Since the early 1980s, the People's Republic of China has struck its own gold and silver bullion coins for international trade. In addition to their precious metal content, these coins are also prized collectibles due to their lower mintage figures compared to most government-issued bullion coins.
Now, the increased popularity and demand for Chinese Panda coins has caused the mint to raise its mintage limits on these products for 2017.
The standard size of the Chinese Gold Panda coin was adjusted recently. Unlike their counterparts around the world, which almost invariably weigh one troy ounce, the flagship Gold Panda is now 30 grams. Although this is slightly less than a troy ounce (31.1 grams), the People's Bank of China preferred to use the metric system and arrived at a round number like 30. Nonetheless, the coins are still struck from .999 fine (99.9% pure) gold.
For 2017, the number of 30-gram Gold Pandas that will be minted is being increased from 600,000 to 700,000. Clearly the mint feels there is enough collector and investor demand to support an additional 100,000 coins.
In addition to the 30-gram version, the Gold Panda will also be issued in 1-gram, 3-gram, 8-gram, and 15-gram sizes. Each denomination will feature their own mintage limits as well as legal tender status. Special proof versions of the Gold Panda will also be minted—in far smaller numbers—in 2017.
The Gold Panda will, as usual, be accompanied by its silver sibling, the 2017 Chinese Silver Panda. Like its gold counterpart, the Silver Panda is minted to a standard size of 30 grams. The two coins share an annually updated reverse design that depicts a panda (or pandas) in their natural habitat.
Beyond the standard 30-gram Silver Panda, next year will also see 150-gram and 1-kilogram sizes of the silver coin. These will be limited to mintages of 60,000 and 20,000, respectively. A total of 10 million of the 2017 30-gram Silver Pandas will be produced. This continues the steady increase of the mintage limit for the silver bullion coin, speaking to its growing popularity around the world.
The new design for 2017 shows a panda eating bamboo while sitting in a comfortable position.
By raising the mintage limits of its bullion coins, China is providing even more evidence that gold and silver bullion coins remain in strong demand around the globe.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.
Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.