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SNAKE Lunar Year 1 Oz Silver Proof Coin 20 Patacas Macao Macau 2013


In conjunction with the 2013 Lunar Snake year, the Monetary Authority of Macau issues the Macau Snake coin which is the sixth in the Macau Lunar coin collection (2008- 2019), exclusively minted and marketed by The Singapore Mint.

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Legends and mythology are a big part of Chinese culture, especially in relation to the Chinese Zodiac. The 12 animals that appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar include a rat, buffalo (Ox), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It’s an unusual combination of animals for sure, and their appearance on the Chinese Zodiac is the topic of countless legends and is deeply embedded in Chinese mythology.
An unlikely gathering
The most well-known of the Chinese zodiac legends states that Buddha invited the animals to participate in a race. The prize was a coveted position on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The first 12 animals to cross the river would appear on the Chinese Zodiac calendar in the order in which they completed the race.
The first animal to make it across the finish line according to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology was the rat. It seems unlikely that such a small animal could win such a strenuous race, especially when one considers all the contenders.
Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology explains that the rat used his brain rather than his brawn. It hitched a ride on what it perceived was the mightiest swimmer. Just before the buffalo reached the shore, the rat jumped off the buffalo’s back and crossed the finish line before the buffalo, putting the rat in first place.
The buffalo came in second and as promised in the legends and mythology, was the second animal listed on the Chinese Zodiac. The tiger, also being strong, came in third, followed by the rabbit that jumped his way across and was helped during the last stretch by the dragon. A snake hid in the hoof of the horse which is how it managed to make it across the river. At the last minute the snake jumped out and scared the horse into seventh place.
The sheep, monkey and rooster helped one another across and earned their spots on the calendar as well. The dog made it too, but decided a bath was more important than the position which is why it came in eleventh. Finally, the pig appeared and is listed last. According to Chinese Zodiac legends and mythology, the pig feasted and rested half-way through the race, but made it across guaranteeing its position.
A small gathering
The history of the Chinese Zodiac weaves another intriguing tale. This one tells of an invitation to a grand feast. All the animals were invited to join Buddha at either a birthday celebration, a New Year celebration, or a celebration for his departure from this world. Only 12 animals showed up at the festivities and that’s how they ended up being featured on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Another of the legends of the Chinese Zodiac states that instead of Buddha, it was the Jade Emperor who invited the animals. 
Regardless of the specific version of Chinese Zodiac history to which you subscribe, the Chinese Zodiac has amazed and entertained people around the world for thousands of years.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2013 is the Year of the Snake, which begins on February 10, 2013 and ends on January 30, 2014. The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal Signs. It is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve. People born in the Year of the Snake are keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise. They are great mediators and good at doing business. Therefore, you should have good luck if you were born in the Year of the Snake.

  • CountryMacau
  • Year2013
  • Face Value20 Patacas
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.1 (1 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)40.7
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)6.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
An elegantly placed snake over a vibrant display of golden cymbidium ensifolium orchids is featured on the obverse side of the coin. The reverse side of the coin features the Ruins of St. Paul's, located in the Historic Centre of Macau, proudly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.