First issued in 1995 and now in its third round, the long-running Australian Lunar Coin Series celebrates the animals of the Chinese zodiac with a sequence of annual designs portraying the mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. These 2020 coins celebrate the Year of the Mouse, whose rule over every second year in the 12-year lunar cycle is said to influence people born during 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020.
According to Chinese mythology, the order of the animals in the ancient zodiac calendar was decided with a great race across a river. Traditional storytellers say the magnanimous ox offered to carry the mouse across the water - and thus it was that on the opposite bank the diminutive creature was able to leap from the ox’s head and claim first place!
The set three coins features a different surface treatment: a proof quality finish, selective colouring, or selective 24-carat gilding.