Since ancient times, the Chinese expression of “招财进宝” (pinyin: zhāo cái jìn bǎo) is widely used as greetings. These wordings are displayed as panels and motifs in businesses and homes especially during Chinese New Year.
“招财进宝” (pinyin: zhāo cái jìn bǎo) means ushering in wealth and treasures (prosperity).
Wealth and prosperity are definitely something that we look for in businesses and households, right? So greetings like this and auspicious representations of them are very much appreciated and are believed to bring in good luck.
Note: I agree that there are other important considerations such as good health, good relationships, peace, etc as well!… and guess what? The Chinese have those greetings and auspicious representations too!
Anyway coming back to wealth and prosperity, goldfish in general, is one of the auspicious fishes to keep. In recent years, there is a new goldfish breed called the Ingot that became very popular for this purpose.
So what is it about Ingot goldfish that makes it so auspicious?
About Ingot Goldfish
Ingot goldfish is called 元宝金魚 (pinyin: Yuánbǎo jīnyú) in the Chinese language. It is also known as Yuánbǎo goldfish, Ingot Oranda and Short Finned Oranda in English. As some of the names have suggested, this breed is a variation of the Oranda goldfish.
Ingot goldfish was created in China by breeding a Ryukin with a Ranchu. The offspring of that is a breed with a large short rounded body, a box-shaped face with wen (head growth) and short fins. Check out the video below and let me know what you think about Ingot goldfish.
To me, it looks very much like a Ranchu, but with a dorsal fin. As I love Ranchu goldfish, I believe this is why I am so drawn to Ingot goldfish as well.
What is so auspicious about Ingot Goldfish?
Remember the auspicious expression “招财进宝” (pinyin: zhāo cái jìn bǎo) at the beginning of this post? The character “宝” (bǎo) means treasure or prosperity. This is the same character in “元宝金魚” (Yuánbǎo jīnyú) which is the Chinese name of the Ingot goldfish.
The direct translation of the Chinese characters “元宝” (Yuánbǎo) is “round treasure”. This goes very well with the appearance of the Ingot goldfish which is round and is considered to be a beautiful treasure.
The same characters “元宝” (Yuánbǎo) also refer to a type of silver or gold ingot currency used in imperial China. This ingot came in many shapes, with the most common being oval and square.
However, the one that we usually see as a popular representation of Yuánbǎo nowadays is shaped like a boat and rounded in the middle. Although this is no longer used as a currency, the gold Yuánbǎo remains as a symbol of wealth and prosperity among the Chinese.
Do you see now why Ingot goldfish is considered an auspicious goldfish to keep? In case you don’t, try to see the similarity between “gold Yuánbǎo” and “Yuánbǎo goldfish“.
Yes, you are right… it’s all in the name.