There’s the Panda. The Giant Panda. And then there’s Samoa’s new Mastersize commemorative panda coin!

Last year saw the 35th anniversary of the first Chinese Silver Panda coin in a series that remains hugely popular to this day. The annually changing designs have pleased collectors for decades, and with the numbers minted growing ever greater, that seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

It’s fallen to European producer AllCollect to mark the occasion with a special release and they’ve certainly done so with a sense of grandiose style. There are no shortages of Panda-themed coins, but this new release isn’t going to be confused with any of them. Tipping the scales at a kilo isn’t extraordinary in itself as the Bank of China have been issuing in that weight for years, so how do you stand out from the crowd. Diameter..

Stretching out to a colossal 180 mm in diameter, this is a coin like few others. The Perth Mint has its 10kg lunar bullion coins of course, which hit a huge 221 mm across, but not in the highly collectable proof finish. In truth, those lack fine detail as they’re effectively just the 1oz design enlarged to fit the bigger surface, but no such limitations here.

In the centre of the reverse face of this new behemoth sits the famous yin-yang symbol, picked out in enamel, and providing a good focal point around which is arranged the main attraction. Using the rim as a ground, the whole coin features a series of panda images that evoke some of the many issues from the Bank of China over the last four decades. Each has bamboo shoots seemingly reaching out to the yin-yang ‘sun’. The inscriptions are a little intrusive, to be honest, especially the one detailing the composition, but all told, it looks great.

The obverse has a giant version of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (by Ian Rank Broadley) at its centre that exhibits a level of detail rarely seen of this very familiar image. Underneath that is the emblem of Samoa. The background field is filled with a very fine geometric pattern, much like a hyper version of the guilloche style used by the Royal Mint, for example, or a banknote. It looks gorgeous and i never thought I’d say that about a QEII obverse!

Packaging is exquisite, with a fine looking box holding this monster numismatic, although we think gloss black would’ve been better than brown. Just 500 of these coins will be struck and we can’t think of a better way to commemorate 35 years of this iconic bullion coin than this. Available to order now, several of our sponsors have it up for around the €2500 / $2500US. Click the Where to Buy button for more.

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.

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $25 Samoa
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 1,000 grams
DIMENSIONS 180 mm
FINISH Proof-like
MODIFICATIONS Enamel highlight
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
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