To celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, the Royal Australian Mint has released a new collection of coins featuring the charming and powerful tiger, and the Chinese Lunar Year calendar wheel.
"Each year, the Mint releases these beautifully designed coins to celebrate the Lunar New Year and support the centuries-old tradition of gifting coins during this special time," said CEO of the Royal Australian Mint Leigh Gordon.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the 2022 Lunar New Year with the new release of the Year of the Tiger commemorative coin."
The Mint has been marking each Zodiac symbol of the Lunar calendar on a commemorative coin since 2007. This year, the collection includes six commemorative coins.
Apart from the five coins that all feature depictions of only the tiger, a final "Fu" coin for good luck features all 12 lunar animals circling the Chinese character "Fu" in their order of Lunar Year calendar wheel, including rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
The Mint said the animals' places on the coin are depicted running across a water pattern along the "Fu", symbolising the traditional story of the animals' race across a river to decide on the order of the Lunar Calendar. The position of each animal is rotated each year, so for this year's special edition, tiger is at the top.
"China has a long history of artistic practice and its art is very unique," designer of the 50c Tetradecagon in the collection Aleksandra Stokic told Xinhua.
Inspired by Danqing — a traditional Chinese painting and the symbology of tiger, Stokic brought her ideas and wishes into her artwork.
"In my design, the tiger dominates the coin field as tigers are dominant animals in nature. Below the tiger is the rock as the tiger is also known as the king of the mountains."
Decorating the field of the coins is the branch of a pine tree, which as Stokic said represents virtues of self-discipline and fortitude, and ties in well with people born in the Year of Tiger.
"Each element of the coin design has a symbolic meaning," she said.
"No matter what difficulties those born in the Year of Tiger may face, they should always remember that they have the qualities to overcome them."