Centuries ago, the Chinese invented a calendar based on the lunar – rather than the solar cycle.
In 1998, Canada inaugurated a remarkable series of coins, designed by Harvey Chan, featuring the animal symbols of Chinese astrology based on the Lunar Calendar. These symbols roughly approximate the signs of the zodiac in western culture, however, denote years instead of months.
In 1999, The Royal Canadian Mint continues production of the annual series with a coin commemorating the Year of the Rabbit. All 12 of the Lunar animals – the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig – appear in a circular arrangement around the rim of each coin with a different animal highlighted each year in a central cameo.
The coin features a central octagonal cameo plated in 24-karat gold and has a nominal value of $15 Canadian.
The coin comes encapsulated and presented in an elegant scarlet and gold velvet case. It is protected by a branded beauty box decorated with the Lunar Calendar. It is accompanied by a booklet of authenticity.
Denomination - Canadian Fifteen Dollars
Composition - Silver Proof (92.5% Silver and 7.5% Copper)
Weight - 34g
Diameter - 40mm
Worldwide Mintage Limit - 78,888
Mint - Royal Canadian Mint