This gold coin was polished – by hand – for 100 hours as part of the Royal Mint’s creation (Pictures: PA)
A giant gold coin weighing a hefty 8kg has been unveiled to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.
It took more than 200 hours to etch the brand new design onto the surface to celebrate Chinese New Year.
An image of a tiger stands proudly on the coin with its Chinese character placed next to it – combining British and Chinese culture.
And if you look closely, the Chinese character for ‘king’ is subtly hidden on the big cat’s forehead.
While machines were used to engrave the coin, a ‘master toolmaker’ made sure to inspect it before its release, carefully papering the metal to remove any marks made from the cutting process.
The coin was then painstakingly polished, by hand, for 100 hours before experts were happy.
Taking advantage of new technology, the 185mm-sized creation was then laser frosted for 50 hours to create a brilliant shine.
The new release has been added to Royal Mint’s Masterworks coin range and popular Shēngxiào collection.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at The Royal Mint said: ‘We began the Shēngxiào Collection in 2014, combining centuries of British craftsmanship and artistic skills with Chinese tradition – creating the first official UK Lunar coins.
‘Ahead of Chinese New Year, we are thrilled to introduce the first ever 8kg coin as part of the collection celebrating the Year of the Tiger.
‘The coin design is a beautiful fusion of British craftsmanship and Chinese tradition featuring the tiger prominently in the centre of the design.’
The tiger is a respected and revered animal in Chinese culture (Picture: PA)
The coin is the largest ever produced as part of the Shengxiao Collection (Picture: PA)
The weight of the coin, 8kg, was chosen due to the number eight being considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture and one associated with wealth.
The tiger is also known as one of the most beloved and respected creatures in Chinese culture.
Characteristically brave and unyielding, the tiger is one of the most significant symbols in Chinese culture.
Hailed for symbolising power, strength, and bravery, the animal also represents majesty and righteousness.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year cycle, with each year characterised by a different animal.
Ancient legend tells of an epic ‘Great Race’ through a river.
The Jade Emperor, rules of the heavens, declared that the first 12 animals to sign up would be eligible to take part, and the order they finished would determine the order of the lunar calendar.
The race was won by the rat, after it rode on the back of an ox. The tiger came in third place.
Those born in the Year of the Tiger are thought to be confident and courageous, and make natural leaders.
The new coin’s 8kg weight combined with its diameter of 185mm means the coin is the largest ever produced as part of the Shengxiao Collection.
It is available to be purchased by a collector, with the price available upon application to the Royal Mint.
While the price is expected to be somewhere in the six-figure range, there are still ways to get your hands on slightly less rare coins.
Last year, the Royal Mint revealed a list of the most coveted 50p coins still in circulation.
From Peter Rabbit to an Olympic Judo coin, the Kew Gardens 50p topped the list for the most rare piece of hexagonal silver.
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