Posted on November 01, 2017
Over the course of the past four decades, the Chinese Panda Series from the Chinese Mint has continued to grow in popularity and visibility in the precious metals marketplace. When the coins were first introduced, the People’s Republic of China was still very much an economy unknown to the Western world. The doors to this communist economy remained closed to many Western nations until the 1970s. Today, economy in China is the second largest in the world behind only that of the United States, having recently passed Japan’s economy in size and output in the last several years.
With that growth, the Chinese Panda bullion coin series has experienced exponential growth as well. This now-coveted coin series is available with gold and silver bullion coin releases each year. Similar to programs like the Canadian Maple Leaf and American Eagle coins, the Chinese Panda Series is released annually as the official bullion product of the nation. However, unlike the former examples, the Chinese Panda coins have a rotating design feature of the panda each year to bring fresh appeal with each new release.
The 2018 Chinese Gold Panda and Silver Panda coins are now available for pre-sale through JM Bullion, and there’s no better time to look at the history of this series and the newest design than right now. Learn all about the Panda Series below!
In 2016, the Chinese Mint made a major change in its weight measurements for the Chinese Panda coin program. The coins are no longer weighed and engraved with markings in the popular Troy ounces, but instead use Grams to denote the weight. The changeover had a minimal impact on the coin’s actual weights, with the former 1 Troy oz coins now marked as 30 Grams and containing .9645 Troy oz. The changeover had no impact on coin collectors, who value design and visual brilliance over weight, but some market analysts thought the shift could impact investors, who put more stock in gold and silver by weight.
Whatever the case, the Chinese Panda Series remains a sought-after option among numismatists of all stripes. The 2018 Chinese Panda Coins represent the 37th issue of the coins dating back to their 1982 debut, with 36th new design in the series. Wondering about the discrepancy? Well, the Chinese Mint uses a new design of the Giant Panda on the coins each year, with the exception of one occurrence. In 2002, the mint used the same design of the panda from 2001.
For the 2018 Chinese Gold Panda Coin release, there are a total of 5 weights available to choose from when buying gold. The coins have .999 pure gold content in BU condition, with their weight and metal content guaranteed by the People’s Bank of China. Each coin has a face value dependent upon the gold content of the coin as follows:
As usual, the 2018 Chinese Silver Panda Coin is available in just one weight. The silver coin is available in 30 Grams with a face value of ¥30 (Yuan) and contains .999 pure silver in BU condition. All original release 2018 Chinese Panda coins come in BU condition. Coins in BU condition exhibit no signs of wear and tear, but they are not considered perfect specimens. There is the potential with any coin for the existence of minor flaws as a result of the normal coining process. These flaws include the potential for breaks in the luster, spotted surfaces, and contact marks.
For the 2018 release, the designers of the Chinese Mint developed a unique design not like any of the others previously featured in this series. Typically, the Giant Panda imagery depicts the creatures in full figure from a distant perspective. This year’s stunning design captures an up-close view of the panda while it dines. The head and face of the Giant Panda take up the vast majority of the design field, with just a sliver of the wall of bamboo shoots visible in the background.
You can easily see the wide eyes of the panda as it gazes at its next meal while holding onto it with a paw. Engravings include the weight, metal content, and purity of each individual coin above the design field, and the individual face value of the coins below. Flip the coins over to the other side and you’ll find the familiar image of the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests.
Commonly referred to as the Temple of Heaven design, this image actually depicts the largest single building in the greater Temple of Heaven complex. The complex is located in the southeastern portion of central Beijing and was built between 1406 and 1420 as a Taoist place of worship. Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would visit the religious buildings in the complex for annual ceremonies of prayer to heaven for a good harvest, hence the name of the complex.
In the 16th century, the complex actually took on the official name as the Temple of Heaven. It was also expanded at this time during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor, who built other prominent temples throughout Beijing including the Temple of Sun, Temple of Earth, and Temple of Moon. Engravings on this side of the coin include the Mandarin Chinese for “People’s Republic of China” above the Temple of Heaven complex, and the coin’s year of issue.
Chinese Panda coins first debuted in 1982 with the Gold Panda coins. These were originally offered as 1 oz gold along with ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz coins. In 1983 the Chinese Mint added a 1/20 oz coin. These have all been replaced now by the 2018 30 Gram Chinese Gold Panda, 15 Gram, 8 Gram, 3 Gram, and 1 Gram coins, respectively. From time to time, the Chinese Mint will also issue the Gold Panda coins in 5 oz and 12 oz weights, but not with the regularity of the five options mentioned above.
The Chinese Silver Panda coin debuted in 1983, but the coins were only available as proof specimens for several years. Regular production of the Silver Panda as bullion specimens did not occur until 1989.
Today, the Chinese Mint operates under the official name of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation. The company is owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, and overseen by the People’s Bank of China. Unlike in other nations, the Chinese Mint is not the only facility to produce coinage and other currency for the nation. The People’s Bank of China maintains its own printing and minting operations separate of the Chinese Mint.
The modern Chinese Mint system consists of the Shenyang Mint that opened in 1896, as well as the Shanghai Mint that opened in 1920. In 1985, the Chinese Mint grew to include its Nanjing Mint facility. There are other mints located in Shenzhen and Beijing as well, but it is impossible to determine where many of China’s modern commemorative coins are produced because the Chinese Mint does not use mint marks.
Right now, the range of 2018 Chinese Gold Panda and Chinese Silver Panda coins are available for pre-sale on our website at JM Bullion. Remember to keep following our blog each week for exciting new information on coming coin releases and other numismatic news that impacts the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium pricing. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest news and notes!