The Bank of China’s iconic Panda coin is forty years old, and Powercoin issues ‘Paladin Panda’ to commemorate the occasion

Putting in a first appearance way back in 1982, the Bank of China’s now iconic Gold Panda bullion coin was joined a year later by a silver sibling. Excepting a single year, the coin has carried a new design annually, featuring one or more pandas in various poses. Since its debut, sales have skyrocketed, along with mintages, so it’s fair to say the Panda is now a staple of the bullion world.

Numismatic offerings marking the anniversary included the obvious privy-marked 2022 Panda range of proof and bullion coins, and a small selection from some independent producers. Now, Italian producer Powercoin has added their eclectic sense of style to the mix, with a three-ounce silver coin employing high-end minting techniques, like Smartminting.

Called ‘Paladin Panda’, this is quite an unusual looking piece compared to the Chinese originals that inspired it. Instead of the sedate natural style, pride of place is taken by a part-gilded panda is Chinese period armour, holding a staff in one hand (paw?), and a long sword in the other. An armour plate, the part covering the panda’s barely used happy tackle, carries a depiction of the animal similar to that on the 1982 original, a neat nod to the subject of the commemoration. The background features the Great Wall of China, perhaps suggesting the character is defending his homeland.

The obverse is also inspired by the original. There’s a large depiction of the Temple of Heaven, something found on all Chinese numismatics, but given the high-end nature of Powercoin’s offering, the one here is vastly more impressive, exhibiting a lot of fine detail, and embellished with a pair of dragons in its vicinity. The Black Proof finish gives the coin an added touch of class.

In line with the Asian belief that 8 is a lucky number, it has a mintage of 888 pieces, and comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. Available to order now, it will ship in late December.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
FINISH Black Proof
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding, colour
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes