Forty Years of Panda (1982-2022)
The Chinese Panda coin has been arguably the number one most popular coin in the world since its first striking, forty years ago. Coin collectors worldwide can’t wait to get their hands on the new designs each year. Their low mintages and limited-edition designs make the Panda coins a great investment for bullion investors and coin enthusiasts alike. Many evolutions have taken place of the Panda coin since the first famous design – featuring a sweet panda munching on his bamboo shoot – to this year’s 40th anniversary edition, featuring two young, playful pandas sliding down a hill.
In 1982, to draw attention to the Chinese Panda as an endangered species, the China Mint struck multiple sizes of the coin in 99.9% pure gold. Only 16,000 of the largest one-ounce coins were struck, and these sold out via word-of-mouth advertising like mooncakes during the Moon Festival! Within months, all 16,000 coins were gone from the Mint, and already selling on the secondary market for DOUBLE their initial selling price! A month later, the price doubled again, and these coins were being sold for more than quadruple their original release price. On top of that, its sensational debut led to it being named “Coin of the Year” by the American Numismatic Association after its first year of release. Outcries from collectors for more Pandas resembled the response received a decade or so before by the famed Krugerrand, which also had a sharp rise to popularity. The China Mint realized they had a real opportunity on their hands and decided to turn the giant Panda coin into a series.
Risky Second Release
The following year, 90% silver Panda coins were released along with the 99.9% pure gold Panda coins. Unlike the Krugerrand or the Maple Leaf, the mint took what many would consider to be a pretty risky move and changed the design! Well, collectors have always influenced coin trends and the history on this one speaks for itself. The one year since 1982 that the Mint released a coin depicting the previous year’s design, Panda collectors raised such a stir that the Mint returned the following year to release a unique design and has continued the annual tradition since!
Highly Collectible Designs
The image of one singular Panda munching bamboo, has taken many transformations, and has even featured multiple pandas, like a mother and her cub, first seen in 2004, and even three pandas at a time in 2014! This year’s design, which is notably the 40th anniversary, is also the third year in a special ten-year “series within a series” that chronicles a Pandas growth from a cub to adulthood. It is the first gold bullion coin whose design changes annually, and collectors all over the world eagerly anticipate the release of the annual Panda depiction. Some other interesting variations in the last forty years include the weights changing slightly, the quality of silver increasing to 99.9% pure silver, and new tiny 1/20oz coins being released alongside even massive one kilo coins.
Collectors go mad for Pandas! The rich history, beautiful artwork, and highly collectible value of the Panda coins make them sure assets to portfolios of coin enthusiasts and hopeful investors alike!