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Rat on the Beam

2 oz Pure Silver Coin – Republique du Tchad 2020 – 10000 Francs CFA

The Chinese Sexagenary Cycle (六十甲子) is an ancient method of calculating years, months, dates and time. Consisting of 10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches, a pairing of 1 character from the stem followed by another from the branch will derive the sexagenary number of a Chinese year. The 10 heavenly stems are each associated with the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – while the 12 earthly branches are represented by one of the 12 Zodiac animals.

The year 2020 is the 37th year of the 60-year Sexagenary cycle and the year of the Metal Rat, also known as 庚子 in Chinese. It is said that one who is born in this year is a “Rat on the Beam” or “梁上之鼠”. According to Chinese astrology, they are expected to be powerful and well-respected, particularly in their career.

This piece features the Rat on the Beam with steady feet and bright eyes, ready to take on the year ahead with energy and vigor. Above the rat lies the title of the character in Chinese calligraphy that ties it back to its origins within the Chinese Sexagenary Cycle. Ancient Chinese motifs are also layered along the rims of the collectible, following through to the obverse. The year of 庚子 is thoughtfully designed as a traditional Chinese wax stamp and accented in red color to a vivid effect while the title series reads below.

The 2 oz fine-silver coin is struck in ultra-high relief while being complemented with antiqued silver finishing and topped off with a hint of red highlighting the year 庚子.