The Canadian Gold Year of the Sheep coin was minted in celebration of the ancient Chinese Zodiac tradition in 2015. According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the sheep, which is one of the 12 animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac ruled the year 2015. The coin exemplifies the traits of calm and gentle animal, which are associated with the sheep in the Chinese culture. Individuals born during the year of the sheep are considered clever, polite, and tender-hearted with a craving for beauty and art.
The Canadian Gold Year of the Sheep coin was minted in the $5 denomination. The design of the obverse is the work of Susanna Blunt on the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was developed in 2003 and is a standard feature of all Canadian coinage. The effigy of Queen Elizabeth II faces to the right with the text engravings, “ELIZABETH II” on the left and “D·G· REGINA” on the right of the image.
The design of the reverse is by Canadian artist, Aries Cheng. A majestic three-quarters image of the Bighorn sheep, which commonly comes from the Rocky Mountains of Canada adorns the reverse of the $5 Canadian Gold Year of the Sheep coin on the foreground. The sheep faces to the left and has the Chinese yang symbol on it, which means goat or sheep. The text, “SN” can be seen in smaller font on the body of the sheep towards the edge of the coin. The backdrop features a depiction of six leafy bamboo stems. From the top towards the right, the clockwise inscription, “CANADA 5 DOLLARS 2015” appears and is preceded by the clockwise text, “Année du Mouton”. The inscription, “Year of the Sheep” runs anticlockwise from the middle of the coin on the left towards the sheep’s breast.
The Canadian Gold Year of the Sheep coin is 3.14g heavy and 16mm wide. Its bullion weight is 1 t/oz with 99.99% gold purity. The Ottawa-based Royal Canadian Mint established in 1908 minted only 2,888 coins. Trading in the Canadian Gold Year of the Sheep coin is sales tax exempt.