Chinese Panda Coins
First issued in 1982, the Chinese Panda Bullion coin has proved to be extremely popular, both with collectors and investors. The initial issue of the Gold Panda coin came in denominations of 1 troy ounce, ½ troy ounce, ¼ troy ounce and 1/10 troy ounce of 0.9999 Fine Gold. However, in 1983 a 1/20 troy ounce coin was added to the collection. Also, in some years larger Gold Panda coins were issued - 5 troy ounces and 12 troy ounces.
With the exception of 2002, the design of the Gold Panda coin differs every year. In 2002, the design of the Panda was exactly the same as it was in 2001, because that particular design was frozen by the Chinese government. This was hugely objected to by both collectors and investors of the Gold Panda coin, who really liked the concept of a different design every year and wanted the annual change in design to be reinstated. Consequently, the original policy of China was reverted to.
The Gold Panda coins are struck by several Mints in China. These include Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai and Shenzan, although the minting of these coins is not just limited to these Mints.
The China Gold Coin Corporation (GCCC) is the official distributor of the Gold Panda coin in China. In the United States of America, the official distributor of the Gold Panda coin is Panda America - this has been so since 1982.
Most mints strike coins that carry mintmarks, so that the source or origin of a coin can be determined. Chinese Mints, however, do not normally use mintmarks. Sometimes, in certain years, there may be certain variations to coins produced by different Chinese Mints. For example, the size or the style of the Temple on the obverse of the coin or the size of the date may vary very slightly. Very often, these small variations may allow the Mint of origin to be determined.
On the obverse of the coin is a depiction of the Temple of Heaven, or Tian Tan, which is actually located in Beijing. The depiction of the Temple is located in the centre of the coin. Above the Temple there are Chinese characters which say â€œZhongua Renmin Gongheguoâ€ which translates as The People's Republic of China. Beneath the Temple is the year of issue, and, where necessary for Commemorative coins, the theme of the commemoration will also be seen here. On the reverse of the coin, the depiction of the Giant Panda - China's National symbol - changes every year, apart from the years 2001 and 2002, as stated earlier in this report.
A further change for 2015 saw the removal of the weight and fine Gold content information from the reverse of Gold Panda coins.
In the People's Republic of China, Gold Panda coins are legal tender. They are currently issued in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 Yuan. However, from 1982 until 2000 the denominations were 100, 50, 25 10 and 5 Yuan; the 5 Yuan coin was added in 1983. In 1991 a further Gold Panda coin with a denomination of 3 Yuan was added to the collection, with a Fine Gold Content of 1 Gram of Gold.
FOR COLLECTORS AND INVESTORS
Due to the low mintage of the Gold Panda Bullion coins, the Gold Panda is quite a rare collectible item which can sometimes be difficult to source but is well worth searching for!
THE SILVER PANDA COIN
Silver Panda coins were first minted in 1983, in Proof form, using 27 grams of Silver. In this year only around 10,000 coins were struck. The design of the coin was then fairly plain and simple, unlike those minted in later years. Silver Panda coins that were struck in 1984 and 1985 were very similar in design and also had a low mintage. These facts alone make the Silver Panda coins quite rare and high in value.
Before 1989, Silver Pandas were minted only in Proof versions. After 1989 the coins had become so popular that they were introduced in Bullion form. Whereas the Proof coin had a low mintage, production of the Bullion coin was much higher, about 250,000. The Proof coin and the Bullion coin were almost identical in design. However, the Proof coin had the letter â€œPâ€ within a circle in order to differentiate between the two coins.
The Silver Panda coin changed somewhat in 1993 and 1994. Although the â€œPâ€ within a circle remained, the actual design of the coins changed, making the Bullion coin very different from the Proof coin.
Another change occurred in 1995 and 1996; the â€œPâ€ within a circle disappeared from the Proof coins and two different designs were used for both the Proof and the Bullion coins. In 1995 the mintage was approximately 10,000 coins while in 1996 the mintage had fallen to around 8,000 coins.
In 1997, a new Silver Panda Bullion coin was introduced by China, with the idea of making it more appealing to collectors. Not only that, but it was thought that it would make it easier to buy small quantities of Silver Bullion coins. The one ounce Silver Bullion Panda coin is slightly larger than the one ounce Gold Panda coin. The opinion of some collectors is that the Silver Panda coin is prettier than the Gold Panda coin in that it is much brighter and because it is larger, the features are much prominent.
Changing the design of the Panda every year, along with the intricate design details of the depiction of the Giant Panda itself, is what has made the Chinese Silver Panda coin so popular amongst investors and collectors alike.
SIZES OF CHINESE GOLD PANDA COINS
500 Yuan - weight 31.103 gms, diameter 32.05 mm (Fine Gold content .9999)
200 Yuan - weight 15.5515 gms, diameter 27 mm (Fine Gold content .9999)
100 Yuan - weight 7.7758 gms, diameter 21.95 mm (Fine Gold content .9999)
50 Yuan - weight 3.1103 gms, diameter 17.95 mm (Fine Gold content .9999)
20 Yuan - weight 1.5552 gms, diameter 13.92 mm (Fine Gold content .9999)