A giant 8kg (17.6lb) gold coin celebrating the Year of the Tiger has been unveiled by the Royal Mint
The 185mm (7.3in) coin, featuring a design to celebrate Chinese New Year, is the largest ever produced as part of the Shengxiao Collection.
The Mint said the coin blends elements of traditional British design and craftsmanship with ancient Chinese culture.
It depicts the tiger face on, and its Chinese character positioned nearby.
When inspecting the design closely, an additional Chinese character can be seen on the tiger’s forehead. It represents the Chinese character for “king”, which is said to originate from the pattern on the tiger’s head.
The weight of the coin was selected due to the number eight being considered lucky and associated with wealth and prosperity.
It was created using traditional minting skills and innovative technology.
Engraving machines were used to carefully cut the design on to the 8kg coin over a period of 200 hours.
It was then hand-worked, carefully removing any marks made by the cutting process, before undergoing 100 hours of hand-polishing.
Finally, the coin was laser-frosted for 50 hours using picosecond laser technology, to selectively texture the surface to showcase the detail of the design.
Those born in the Year of the Tiger are thought to possess many of the animal’s traits and are said to be confident and courageous, making natural leaders.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “The Royal Mint began the Shengxiao Collection in 2014, combining centuries of British craftsmanship and artistic skills with Chinese tradition – creating the first official UK Lunar coins.”
In addition to the 8kg gold proof coin, Year of the Tiger collectable coins are also available in a range of precious metals and base metal finishes with prices starting from £13.
The 8kg coin is available to be purchased by a collector, with the price available upon application to the Royal Mint.
A coin of such calibre and craftsmanship would be priced in the region of six figures, the Mint added.