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Great Britain Lunar
Great Britain Lunar government issued silver bullion coins

Great Britain Lunar

The Lunar or Shēngxiào (生肖) coin series is a collection of British coins issued by the Royal Mint featuring the Chinese zodiac in celebration of Chinese New Year. First issued in 2014 the series has been minted in varying denominations of Silver and Gold as both bullion and proof. The coins are minted in .999 FS and have a face value of 2 Pounds.

The 1 oz. coin has a nominal value of $2 and is legal tender in Antigua & Barbuda and countries aligned with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. The coin is produced by the Scottsdale Mint with a purity of .999 FS. Mintages in the series are limited. The motif of the coin remains constant from year to year.

 

Silver Bullion Mintage

Year1 Oz
2014 300,000
2015 188,888
2016 138,888
2017 138,888
2018 138,888
2019 138,888
2020 138,888

 

Design

 Obverse: All of the Shengxiao Collection British Silver Lunar Coins feature the depiction of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side. However, the coins in this series do have differing portraits of Her Majesty depending upon release. The 2014 to 2015 coins have the fourth-generation right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II created by Ian Rank-Broadley. In use from 1998 to 2015, this design showcases the Queen at the age of 70 as she wears the golden wedding crown. Coins issued from 2016 onward have the new fifth-generation portrait of the Queen. Created in 2015 and issued first in 2016, this right-profile portrait from Jody Clark of the Royal Mint shows the Queen at age 89 and uses the royal diadem crown worn in the third-generation design from Raphael Maklouf which was used from 1984 to 1997. Those coins available from 2014 to 2017 have a standard background field on the obverse, but the 2018 and newer releases in this collection feature the new guilloche background elements behind the Queen. Reflecting the look of braided ribbons, this design element increases the security of the coins against counterfeiting efforts. Encircling the queen on the outer edge are the inscriptions "ELIZABETH II", "D. G. REG FID", and the denomination "2 POUNDS".

Reverse: The reverses vary each year but the central motif is the lunar animal for that calendar year. Inscribed to the upper left of the central motif is the text "YEAR OF THE [animal]" and the date. Below that in smaller font is weight and purity "1 OZ FINE SILVER .999". The Chinese character for animal is displayed near the coin's center.

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