The city of Macau is a rare gem in which Eastern and Western traditions and histories have merged into one for more than four centuries. Drawing from this interesting blend of cultures and historical values, the Monetary Authority of Macau proudly presents the Macau Lunar Coin Collection (2008 – 2019), which is exclusively minted and marketed by The Singapore Mint.
Each of the 12 Macau Lunar Coins actively reflects the unique blend of Macau’s Chinese heritage and Portuguese roots. The obverse side of each coin features an animal of the Chinese zodiac series while the reverse side features one of the 12 selected sites in the Historic Centre of Macau which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Macau Lunar Monkey Coin, ninth in this collection, is issued in conjunction with the arrival of the 2016 Year of the Monkey.
Reflecting the quick-witted and curious nature of the monkey, people born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be innovative and intelligent individuals who have a strong desire for knowledge. The monkey is traditionally known by the ancient Chinese as a symbol of honour and luck. It also occupies the greatly favoured 9th position in the Chinese zodiac cycle, whereby the word “nine” is a meaningful number in Chinese culture that symbolizes longevity, everlasting peace and prosperity. In addition, the monkey is worshipped in many religions and is often seen as a symbol of wealth, health and peace.
The obverse side of the coin features the outline of a witty monkey with a heavenly peach in its grasp, accompanied by a shower of peach blossoms in full bloom in the background. In Chinese folklore, heavenly peaches only ripen once every several thousand years and are consumed to bring longevity. Peaches are therefore symbols of immortality, often associated with the monkey in traditional Chinese culture. As a form of food symbolism, the peach represents wealth, abundance, longevity and everlasting good fortune in the brand new year. Having the symbol of the monkey with the peach emblazoned on a coin hints at the arrival of good luck, health and prosperity in your career and personal life.
A plentitude of peach blossoms signifies abundance and wealth in the year ahead. The fresh burst of pink colour wafting from the peach blossoms brings forth the freshness of spring and renewed youth and vigour. Peach blossoms are also popular traditional welcome gifts in the Lunar New Year celebrations, given as a symbol of good luck and happiness.