In 2016 the Royal Mint issued this lovely First Day Cover, the third coin in the
Shengxiao Collection, the Lunar Monkey .
The collection was named to honour the Chinese zodiac,
and celebrates these wonderful customs, and began
with a coin celebrating the Year of the Horse, followed
by another struck too celebrate the Year of the Sheep.
These coins are a beautiful fusion of British and Chinese heritage.
The monkey is a prominent and popular figure in the Chinese culture,
believed to symbolise luck, honour and wealth.
For centuries the monkey has featured in the blessing of young babies
and is also displayed at ports, to wish sailors a safe journey.
In ancient towns, monkey’s were carved into the posts where horses
were tethered, and it was thought that this would protect the horses from disease.
In the famous Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’. which had it’s origins in folklore and legend,
the Monkey King was a brave and rebellious character,
reflecting the traits that are traditionally associated with the monkey in the Chinese Zodiac.
Those born in the Year of the Monkey, are thought to be energetic,
quick-witted and sociable characters, who often enjoy applying their appetite for
knowledge to problem solving an creative pursuits.
The design of the coin was inspired by the rhesus monkey,
part of the ‘Old World’ family of monkey’s originating in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Adaptable and intelligent, the rhesus monkey can thrive in mountains, forests, desert and grasslands.
Rhesus monkeys and humans share a common ancestor about 25 million years ago.
In 2007, the monkey’s genome was sequenced, and that has lead to an invaluable insight into the evolution of primates, and has also helped us to have a better understanding of human health.
Rhesus monkey’s are sociable creatures, living among communities or ‘troops’, the designer Woun-Gean, has depicted two monkey’s in her composition.
This Silver Proof coin is housed in a numbered First Day Cover with accompanying stamps.
Metal: .999 Silver
Weight: 31.21 Grams
Diameter: 38.61 mm
Denomination: Two Pounds