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In 2014 The Royal Mint launches a series of Lunar coins that lend a unique British angle to an ancient tradition. They are the perfect way to continue the Lunar New Year gifting tradition that brings good fortune to the recipient, or to begin a beautiful new collection. They are a first for The Royal Mint – the first legal tender Lunar coins struck for the United Kingdom – and they begin a wonderful series: the Shengxiào Collection, named in honor of the Chinese zodiac. Centuries old, the Shengxiào relates each year to one of 12 animals. The traits of the animals are said to reflect the traits of those born in a given Lunar year. The Shengxiào Collection coins are struck for the Lunar Year of the Horse and British Chinese artist and printmaker Wuon-Gean Ho has created a dynamic and handsome design. In the foreground stands a powerful horse, bringing to life the active characteristics of those born in the Year of the Horse – said to be outgoing, charming, strong and sometimes a little stubborn. Beneath its feet lies the famous Uffington Horse, an ancient white horse carved into the chalk hills of Oxfordshire. The resulting combination is a stunning display of both British and Chinese heritage. The coin was designed by Wuon-Gean Ho, an artist of Chinese descent born in the UK.
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