Chinese Gold Panda coins are extremely collectible and are a great way for new gold buyers to get started building their precious metal portfolios. For seasoned investors, Pandas are a way to diversify a collection while having fun at the same time. Let’s dive deeper into what these pandas are and why they’re so special.
Gold Pandas are collectible gold bullion coins minted by the Peoples’ Republic of China, and were first introduced in 1982. Every year, with the exception of one, the design of the coin has changed. These collectible coins come in a variety of sizes and denominations. They range from fractional sizes like the 1/20 troy oz up to one troy oz. Generally these coins are available for reasonable prices above the spot value of gold compared to other modern gold bullion coins
The Peoples’ Republic of China began minting coins with the Panda design in 1982. Initially, these coins were only minted in 1, ½, ¼, and 1/10 troy oz sizes. Each coin is minted from .999 pure gold. In 1983, the 1/20 oz coin was introduced. There have been years where coins as large as 12 oz were minted. Initially, the beautiful panda design changed each year. In 2001, however, China placed a freeze on the design and decided that the coin design should stay constant. After many collectors complained, the decision was reversed and the annual coin design variation went back into effect.
The Panda coins are legal tender in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Depending on size, they are valued from 5-500 Yuan. Unlike United States coins, which contain markings to distinguish which mint produced the coin, Panda coins do not have any specific way to tell where they were produced. China has several mints, including ones in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang. Sometimes the mint can be determined by looking at minor differences like slight variations in the color of the metal, the size of the date, or the design of the Temple of Heaven. Although these minor differences aren’t always present, they can offer a clue about the originating mint.
While the Panda coin design changes each year, the overall design of the coin remains constant. On the obverse side, there is a beautiful depiction of the Temple of Heaven in relief in the center. Around the edge is an inscription that reads “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo,” which translates to “Peoples’ Republic of China.” Near the bottom of the coin is the date of issue and any notation of a commemorative theme.
On the reverse side, there is a design of a Panda (or in some years, a group of pandas) that changes from year-to-year. The annual release of the Panda coin is widely anticipated by collectors who want to see the different design interpretation each year. Most coins contain inscriptions for their weight and purity, however, for the 2015 Chinese Gold Panda there are no markings for this information but the coins still contain .999 pure gold.
Gold Pandas are extremely collectible and highly sought after by investors. This is due, in part, to the fact that distribution and printing of this coin varies greatly from year to year. In some years, significantly fewer Pandas are produced, making them more difficult to find. Because they are also circulating legal tender, finding the right year Panda in the best condition can be a challenge. Collecting them is a challenging hobby that requires determination and patience.
Many investors find that collecting the Panda is a fun way to increase their precious metal assets. A standard 1 troy ounce gold round isn’t as exciting a find as a long sought after 1 troy ounce gold Panda. Additionally, many people find that some Pandas, such as the smaller fractional sizes, make a great collectible gift for children or grandchildren. It’s an attractive gift that can be given year after year. Not only do children love the Pandas, it teaches them about investing while increasing their savings in a tangible way.
There are several different sizes of Pandas offered each year with different values. Here is a general breakdown for your reference.
Depending on the size and quality of the coin you are looking for, finding previous year Pandas might be difficult. However, investors can typically purchase Brilliant Uncirculated Proof-Like coins from the current year without much trouble. Due to slight variations from different mints, each year could offer several coins to collect. JM Bullion offers most sizes of the current year Chinese Gold Panda in brand new condition. All Chinese gold coins ship in their original mint packaging.