The Chinese Panda was first minted as a gold coin in 1982 and followed by a silver panda coin in 1983 these were the first bullion coins issued by the state of China, the panda bear design on the reverse side of these coins has changed every year (except the year 2001, 2002), while the obverse depicts an outdoor scene of The Hall of Prayer at the Beijing Temple of Heaven. The reverse design is selected from a variety active poses of the giant panda such as bamboo eating and tree climbing, these images of the giant panda’s loving charm are depicted with clarity on these coins, today the Silver Panda coins have crossed the quarter century mark as the last 28 years have seen many coins from gold, silver to platinum and palladium. There is no doubt that the Silver Pandahas become the most outstanding of all the precious metal coin series in modern day China. In 1983 the Panda gold coin was awarded the title off Worlds Best Gold Coin of the Year, the first international award for any Chinese modern commemorative coin.
The first Chinese Panda coins issued in 1983, 1984 and 1985 were only minted as Silver Proof quality coins, each with a silver metal content of 27 grams of .900 fine silver and each with a diameter of 38.6 mm, mintages were only 10,000 for each of the three years. There were no Silver Pandas minted in 1986. The 1987 Silver Panda coin was minted in proof quality from 1 oz. sterling (.925 fine) silver with a diameter of 40 mm. All modern Silver Pandas are a full 1oz or 31 grams .999 Silver and are minted in both bullion and proof quality, each with a diameter of 39mm. In 1997 a colored Silver Panda was released by the China Mint, and again in 1998 and 1999 each of the three coins had a total mintage of 100,000 coins and where released in a case with a certificate.
2010 saw the release of 800,000 silver bullion Panda coinsthe most released in one year by the China Mint, silver proof Panda coins are not released every year and do have mintages as low as 8,000 to a mintage high of 31,000 coins. Early Panda releases do sell for a very high premium because of there rarity, but do lookout for fakes as there have been a very large number of fake Silver Pandas reaching the marketplace over the last few years, particularly on EBay so only buy from a reputable source, most fake can be spotted easily as they do not have the 10 Yuan denomination or the silver weight and purity on the coin.
Chinese Panda Series 1983-Present