China Coins

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First established in 1920 as the Shanghai Mint (later renamed the Central Mint in 1928), the Central Mint, operating under the People’s Bank of China, has weathered wars, relocations, divisions and hardship, but still manages to strike quality bullion, proof, and commemorative coins that anyone with an interest in world numismatics would enjoy. Every coin they strike combines beauty with fineness, making them perfect for both stackers and collectors alike. The China Mint boasts their premier Silver Panda and Gold Panda series as well as their Lunar themed releases. Interestingly, the Chinese Central Mint rarely strikes Mint marks on its releases, although sometimes a few minute differences between the designs of each coin could hint as to which Mint a given coin hails from. Scroll below to read more about the China Mint and the different coins it releases, and perhaps to add a Silver Panda or Gold Lunar release, to your collection today.

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Panda Series

One of the crowning jewels of the China Mint is their Chinese Panda series.  Struck in both gold and silver, the standard size for the Panda Series is a 1 oz. coin, although fractional gold varieties were later added to the lineup. The Gold Panda was first minted in 1982 with the Silver Panda following in 1983. In 2016, the China Mint transitioned the Panda Series over to the metric system, so rather than being labeled as 1-oz coins, they are now referred to as 30-gram coins.  An image of the Temple of Heaven always appears on the obverse of the series; however the reverse always features a new perspective on the native Chinese bear and includes a new Panda-inspired design every year.  A 2017 China Silver Panda is going to be different from a 2018 Silver panda and so on.  As such, collecting theis highly regarded series, results in a collection containing a myriad of art pieces that date back over 35 years, all immortalized in fine precious metals.  It’s truly incredible how these coins can capture the tiniest detail, like the fur of these majestic national monuments. 

The Chinese Silver Panda is an annual bullion release that sees high demand and collector anticipation every year. The series is seen by collectors as on par with other silver world bullion series, such as the Australian Silver Kangaroo and the American Silver Eagle.  Each I oz. or 30-gram Chinese Silver Panda, depending upon its release date, is struck in 99.9% pure silver and holds a 10 Yuan legal tender. 

The Gold Panda shares the same design as its silver counterpart, however while the 1-oz Silver Panda holds a 10-yuan legal tender, a 1 oz. Gold Panda holds a 500-yuan legal tender.  Gold Pandas are also available in a variety of fractional sizes ranging from 1/20th of an ounce to a full 1-ounce coin. The overall mintage of the gold variant is significantly lower than that of the silver coin.  The low mintage mixed with precision striking of intricate designs, ensure that Chinese Panda coins, be they struck from gold or silver, are highly sought-after, year after year.

Moon Panda Series

Starting in 2015, the China Mint issues a new Panda Series that features the iconic bear while honoring the Moon Festival. The Chinese Moon Festival, a mid-autumn festival closely tied to the harvest, honors the Moon as a symbol of unity and harmony. Featuring low mintages and annually changing designs and design features, this fairly new annual series from the China Mint has been thrilling collectors since its inception. The debut release featured select space-flown gold insets, while the 2017 release features a special holographic finish. In 2019, the China Mint is at it again, by revealing yet another, unique design, this time intended to honor the blood moon, and thereby appropriately incorporating a piece of red jade into the reverse design. This series is also available in a variety of sizes including 1 oz. and 1 kilogram.

Lunar Series

The Lunar Coin Series first began in 1981 as a commemorative series from the Chinese Mint that honored the tradition of the Chinese Lunar Calendar which is represented by 12 zodiac animals. Following the lunar cycle, the Mint would release a series of coins representing the given year’s animal representation. Since the release of the first series in 1982, a total of four series, each following the course of one lunar cycle have been released by the Mint with each featuring a new portrayal of the mythical animals. One such example is their 2018 issue that marked the year of the dog, as part of this ever-changing series. A new cycle begins in 2020 and will feature the clever Rat. Due to the diversity of designs that come from these lunar coin series thanks to both the fineness of the coins’ engraving and composition, some collectors use China Mint lunar themed releases as the basis of their collection.   

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