Chinese Gold Panda

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The Chinese Gold Panda coins are special bullion coins minted by the People Republic of China. Much sought-after by collectors and bullion investors alike owing to its purity and undeniably cute depictions of giant pandas, the Chinese Gold Panda is one of the most popular bullion coins to date, with a long following of both numismatists and investors since its first mintage in 1982.[1]

The Chinese Gold Panda is a unique bullion coin with a design that changed yearly (with one or two exceptions in 2001 and 2002). Originally minted 1982 for the express purpose of bullion investing and international gold trade, the Gold Panda is one of the most whimsical and highly ornate of gold coins when it comes to the sheer simplicity of design. Incorporating various types of gold tooling, each Gold Panda has its own unique characteristic that differentiates it from other coins minted during previous years.[2] Because of its sheer diversity, many collectors invest large amounts of money to possess Gold Pandas to add to their preexisting sets. The bullion market also lauds the Gold Panda as one of the most beautiful gold coins, in terms of design, and the most valuable owing to its purity. On a similar level of purity with the Canadian Gold Maple coins, the Gold Panda is made from 99.999% fine gold. Because of its purity and beauty as well as the fact that it is a government-sanctioned bullion coin as contrary to a privately minted one, it is very salable and highly liquefiable, making them excellent investment pieces.

The Chinese Gold Panda is among the most popular of bullion coins to date, although it is more salable by far for numismatic collectors who are after adding new coins to their already sizable collection of Gold Pandas. Some numismatists specialize in the collection of back-issues or coins that were minted prior to the new millennium (2000 AD), as these coins tend to be rarer, although their rarity does not it any way affect its value as a salable bullion coin.

Originally available in sizes of 1, ½, ¼, and 1/10 troy oz., the Gold Pandas now also come in 1/20 of an ounce, a size which was added only a year after its initial mintage. Some rare examples of Gold Pandas even weigh some five to twelve ounces, although these examples are very few and far-flung, with only a very limited number ever made, making it doubly valuable to collectors and investors (the former, owing to its rarity, and the latter to its heft) alike.[3]

The obverse of every Gold Panda carries a similar and unchanging design since the first mintage. It depicts the Temple of Heaven located in the southeastern part of Beijing, along with Chinese characters on the top that states: ‘Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo’ (People’s Republic of China) followed by the year of mintage. The reverse of the coin features the ever-changing pandas that are constantly updated and changed every year. Accompanied by inscriptions that detail its gold purity, its face value (500, 200, 100, 50, and 25 yuan (as of 2001) examples from 1982 to 2000 were issued in face values of 100, 50, 25, 10, and 5 yuan; its face value corresponds to its weight in gold, with the higher face value subsequently weighing more), and its currency name, the reverse of the Gold Pandas are perhaps one of the most uniquely endearing of all coin designs. Aside from general proof-quality minting made especially for collectors and investors, commemorative coins are also minted to mark special occasions or national and historical events, with the current theme of the minting run stated in Chinese characters on the obverse, following the year of mintage. The reverse designs of the Gold Pandas feature a variety of different gold-working methods such as niello, texturing, frosting, etching or toning making each coin a veritable work of art. Unlike other gold bullion, the Gold Pandas do not possess any sort of distinguishing mark or mintmark to enable one to discern its place of origin. Unlike other bullions that are only expressly minted in one area alone, the Chinese Gold Panda is produced by several mints all throughout China (among them: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Shenyang), each of which have their own minute flourishes which they incorporate to the overall design. It is these tiny details that allow only the most perceptive of assayers and collectors to denote its place of origin.

Today, Chinese Gold Pandas are traded and purchased internationally, with dealers from all over the world duly authorized by the official distributor of the coins – the China Gold Coin Corporation (CGCC).[4] In the United States, Panda America is just one of many official distributors (this, being the oldest) of Gold Pandas, although a number of independent distributors under permission from the CGCC are also found throughout the world. A far more affordable version of the Gold Panda has also been made available – a bullion coin made with .900 fine silver originally minted a year after the gold coins (1983), and every year hence with similarly changing designs as the gold ones,[5] known as the Silver Panda.

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Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for ©

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