1st SEPTEMBER 2020: The Royal Mint continues its Shēngxiào collection with a commemorative coin celebrating Lunar Year of the Ox – one of the most beloved and respected creatures in Chinese culture.

This Lunar Year of the Ox commemorative coin blends elements of traditional British design with ancient Chinese culture and is designed by Harry Brockway – the man behind the design of the 2019 Year of the Pig commemorative coin. The design depicts a powerful ox grazing in a meadow with bluebells in the foreground and blossom tress beyond, complete with a picturesque countryside setting and prominently features the traditional Chinese symbol for the ox, centrally placed above the sacred herbivore.

The series 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: “We have been marking each Zodiac symbol on a commemorative coin as part of The Shēngxiào Collection since 2014. Combining centuries of The Royal Mint’s craftsmanship and artistic skills with a centuries-old Chinese tradition.  The series has grown in popularity over the years and has become an eagerly anticipated annual release amongst coin collectors across the globe. We are thrilled to continue celebrate Chinese New Year with the Lunar Year of the Ox commemorative coin the second animal of the Chinese zodiac cycle – a beautiful fusion of British and Chinese tradition.”

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 Ox is considered one of the most beloved and respected creatures in Chinese culture. Hailed for its hard work and diligence in the field, the ox is highly respected in China and these industrious traits are also subsequently associated with those born under the ox sign.

The Lunar Year of the Ox commemorative coins are available in a range of precious metals finishes. Visit www.royalmint.com/lunar to view the full collection.

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