Chinese Lucky Charm coin Amulet
12 Zodiacal animals and Bagua (Eight Trigram)
Chinese Charm Coin
Size: 44 mm; Weight: 23 grams; Brass
Obv: The obverse side displays the bagua. The trigrams on this charm from the top and clockwise are as follows: xun 巽 (wind), li 离 (fire), kun 坤 (earth), dui 兑 (lake), qian 乾 (heaven), kan 坎 (water), gen 艮 (mountain), and zhen 震 (thunder).
Rev: Zodiacal animals and the 12 earthly branches 子, 丑, 寅, 卯, 辰, 巳, 午, 未, 申, 酉, 戌, 亥
(used cyclically in the calendar and as ordinal number).
Ancient Chinese Zodiac Charms
The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac Representing the 12 Earthly Branches
Origin and History of the 12 Animals and the 12 Earthly Branches
Through observation, ancient Chinese astronomers calculated the orbit of Jupiter to be approximately 12 years and, therefore, divided the celestial circle into 12 parts. This time system was gradually applied to the Earth year with one Old Chinese zodiac charmEarthly Branch associated with each month of the year. The Earthly Branches (地支) consist of 子 (zi), 丑 (chou), 寅 (yin), 卯 (mao), 辰 (chen), 巳 (si), 午 (wu), 未 (wei), 申 (shen), 酉 (you), 戌 (xu) and 亥 (hai).
By the time of the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BCE), the Earthly Branches had already become linked to the 12 animals (生肖) of the Chinese zodiac. These animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar (Pig).
The linking of a person's birth year with a particular zodiac animal started during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 220 AD) and became quite in vogue during the Tang Dynasty (618 -907 AD).