THE Royal Mint has gifted coins in support of the 66th Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The gold and silver coins will be presented to dignitaries attending the Tattoo, including the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming.
The gesture in in recognition of the 2015 China-UK year of Cultural Exchange.
The special coins come from The Royal Mint’s Shengxiào coin collection, which celebrate the 2015 lunar Year of the Sheep, and lend a uniquely British angle to an ancient Chinese tradition.
Designed for The Royal Mint by British Chinese artist and printmaker Wuon-Gean Ho, the coins feature a pair of Swaledale sheep.
The design was selected because of the appearance of the sheep’s smooth curled horns and the swirls of their wool coats – a contrast in textures that translates well onto the intricate detailing of the coin’s design.
Those born in the Year of the Sheep are said to be freedom-loving with a passion for company, so Wuon-Gean was keen to feature more than one sheep in her design to signify friendship and family.
Two Swaledale sheep are pictured with their heads bowed towards each other, whilst the Chinese character for sheep – a pictograph of the head and horns of the animal – completes the design.
“I wanted the design to draw upon my British and Chinese heritage, as my parents are from Malaysia and Singapore and I was raised in the UK”, said Wuon-Gean.
“I recall observing sheep as part of the British landscape. My memories of the lambing season and the close bond created between mother and child was particularly helpful in capturing the passion for company symbolised by the Year of the Sheep.”
The 2015 Lunar Year of the Sheep coin is the second in The Royal Mint’s Sh?ngxiào lunar coin collection is available to order from www.royalmint.com