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Chinese Gold Panda Coins

Front (Obverse)
Chinese Gold Panda Front
Design Temple of Heaven
Design date 1982
Back (Reverse)
Chinese Gold Panda Back
Design Various illustrations of pandas
Design date Updated annually
Face Value 500 CNY
Mass 30 g
Diameter 32 mm
Thickness 2.70 mm
Edge Reeded
Composition 99.9% Au

The Chinese Gold Panda (Chinese: 熊猫金币; pinyin: xióngmāojīnbì) is a series of gold bullion coins that is minted by the official mint of the People’s Republic of China. The official mint of the People’s Republic of China began production of the panda gold bullion coins in 1982. The panda design on the back of the gold panda changes every year (with one exception). Gold Panda coins come in various sizes and denominations, ranging from 1/20 troy oz. to 1 troy oz. and larger. There is also a silver panda series issued with the same designs as the gold panda coins.

Gold Panda History

China issued its first gold coins depicting a panda design in 1982, in sizes of 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 troy oz. of 999 fine gold. In 1983 another size, 1/20 oz, was added. Larger panda coins weighing 5 and 12 oz were issued in some years. These popular coins are issued in proof-like, brilliant uncirculated quality with a different design each year. A freeze of the design was announced with the 2001 issues. Therefore, the 2002 pandas were identical to 2001. But collectors spoke up in behalf of annual changes, and the mint reverted to its original policy. There are several mints that produce these coins, including: Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Shenyang. Chinese mints usually do not employ mintmarks, unlike coins made by US mints, that carry mint marks to distinguish their origin. In certain years there are minor variations in the coin design that allow the originating mint to be determined.

Gold Panda Design

  • Front (Obverse) – Depicts the Temple of Heaven in the center with Chinese characters on top saying “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo” which means People’s Republic of China. The year of issue is displayed on the bottom. Commemorative issues are also marked on the bottom.
  • Back (Reverse) -Various illustrations of pandas that change every year (except for 2001 and 2002, which share the same design).

The China Gold Coin Corporation (CGCC) is the official distributor of the Gold and Silver Panda coins in China. Panda America has been an official distributor in America since 1982.

Denominations

The Gold Pandas are legal tender in the People’s Republic of China, and are currently issued in face-value denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 yuan. From 1982 through 2000, they were issued in denominations of 100, 50, 25, and 10 yuan with the 5 yuan added in 1983, which corresponds with 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1/20 troy ounces of gold respectively. In 1991, 1-gram Gold Pandas were minted in denominations of 3 yuan.

Face value Nominal gold weight Fine weight Total weight Diameter Thickness
500 yuan 1 troy ounce 31.103 g 32.05 mm 2.70 mm
200 yuan 1/2 troy ounce 15.5515 g 27.00 mm 1.85 mm
100 yuan 1/4 troy ounce 7.7758 g 21.95 mm 1.53 mm
50 yuan 1/10 troy ounce 3.1103 g 17.95 mm 1.05 mm
20 yuan 1/20 troy ounce 1.5552 g 13.92 mm 0.83 mm

The 2016 Gold Panda Coin

In 2016, the old weight system of troy ounces was replaced by the metric system of grams, which is the standard system of weights used in China. For the first time, the full range of Silver and Gold Panda coins are issued in metric weights. This change may affect bullion buyers, who calculate their holdings in ounces, more than coin collectors, who collect by denomination.

New Gold Panda Characteristic

Face value Nominal gold weight Fine weight Total weight Diameter Thickness
500 yuan 0.9645 troy ounce 30 g 32 mm 2.70 mm
200 yuan 0.4823 troy ounce 15 g 27 mm 1.85 mm
100 yuan 0.2572 troy ounce 8 g 22 mm 1.53 mm
50 yuan 0.0965 troy ounce 3 g 18 mm 1.05 mm
20 yuan 0.0322 troy ounce 1 g 10 mm 0.83 mm

 

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