In 2016 to celebrate the Lunar Year of the Monkey, for the third year running, the Royal Mint released a special Limited Issue British Lunar Monkey £10 Ten Pound Silver Proof Coin struck in solid fine .999 Silver weighing five ounces of pure Silver.
The reverse designed by Wuon-Gean Ho depicts a Rhesus Monkey's while the obverse features the Fifth Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
These legal tender coins have been struck to proof quality using specially prepared dies and highly polished blanks.
The monkeys in Wuon-Gean’s design are inspired by the Rhesus Monkey, part of the ‘Old World’ family of monkeys originating in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Adaptable and intelligent, the rhesus monkey can thrive in mountains, forests, desert and grasslands and in China alone, occupies a wide geographic range, from Beijing all the way south down to Hong Kong.
Rhesus Monkey's and humans shared a common ancestor about 25 million years ago.
They are the first of the Old World monkeys to have their genome, or genetic material, sequenced in 2007, which has been an invaluable insight into the evolution of primates, helping us have a better understanding of human health.
They are extremely intelligent, sociable and family oriented, and are equally good at climbing and swimming.”
Rhesus Monkey's are sociable creatures, living among communities or ‘troops’, so Wuon-Gean has depicted two monkeys in her composition.
The monkeys were inspired by the artist’s playful niece and nephew, and are shown leaping through the air, conveying unerring balance, freedom and flight.
Years of Birth:
2 February 1908 – 21 January 1909: Earth Monkey
20 February 1920 – 7 February 1921: Metal Monkey
6 February 1932 – 25 January 1933: Water Monkey
25 January 1944 – 12 February 1945: Wood Monkey
12 February 1956 – 30 January 1957: Fire Monkey
30 January 1968 – 16 February 1969: Earth Monkey
16 February 1980 – 4 February 1981: Metal Monkey
4 February 1992 – 22 January 1993: Water Monkey
22 January 2004 – 8 February 2005: Wood Monkey
8 February 2016 – 27 January 2017: Fire Monkey
26 January 2028 – 12 February 2029: Earth Monkey
12 February 2040 – 31 January 2041: Metal Monkey
1 February 2052 – 18 February 2053: Water Monkey
Lucky Numbers: 1, 7 and 8
Lucky Colours: White, Gold and Blue
Lucky Flowers: Chrysanthemum, Alliums