Chinese Silver Pandas
Overview of the Series
The Chinese silver panda bullion coins were issued irregularly and of irregular purities between 1983 and 1988. 1989 started the regular-issue, 40mm, 99.9% silver, 1 troy oz. (31.1 gm) coins. Note that China also currently issues 5 oz. and 1 kg silver pandas.
The obverse features the Temple of Heaven with an inscription 中华人民共和国 that has the transliteration "Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo" which means "People's Republic of China." This Temple was built in Beijing by the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and it is the largest architectural complex in China.
The reverse changes every year (except 2001/2002 when it was the same - this was apparently going to be the policy except collector demand convinced officials to resume changing the designs starting again in 2003).
The face value of the coin is 10 元 (10 yuan), worth about $1.50US as of mid-2011 (comparable to the US silver 1 oz bullion having a face value of $1US).
Coins in the Set
Excluding the first 6 years (1983-1988), there are 22 coins in the set as of 2011 (1989-2011). It's fairly straight-forward, though here have been a few varieities issued that I don't really care about. The reverse designs include:
- 2001-2002: Adult panda at 3/4 face in a bamboo grove.
- 2003: Panda face-on in a bamboo grove.
- 2004: Adult and baby panda emerging from a bamboo grove.
- 2005: Adult and baby panda eating bamboo in a grove.
- 2006: Adult and baby panda eating bamboo with more overhead.
- 2007: Adult and baby panda pulling bamboo leaves off their stalks.
- 2008: Adult and baby panda in a bamboo forest.
- 2009: Two baby pandas sitting and eating in a field of bamboo. This included a 30th Anniversary Edition coin, commemorating Chinese modern precious metal coins.
- 2010: Two pandas playing in bamboo forest.
- 2011: Parent and baby panda.
My Collecting Goal
My goal with this set is to collect a set in certified NGC/PCGS holders in MS-69 condition (though the MS varieites really do have proof surfaces). I'm actually not necessarily interested in collecting a complete set because I don't care for all the designs (mainly those prior to 1995). I'm also not really interested in collecting all the varieties from previous years, such as the 3 produced in 2000, or the 5 from 1999.
A Note on the Photographs: Because I'm collecting these in slabs, it is very difficult to take good photos of the coins because (1) I'm photographing through thick plastic, and (2) that plastic is scratched and has dust that accumulates no matter how many times I wipe it off. So keep in mind that the actual coins look better than the photographs make them out to be.
|2002||YES||MS-69, Slightly Toned|
|2008||YES||MS-69, First Strike|
|2009 (30th Anniversary)||YES||MS-69|
|2010||YES||MS-69, Unattributed, Probably Large Date|