The Gold Lunar Horse is a brand new 24 carat 1oz gold coin issued by The Royal Mint. This beautiful coin is crafted to 999.9 gold purity and combines the manufacturing expertise and tradition of Britain with the mystery of the Chinese Zodiac. Coins will be packed loose for small orders, or may come in tubes of 10 for larger orders. Coins can be individually protected by an acrylic coin capsule which can be purchased separately here.
The Lunar Horse, first issued in 2014, was the first of the ar Shēngxiào Lunar series Collection of 12 coins. Each year a new coin, featuring a different animal from the zodiac is released. 2015 saw the Lunar Sheep, 2016 The Monkey, 2017 The Rooster, and the following is the Year of the Dog. Wile the obverse of each coin displays the familar 5th portrait of Queen Elizabeth by designer Jody Clark with the face value of 100 Pounds around the outside.
The reverse embraces a stunning and clever mix of British and Chinese. The Chinese element is clearly stated with the wording ‘Year of the horse 2014’ around the edge with the image of the horse in the centre. However, the detail is plainly British with the background depicting the famous chalk carving of the Uffington Horse in Oxfordshire.
The Royal Mint have become increasingly commercially focussed over recent years. Their creativity is now focussed on capitalising on the global desire for traditional Britishness, and targeting the lucrative growing Asian market. Producing a series of coins directed at the Chinese zodiac, bridges the gap between the two nations and succeeds in holding a wide appeal. The Mint’s shift towards 24 carat gold bullion coins in 2013 illustrates their acknowledgement that the Asian market will only buy 24 carat gold. The UK Lunar series is also produced as silver bullion coins, which are equally as popular.
The Gold Lunar horse represents one of the 12 animals on the chinese calender which repeat on a cycle basis. So before 2014, the year of the Horse was celebrated in 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, etc. However, it doesn’t follow western years exactly with each period lasting just over 1 western year. For example, a person is deemed to have been born in the year of the horse, if they were born between 31 Jan 2014 and 18 Feb 2015. The next time it will be celebrated is 2028. Each 12 year rotation is also associated with one of 5 heavenly elements, namely metal, water, wood, fire and earth. The 2014 year of the horse represents wood, sometimes translated literally as ‘tree’, signifying growing matter.
The Lunar series of coins have proved incredibly popular to both investors and collectors alike. As an investment, the coins offer excellent liquidity being issued by the Royal Mint. Their face value qualifies the coins as official legal tender in the UK, and so are completely free from Capital Gains Tax. Being part of a limted edition collectible coins series, values of the coins tend to rise quicker than mass produced standard issue coins. The strong demand from Asia only helps to push up prices as supplies for non-current year coins becomes strained.
Premiums for these coins can be higher than for Gold Britannias due to their increased scarcity, so for those wishing to solely focus on purchasing as much tax free gold for their money, the Britannia should be considered. However, trying to collect all the Lunar Series coins will inevitably add value to the collection and provides more enjoyment through their design and variety than simply owning stadard issue coins. Purchasing the Lunar coins as presents is particularly popular with customers buying the coin relevant to the year of birth of a loved one.