The Royal Mint’s Shengxiao Lunar series emerges in proof form for the Year of the Tiger

The Royal Mint has launched its latest Shengxiao Lunar entrant and it’s for the 2022 Year of the Tiger. The ninth in the series to date, it’s actually the third release in their first full lunar cycle, at which point they also moved away artistically from the eclectic style employed by for the first six issues. As the first six were very divisive aesthetically, the move to a more traditional depiction was probably the right one.

David Lawrence has done the honours this time (the mint is mixing it up with the artists on this second journey through the lunar cycle) and it does a decent job of spanning the chasm between a natural look, and one done in the Chinese style, combining some elements of both. The design is pretty nice, to be honest. Not my favourite Tiger lunars, but neat enough.

No sign of the bullion versions yet, but they’ll no doubt be appearing shortly, so we have just the gold and silver proof range so far, covering sizes from 1/4oz up to a kilo. Four gold and three silver make up the selection on offer, all at the usual chunky Royal Mint prices which hit a peak with the 1kg gold at £67,500. The 1oz silver is £95, but then there’s a huge jump to £465 for the 5oz silver. Only the 1/4oz gold is under a grand, so not much is affordable for most of us.

A base metal, brilliant uncirculated coin is available for the casual collector, which comes in a neat information packed gatefold blistercard. All are well presented, something the Royal Mint does well, and all their precious metal coins come with a Certificate of Authenticity. The range should be available for sale from the Royal Mint at 9am UK time today, although we’ve yet to receive an update on the bullion coins. CONFIRMED – No bullion versions will be issued.


The Lunar Year of the Tiger collectable coin blends elements of traditional British design with ancient Chinese culture and has been designed by renowned artist David Lawrence.

The coin’s design depicts the tiger face on with its Chinese symbol positioned to the right. When inspecting the design closely an additional symbol can be seen on the tiger’s forehead. The symbol represents the pictogram for ‘king’ – ‘王’. The symbol ‘王’ is said to be the written character for king and originates from the pattern on the tiger’s head.

The Royal Mint’s Shēngxiào Collection is a celebration of the UK’s diverse multi-cultural society, lending a unique British angle to this ancient custom. During Chinese New Year it is common to exchange tokens and gifts of money in red envelopes symbolising good wishes for the recipient’s health, wealth and prosperity.

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “The Royal Mint began our Shēngxiào Collection in 2014, combining centuries of British craftsmanship and artistic skills with a centuries-old Chinese tradition – creating the first official UK Lunar coins. Ahead of Chinese New Year, we are thrilled to introduce the latest coin as part of the collection celebrating the Year of the Tiger. The coin’s design is a beautiful fusion of British and Chinese tradition featuring the tiger as a prominent feature of the coin.”

The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle with each year characterised by a different animal. Ancient legend tells of a Great Race between the animals. Several variants of the story exist, but in one popular interpretation the Jade Emperor, ruler of the heavens, declared that the first 12 animals to sign up would be eligible to take part, and the order they finished in would determine the order of the lunar calendar.

The Tiger is considered one of the most beloved and respected creatures in Chinese culture. Characteristically brave and unyielding, the tiger is one of the most significant symbols in Chinese culture. Hailed for symbolising power, strength, and bravery, the animal also represents majesty and righteousness. Those born in the Year of the Tiger are thought to possess many of these traits and are said to be confident and courageous, meaning people born under this sign are thought of as natural leaders.

DENOMINATION £25 UKP £100 UKP £500 UKP £1000 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.999 gold
WEIGHT 7.8 grams 31.21 grams 156.295 grams 1005.00 grams
DIMENSIONS 22.0 mm 32.69 mm 50.0 mm 100.0 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof Proof
TOTAL MINTAGE 398 898 128 10
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.21 grams 156.295 grams 1005.00 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm 65.00 mm 100.00 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof
BOXED MINTAGE 2618 188 28
TOTAL MINTAGE 3998 228 38
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes