China’s 2016 Year of the Monkey coins have now been released in China.
The People’s Bank of China released the coins Oct. 16. The 17 Year of the Monkey coins continue the annual Lunar Calendar series, with 10 gold coins and seven silver coins released for 2016 in four different shapes.
The Lunar Calendar or Zodiac changes annually, based on one of 12 animals. Traditionally, people born in the same year are said to reflect certain characteristics tied to each animal. The Year of the Monkey begins Feb. 8, 2016, and continues through Jan. 27, 2017.
The lore surrounding the belief states that people born during the Year of the Monkey are said to be cheerful and energetic by nature and are usually flexible. In addition, lore suggests that people under the sign of the Monkey are wise, intelligent, confident, charismatic, loyal and inventive, and are leaders, though this trait can be viewed as being hard-headed and stubborn.
The 2016 program features plain and colorful tenth-ounce gold 50-yuan coins; 1-ounce plain round, colorful round, plain lotus- and plain fan-shaped silver 10-yuan coins; colorful round 5-ounce silver 50-yuan and gold 2,000-yaun coins; and rectangular 5-ounce silver 50-yuan and gold 2,000-yuan coins. A round 1-kilogram silver 300-yuan coin completes the silver options.
The program offers seven additional gold coins in various sizes: a fan-shaped third-ounce 150-yuan coin, a lotus-shaped half-ounce 200-yuan coin, a round 500-gram 5,000-yuan coin, a lotus-shaped kilogram 10,000-yuan coin, a round 2-kilogram 20,000-yuan coin, and a round 10-kilogram 100,000-yuan coin.
All of the coins depict the national emblem of the People’s Republic of China, festooned with animals and ornamentation.
Most of the coins feature a realistic portrayal of a monkey or monkeys in various settings, with a stylized, almost cartoonish image in the background.
Four coins feature a different design: colorful tenth-ounce and 5-ounce silver and gold coins feature a monkey taken from a folk decoration.
The coins’ weights and purity continue to match previous years’ issues. Mintage limits appear to be unchanged as well, with one exception: the colorful 5-ounce silver 50-yuan coin has a mintage limit of 30,000 pieces, compared to the 20,000 limit for the 2015 Year of the Goat issue, according to distributor PandaAmerica.