Sunday, June 7, 2009

History of Chinese Silver Panda

The Chinese Silver Panda is issued by the People's Bank of China. It is known as one of the Modern Chinese Coins as it was minted after 1979. Its very first issue was in 1983 as proof coin with a mintage of only 10,000 and a denomination of 10 Yuan. However, it did not consist of 1 troy ounce of silver. Its fineness was 90% and it weighed only 27g, where its silver weight is only 24.3g with a 38.6 mm diameter. It was the same for year of issue 1984 and 1985 except that it has a different design on its reverse of the pandas every year. No explanation was given to why no Silver Panda coins were minted in 1986.

In 1987, the first ever 31,000 proof Silver Panda coins of 99.9% fineness were minted and each weighed 31.1g. The Temple of Heaven used on the obverse was also subtly changed in the year 1987. In the period of 1983 - 1985, the top row of stone fence on either side of the main stairway remained unchanged with 8 posts on each side. The middle row, however, had 8 posts for 1983 - 1985 but had 7 posts for period 1987 - 1991. The front row had 5 posts compared to 6 previously. The extension of the stone fences from the side stairways was also reduced in terms of the number of posts in the new design. 1987 was also the year that 5 oz.t Silver Panda coins were first minted and had a face value of 50 Yuan.

There wasn't any 1 oz.t Silver Panda coins minted in 1988. However, the first ever 12 oz.t or 100 Yuan proof Silver Panda coins were issued with a very low mintage of 5,000 together with 11,000 pieces of 5 oz.t. Comparing the total amount of silver used in minting Silver Panda and Chinese Year of Rabbit Silver Coins in 1987 with Silver Panda and Chinese Year of Dragon Silver Coins in 1988, it shows 111,000 oz.t and 122,500 oz.t respectively, which is my guess why 1 oz.t Silver Panda coins were not minted in 1988 and this has yet to take into account the minting of the 15th Winter, 24th Summer Olympic Games and first issue of Endangered Wildlife Silver Coin Set.

1989 is the first year of issue of BU Silver Panda coins with a mintage of 255,000. During the period 1983 - 1989, all Silver Pandas were minted in Shanghai Mint. For period of 1990 - 1998, BU 1 oz.t Silver Panda coins were produced at both the Shanghai and Shenyang Mint, thus there are two versions for those years. In 1999, the Silver Panda is minted by three mints - Shanghai, Shenyang and Shenzhen Mints.

1998 is the first year of issue of 1 kg Proof Silver Panda that has a denomination of 200 Yuan and an interesting mintage of 1,998. It is subsequently followed 1,999 pieces for Year 1999 and 2,000 pieces for Year 2000 and capped at 2,000 pieces till Year 2001. From 2002 till date, except for 2003, 4,000 pieces were minted and the face value was increased to 300 Yuan. There were only 2,000 kilo Silver Panda coins minted in 2003.


  1. Hi, appreciate your advise on this Chinese Panda 1987 5oz. eBay #390094426282. Is it an official release or something else? Thanks. NT

  2. Sorry for the very late reply. This item is 100% FAKE.

  3. I have a unique "silver Panda coin" by unique I mean not sure it's real since I don't really see another like it. It has no English date, has the country China design on the obverse side, not the temple. I don't think there is Yuan value but I don't know what all the Chinese letters say...? Sound like a fake? I inherrited from my Grandparents, don't know anything about it other than it doesn't look like any other of the Panda's I have seen online... Thx for your time. -Lisa

  4. I think I know which one you meant. That is not a bullion coin but a panda round. It would be good if you can email me a photo of it.

  5. Sorry for late the reply, didn't realize you had a chance to reply. Thanks! How do I get you a picture? email to what addy or upload to???

    Thank you- I appreciate your time! -Lisa

  6. Hi Lisa, you can find my e-mail in the 'About me' section. I'm actually receiving a lot of spam because of that.