Since 2010, Canada has been keeping the ancient Chinese tradition of the 12-year Lunar Calendar alive by minting coinage denoting the 12 animals representing each year. According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the years 2001 and 2013 were ruled by the Snake. The snake is considered mysterious, hypnotically beautiful, strategic in planning, and destined to succeed greatly. People born in the years where the snake rules embody such traits.
The Canadian Gold Year of the Snake coin was minted and issued by the Ottawa-based Canadian Royal Mint in 2013. The government-owned Royal Canadian Mint has existed since 2 January 1908. The coin is the fourth one in the Canadian series of 12 coins from 2010. The coin is made with skill and craftsmanship that borrows from the ancient world with a limited mintage of 2,500 coins globally. It has a gross weight of 13.61 grams and an actual 18-carat gold weight of 0.3282 grams with a fineness of 0.7500. This translates to 0.285 t/oz. With a serrated edge, the diameter of the coin is 28.10 millimeters and it comes in the 150-dollar denomination as the face value.
The design of the obverse of the Canadian Gold Year of the Snake coin bears the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II facing to the right and wearing a crown. The effigy is the work of Susanna Blunt completed in 2003. The inscription to the left of the Queen’s effigy reads, ““ELIZABETH II” and the one to the right reads, “D · G · REGINA”.
The reverse of the Canadian Gold Year of the Snake coin was designed by Canadian artist, Aries Cheung who has been the mind behind all the Lunar series’ coins in Canada. It contains the predominant image of a snake with its tongue let out in spitting mode while the tail oils over its back towards the bottom of the coin. Towards the bottom left of the coin are five curling waves moving towards the snake. Two Chinese snake symbols flank the snake to the right. The inscriptions, “CANADA 2013” and “5 DOLLARS” are above and below the snake respectively.