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Chinese Panda Gold Coins

Chinese Panda Gold Coins

Given the ubiquity of Chinese made goods, Chinese Panda Gold Coins are a fairly unusual find in most western countries.

The mint was established in Shanghai in 1920. Coins were first produced in 1933.  The 1937 invasion of China by the Japanese, saw the mint scattered to a number of inland cities including Guilin, Kunming and Chengdu. It moved back to Shanghai at the end of the war and stayed there whilst the Civil War raged on.

The gold and precious metal side of the business operated erratically until 1982 when gold coins featuring the popular panda motif were brought into production.

The coins were minted by the People’s Bank of China who is in overall control of currency and coin production and distribution within the Asian nation.

Subsidiary mints

Unlike many mints, the People’s Bank of China operates a number of subsidiaries who actually issue some of the coins, quite often working on low denomination currency that will be used locally across the vast expanse of China.

Most of the gold used by the mint to make the coins is Australian in origin. The main centres for gold coin production within China are located in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Nanchang and Shijiazhuang from where the Chinese Mint distributes gold, silver and other precious metal coins through its network.

The Panda Coins

China has been a very closed country during the mid to late 20th century. Many nations, as well as the United Nations, did not even recognise the government of the state following the end of the Second World War.

It took until 1971 for this recognition to occur. The Chinese government introduced the new coin carrying the image of the panda in 1982, hoping to appeal partly to international markets by using the image of the “cute” animal.

The designs on the Chinese Panda Gold Coins change nearly every year and are minted in silver and other precious metals as well as gold.  The typical design features the panda design on the reverse and an image of the Taoist Temple of Heaven (a religious complex completed in 1420 under the Ming dynasty in Beijing) on the front.

Given the quirky design and high gold content, the coins quickly developed international interest among collectors.

Most years, China has minted gold Panda coins in five key denominations: 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 yuan.  It should be noted that In 2016, the Chinese government changed the weight system used by its currency from troy ounces to metric grams. Coins produced after that date contain slightly less gold than coins made before that date.