It’s that time of the year again when one of the most eagerly anticipated bullion coin designs in the world is finally revealed, the Chinese Panda. Available in the usual range of ten sizes (three silver and seven gold), mintages and specifications remain excatly the same as 2014 and are detailed in the specification charts below.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Chinese governments decision to drop the use of the ounce for its precious metal coins, but we haven’t previously commented as we never believed this would make any difference to the actual size of the coins themselves. Many speculated this would mean a rounding up or down of the traditional sizes, for example the one-ounce coin (31.104g), becoming 30g, or even 25g. In reality they’ve just dropped the use of the word ounce and no longer inscribe the weight on the coins. In fact, they’ve stopped inscribing the composition as well, which seems a strange decision. It does make the design look cleaner, but how comfortable people are buying precious metal numismatics unmarked with weight or composition remains to be seen, especially in a country awash with counterfeiting.

As for the design, it’s another safe one. It isn’t a million miles away from last years panda, reversed and with the stick removed. We’ve noticed, and agree that multi-panda designs look superb; the 2012 and 2013 being recent high-points in the series, but this isn’t one of those. We like it a lot, but would rather have had this for 2016 instead of following directly on from such a similar piece of artwork. I personally think this will be one of those designs that look fantastic in reality compared to just okay in the images. Press pictures from this mint are generally appalling, which doesn’t help, but the panda does fill the coin to a large degree and that could make it a keeper.

As before the coins will be available hopefully sometime before the end of the year. They’re struck by Shenzhen Guobao Mint, Shenyang Mint, and the Shanghai Mint.

As you can see below, it’s the same range of sizes as last year, and despite talk of increasing the mintage of smaller coins at the expense of the larger ones, this hasn’t applied to the Panda, and we have identical numbers to 2014.

On the silver image below, the large obverse is from the 1kg coin and is the design is shared by the 5oz as well. The lower-left sees the stalwart 1oz reverse and obverse. I’ve scaled the images to roughly comparitive real-world sizes, which makes that kilo coin something to desire…

The gold follows the same pattern. The large obverse image is again from the 1kg coin and is shared by the 2000 YUAN 5oz piece. The smaller obverse image to the right is used by the coins from 1oz down to 1/20th oz.

SPECIFICATION (0.999 SILVER)

FACE VALUE FINISH WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
300 YUAN PROOF 1000 g 100.00 mm 20,000
50 YUAN PROOF 155.52 g 70.00 mm 50,000
10 YUAN BU 31.104 g 40.00 mm 8,000,000

SPECIFICATION (0.999 GOLD)

FACE VALUE FINISH WEIGHT DIAMETER MINTAGE
10000 YUAN PROOF 1000 g 90.00 mm 500
2000 YUAN PROOF 155.52 g 60.00 mm 5,000
500 YUAN BU 31.104 g 32.00 mm 1,000,000
200 YUAN BU 15.552 g 27.00 mm 600,000
100 YUAN BU 7.776 g 22.00 mm 600,000
50 YUAN BU 3.110 g 18.00 mm 800,000
20 YUAN BU 1.555 g 14.00 mm 800,000