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The 2018 Gold Pandas continues the new tradition by China's central mint of issuing gold coins in metric weights. The 2018 Gold Pandas are made from the same .999 fine gold, and include an updated reverse design, but use the metric weight of 30 grams rather than the Western standard of measuring precious metals in troy ounces. (One troy ounce is approximately 31.1 grams.) This change also makes the coins directly comparable to popular gold bars in Asia, which are likewise measured in metric weights.
The standard 30 gram Chinese Gold Panda coin is designated with a legal tender face value of 500 Yuan. The switch to metric measurements means that the 200-Yuan Gold Panda contains 15 grams of pure gold, the 100-Yuan coin contains 8 grams of gold, the 50-Yuan version contains 3 grams of gold, and there is even a 1-gram Gold Panda with a face value of 10 Yuan. Each of these coins uses the same design for 2018.
The new reverse design shows a zoomed-in view of a panda's face, with exceptional detail in the fur and eyes of the panda. It holds a leafy shoot in its paw while a row of bamboo stalks, the panda's preferred meal, fill the background. The weight and purity are inscribed at the top rim while the 500-Yuan denomination is found at the bottom of the design.
Background On Chinese Gold Panda Coins
The history of the Chinese Gold Panda coin cannot be explained without first explaining the symbolism of the panda in China.
The Panda Bear On Chinese Gold Bullion
Pandas appearing on Chinese gold is no coincidence. For centuries, the panda was seen as an invincible animal. It was thought that panda pelts could prevent plague and tumors. Since around 1000 BCE in China, pelts were often gifted to emperors as a sign of power. The coloring of pandas is also equated to yin and yang, as the black and white correspond to the yin and yang symbol. It is only until recently that the panda has become an iconic symbol for China, but its history is, in large part, the reason for this change.
Minting Of Chinese Gold Panda Coins
First struck by the Central Mint of the People's Bank of China in 1982, the Chinese Gold Panda is the official gold bullion coin of the People's Republic and is traded all over the world. It was once produced in very limited quantities, catching the attention of avid coin collectors, and had the added appeal of annually updated reverse designs to keep the series fresh. This tradition is continued to this day, although Gold Panda coins are now minted in much larger numbers in order to meet investor demand.
With over 30 years of continual mintage under its belt, the Chinese Gold Panda has a great deal of tradition and history that rivals any precious metal bullion coin series produced anywhere in the world. Compared to the other various government-issued gold bullion coins on the market today, the Gold Panda enjoys special acclaim for its changing reverse designs, the quality and beauty of those designs, as well as the worldwide affection for the Panda as a symbolic embodiment of Chinese culture. The coins are often purchased in groups of their original mint sheets or sealed in their individual mint plastic.