CHINESE PANDA BULLION COINS
It was way back in 1982 that the government of the People’s Republic of China first issued its Gold Panda bullion coin. Initially available only in gold, it was 1989 when quantities of bullion quality 1oz silver versions were offered for sale, although proof variants had been offered since 1983.
Over the years, the series has garnered huge popular interest due to a combination of appealing, annually changing designs, and a wide range of sizes on offer. The theme remains the same every year, with an image of one or more Giant Panda’s on the reverse face, and the ubiquitous Temple of Heaven on the obverse.
As you would expect of a country so vast, the coins are minted in several locations, chief among which are the mints in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Shenzhen. There are subtle ways to tell which mint struck a particular coin in some instances, but as the coins are devoid of a mintmark, that isn’t always the case.
The series is also noted for being the first to effectively ‘go metric’ with its weights – something that actually makes considerable sense as the world inexorably moves away from the old and inefficient system of measures.