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.