10 Facts About the Chinese Panda Coin
Chinese panda coins are among some of the most beautiful bullion coins in the world, popular with both investors and collectors. But what do you know about these fascinating gold and silver coins? Read on to find out more.
1. The first gold Panda coin was minted in 1982
The Official Mint of the People’s Republic of China first issued panda gold bullion coins in 1982, in sizes of 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, and 1/10oz of 999.0 Fine Gold. The 1/20oz coin was added later, in 1983.
2. Several mints produce the coins
Several mints across China produce the panda coins, including Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. However, panda coins do not carry mintmarks to identify their origin - but it is sometimes possible to distinguish which mint a new coin has been minted at if your coin remains in its plastic seal. If you look closely at the edge of the seal, the name of the manufacturing mint is inscribed into the plastic.
3. Occasionally, different mints produce coins with variations
As Chinese Panda bullion coins are produced at different mints across China, this has sometimes caused slight variations to the coins. Some mints have struck the year of issue onto the coins slightly larger or thicker than others, and others smaller and thinner.
4. The first silver bullion Panda coins were minted in 1989
From 1983, silver panda coins were struck to Proof quality only. 1989 then saw the production of a 1oz silver bullion quality panda coin, struck in 999.0 Fine Silver.
5. The reverse design of the coins changes each year – except one
Chinese Panda coins are one of the only bullion coins to change its design each year, with exception of the 2001 and 2002 coins which share the same design. Each reverse design always features a panda, with multiple pandas or panda cubs also featured on occasion. This range of designs has helped these coins develop a dedicated following, and makes the Chinese Panda coin an extremely popular one with coin collectors.
6. The obverse side depicts the ‘Temple of Heaven’
The obverse side of each gold and silver bullion Panda coin displays the ‘Temple of Heaven’ – a complex of religious buildings constructed in the early 15th century during the reign of the Yongle Emperor. The temple was used for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for a plentiful harvest. The design of the temple went on to have a large influence on architecture in the Far East for hundreds of years.
7. Reverse inscriptions were removed in 2015
Since they were first minted in 1982, the reverse side of the panda coins had always featured inscriptions showing the weight in troy ounces - '1oz', metal content - 'Ag/Au' and purity - '.999.' However, in 2015 these reverse inscriptions on the gold and silver panda bullion coins were changed, and the content, weight and purity of the coins were completely removed for this one year only.
8. Panda coins went metric in 2016
From 2016, the old troy ounce system was replaced by a metric system of grams. The reason for this change was due to the metric system being more widely used in the People’s Republic of China, as well as to suit the international appeal of these wonderful coins.
9. Chinese Panda Coins are legal tender in the People’s Republic of China
Gold Panda coins are legal tender in the People's Republic of China and are currently issued in face value denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 yuan. Silver 30g panda coins have a face value denomination of 10 yuan. The monetary denomination of each coin can be found on the reverse of each coin.
10. The Panda is a national symbol of China
While the dragon has long served as China’s official national symbol, internationally, when people think of China they often think of the giant panda. A symbol of friendship, peace, and good luck to the Chinese people, it’s clear why the panda was chosen to appear on the country’s gold and silver bullion coins that are now highly popular and widely traded across the world.
This blog represents one person’s opinion only. Please note, gold and silver prices may go down as well as up. Atkinsons Bullion & Coins accepts no responsibility for any losses based on information we have provided. We do not offer investment advice. Please carry out your own research before making an investment decision.