coins in 2012.

Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse.

Wuon-Gean Ho was commissioned to create the reverse design for the series. An artist of Chinese descent who was born in the United Kingdom, she works in many disciplines including print making and animation. This is her first design for the Royal Mint.

A leaping horse appears in the foreground of the design. Backing that element is a representation of the famous Uffington Horse, a pre-historic carving of a white horse in the chalk hills of Oxfordshire.

Weight and diameter specifications for the bullion and Proof examples are the same.

The 1-ounce silver £2 coins and 1-ounce gold £100 coins weigh 31.21 grams and measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter.

The Proof 5-ounce silver £100 coin weighs 156.295 grams and measures 65 millimeters in diameter. The BU tenth-ounce gold £10 coin weighs 3.13 grams and measures 16.5 millimeters in diameter.

The mintage limits for all the Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof coins include the number eight, which is considered lucky by many Asians.

The tenth-ounce gold coin is limited to a mintage of 2,888 pieces, and sells for £225 each. The 5-ounce silver coin is limited to a mintage of 1,488 pieces, and is offered for £450 each.

The Proof 1-ounce silver coin is limited to a mintage of 8,888 coins, which sell for £82.50 each, and the Proof 1-ounce gold coins are limited to a mintage of 888 pieces, for £1,950 each.

The bullion coins will begin shipping to the Royal Mint’s standard distribution network on Nov. 25; the silver bullion coin is limited to a mintage of 300,000 pieces, and the gold bullion coin has a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces.

The collector versions may be pre-ordered now, with delivery beginning Nov. 4 for the 5-ounce silver coin, Nov. 11 for the Proof 1-ounce silver and BU tenth-ounce gold coins and Nov. 18 for the Proof 1-ounce gold coin.

For more information, telephone the Royal Mint toll free at 866-519-7298 or visit the Royal Mint website at ■

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