In 2014 The Royal Mint began an auspicious new series – the Shengxiào Collection – when it struck the United Kingdom’s first Lunar coins for the Year of the Horse. For 2015 this charming collection continues with a second enchanting design by series artist Wuon-Gean Ho, this time celebrating the Year of The Sheep. The Royal Mint’s premier finishes, Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated, enhance the design’s intricate details such as the swirls of wool and the strong, spiral horns of the Swaledale sheep, carefully chosen by Wuon-Gean to symbolise the sometimes harsh British climate. While Chinese characters bring a sense of ancient tradition to the coin.
These Lunar coins are official United Kingdom coins and there is a prestigious range to choose from. As for 2014 the range includes the delicate tenth-ounce gold Brilliant Uncirculated coin, one ounce coins available in both gold and silver and a five-ounce silver coin. But we are also pleased to announce new additions this year including a gold-plated one ounce and impressive gold five-ounce coin. All in 999.9 fine gold or 999 fine silver, each enhanced by our Proof finish.
The artist and her dsign
For the Lunar Year of the Sheep design, Wuon-Gean was inspired by her veterinary experience and memories of the lambing season. She worked in shifts with some hours of waiting but times of busy and rewarding work, seeing new lambs come into the world and watching the mother and child bond. She recalls observing sheep as part of the British landscape – in the grounds of Blenheim palace, on the hillsides of the Peak district and in the rolling Brecon Beacons – their presence part of British life.