The Panda - Chinese Bullion Coins

Author: Ian Davis - Bullion Manager

Published: 31 Dec 2016

Last Updated: 20 Aug 2019

This is our blog. If you are interested in purchasing Panda coins click here.

Will the 2017 Panda be the Most Popular Design in Recent Years?

The Pandas are eagerly anticipated by coin collectors all over they world and each year we start to get phone calls in the summer asking for release dates and enquiries about pre-ordering the next year's coins.

The 2017 Panda is Here

The 2017 Metric Panda

The 2017 Chinese Panda coins have arrived and we're already sold out of some of the sizes in our first allocation.

The 2017 Design

The 2017 Panda reverse features an engraving of an adult panda sitting eating a branch of bamboo leaves. The panda is native to China and is seen as a symbol of friendship and peace.

As with all previous years, the obverse bears the Temple of Heaven which is located on the original site where the ancient emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasty held their Heaven Worship Ceremonies. This site is greatly revered by the Chinese; it epitomises their cultural heritage and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998.

China Leads the Way!

2015 Chinese Panda - Issued without Weight or Fineness 

2015 Panda

In 2015, the People's Republic of China caused a stir in the bullion world when they announced that they would be omitting the weights from their popular panda coins. Although the gold and silver coins remained the same weights and fineness as in previous years, the information was no longer stamped on the coins. This enabled China to market them in grams within China whilst continuing to use troy ounces throughout the rest of the world. 

2016 Panda

This was followed by a further shake up of the system when in 2016 the panda coins were issued for the first time in metric weights, rather than Troy weights.

2016 Metric Chinese Panda

Gold Content Comparison

Well, the world didn't collapse, sales continued to rise and the 2017 China Panda coins in metric weights are proving to be as popular as ever. 

  1982 - 2015 Panda Weight
in Ounces
1982 - 2015 Panda Weight
in Grams
2016 - Present Panda Weight
in Ounces
2016 - Present Panda Weight
in Grams
Gold Pandas        
5 Yuan  0.05 1.55 0.0322 1
10 Yuan  0.10 3.110 0.0965 3
25 Yuan  0.25 7.77 0.2572 8
50 Yuan  0.50 15.55 0.4823 15
100 Yuan  1.00 31.1035 0.9645 30
Silver Pandas        
10 Yuan  1.00 31.1035 0.9645 30

An Old Fashioned System?

The majority of the English-speaking world, including the US, Australia and the UK, use troy ounces when calculating precious metal prices. The UK's A.M. and P.M. gold fixes are provided by the London Bullion Market Association, who also use the measurement. Furthermore, most bullion coins from the major mints are issued in multiples or fractions of troy ounces as a standard. You could say the modern market is built around the troy ounce, but is this system outdated?

When it comes to bars, or larger coins, we tend to use grams and kilos anyway. Sovereigns weigh 7.98g and contain just under quarter of a troy ounce (0.2354oz) of gold. The weight doesn't discourage customers, in fact, they're probably our most popular gold bullion coin. What sets sovereigns apart from pandas though, is the rich numismatic history which precedes modern standards.

Converting into troy ounces or grams isn't a hard task (here at Chard, we're used to dividing or multiplying everything by 31.1035 - those six digits are all but branded into our brains). It requires some knowledge on converting the spot price into grams (or the coin into troy ounces) which may deter the average investor - people didn’t like changing from imperial to metric after all.

Maybe the transition to metric weights is already underway. What do you think?

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