Royal Mint launches the fourth in its cycle of gold & silver lunar coins

The fourth in the Shēngxiào lunar series from the Royal Mint has launched today in proof form. It’s the Year of the Rooster, or at least it will be next January 28, and as normal, lunar coins are dropping onto the market at a rapidly increasing pace. The style of this one follows on from what we’ve seen previously in the series. That’s hardly surprising given the same designer, British Chinese artist Wuon-Gean Ho, is doing the honours again here.

The design is an eclectic look at the subject, a nice change from the realism employed by others like the Perth Mint and its hugely popular Lunar II series. It’s good that there’s a wide variety of interpretations of the lunar calendar – something for everyone. Depicting a rooster in its entirety, the only other graphic element present are two groups of five Marsh Daisies, the flower that gave this particular species of bird its name, Marsh Daisy Rooster. Also on the reverse face is the inscription ‘YEAR OF THE ROOSTER 2017’, and the Chinese character for the lunar year. The obverse features the latest Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The same seven formats as last year are available again, including kilo versions in gold and silver. Packaging is first class and you’d expect nothing less from the Royal Mint. Prices have risen since last year. The 1oz silver is up £2.50 to £85, and the ¼oz gold has climbed £10 to £205. It’s hard to be critical as most other major mints have increased prices lately. With gold up around $200 an ounce since last September and silver up $4, it’s clear this has been coming. The gold kilo has jumped from £42,500 to £50,000, a shocking jump until you realise gold was £9,000 a kilo cheaper this time last year.

The seven variants are available to order now from the Royal Mint website. Apart from the 1/10th ounce gold coin, the only non-proof variant, mintages are the same as, or less than last years, the one ounce silver quite drastically so.

While we’re on the subject of the Royal Mint we have a new deal from them. Buy any of the 2015 or 2016 annual coin sets with a value of £55 or more, enter the code BND068 and you’ll recieve the three BU versions of the 2016 Shakespeare £2 coins worth £28 completely free. Click HERE.



The launch of The Royal Mint’s lunar coin collection has become an eagerly anticipated event, with the ‘rooster’ the latest animal to join the 1,100 year-old organisation’s popular lunar calendar line-up. It is the fourth coin to be issued in The Royal Mint’s lunar series, which started with the 2014 Year of the Horse, followed by lunar sheep and monkey years in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

British-Chinese artist and printmaker Wuon-Gean Ho, designer of The Royal Mint’s lunar collection, has incorporated clever wordplay into her 2017 design – a British breed Marsh Daisy rooster is pictured alongside ten blooms of the plant of the same name, which is often known by the familiar name of Sea-thrift. The word ‘thrift’ can also refer to wise use of money. “Sea-thrift is common to the areas where these birds live.” said Wuon-Gean.

The Royal Mint’s Lunar Shēngxiào Collection, named to honour the Chinese zodiac, is a celebration of the UK’s diverse multi-cultural society, and lends a unique British angle to this ancient custom. Each lunar year is linked to one of 12 animals, whose traits are attributed to those born during that year. Celebrated annually – Year of the Rooster starts on 28 January 2017 – it is traditionally a time for exchanging tokens and gifts of money in red envelopes, symbolising good wishes for the recipient’s health, wealth and prosperity.

The rooster is the tenth sign in the Chinese zodiac, so it may be no coincidence that number ten represents perfection in Chinese culture – people born in the Year of the Rooster are believed to be confident characters who love to stand out from the crowd. Said to spend a great deal of time perfecting their appearance, they like to be thought of as attractive and beautiful, and are often very fashion conscious, relishing any opportunity to show off their style and charm. They are loyal and devoted friends and natural leaders in the workplace.

The coins are supplied in bold red packaging, together with a booklet that reveals the customs that inspired the artist. All coins in the range are limited, with mintages featuring the number ‘8’ thought to be lucky in Chinese culture.





£2 UKP 0.999 SILVER 31.21 g 38.61 mm PROOF 3,888 YES / YES
£10 UKP 0.999 SILVER 156.295 g 65.00 mm PROOF 388 YES / YES
£500 UKP 0.999 SILVER 1005.00 g 100.00 mm PROOF 68 YES / YES
£10 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 3.13 g 16.50 mm B/UNC 2,088 YES / YES
£100 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 31.21 g 32.69 mm PROOF 688 YES / YES
£500 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 156.295 g 65.00 mm PROOF 38 YES / YES
£1000 UKP 0.9999 GOLD 31.21 g 100.00 mm PROOF 8 YES / YES