The Chinese Silver Panda is a series of silver bullion coins. The design of the panda is changed every year. The People’s Republic of China has struck its own gold and silver bullion coins since early 80’s for the international trade.
In addition to their precious metal content (gold and silver), the coins are also pricey collectibles due to their lower mintage quantities as compared to other government-issued bullion coins. Due to their increased popularity and huge demand, the mint is forced to raise its mintage limits for the year 2017.
The Chinese mint always has struck Silver and Gold Panda coins together. The design of the panda on the coin is changed every year and minted in different sizes and denominations, ranging from 0.5 troy oz. to 1 kilogram. The Silver Panda coins issued up to the year 1985 were proof quality, with a precious metal content of 27 grams of 0.900 fine silver and a diameter of 38.6 mm. Mintages were only 10,000 for each year. There are several mints in China that have produced Silver Panda coins over the last few years, including the mints in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Shenyang. Unlike coins made by US mints Chinese mints generally, do not carry mintmarks which can distinguish the mint origin.
The Silver Panda is now minted to a standard size of 30 grams. Both (silver and gold) coins have the same annually updated reverse design that depicts a panda (or pandas) in their natural habitat. The Chinese government has declared that beyond the standard weight of 30-gram Silver Panda, the year 2017 will also see 150-gram and 1-kilogram sizes of the silver coins. These will be limited to mintages of 60,000 and 20,000, respectively. A total of 10 million of 2017, 30-gram Silver Pandas will be produced; this is due to the overwhelming popularity gained not only in China but all over the world.
The observe side of the coin will have the depiction of the Temple of Heaven in the centre with Chinese characters on top saying “中华人民共和国” meaning “the People’s Republic of China” and the bottom the year of issue. On the reverse side, as per the tradition of these coins, the new design for the year 2017 shows a panda eating bamboo while sitting in a comfortable position.
The China Gold Coin Corporation (CGCC) is the official distributor for the Silver and Gold Panda coins in China, and since 1982 Panda America has been appointed as an official distributor in the United States.