World Coins

Panda medals make return to World’s Fair of Money

The Shanghai Mint, Champion Hong Kong Auctions and the American Numismatic Association are commemorating the ANA’s 125th anniversary with 1-ounce silver and gold Panda medals.

Medal images courtesy of Champion Hong Kong Auctions.

When a panda travels to a new location, the event is newsworthy. 

For collectors of Chinese coins and medals, the debut of three new Pandas at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Aug. 9 to 11 is also notable.

The Shanghai Mint and Champion Hong Kong Auctions, in conjunction with the ANA, are celebrating the ANA’s 125th anniversary with three limited-edition Panda medals.

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The sellers are offering 1-ounce silver and gold medals, along with a 12-ounce silver medal. 

Panda bears captivate our attention because of their rarity and their appearance, their panda cuteness outmatching their bear nature. 

Panda coins and medals are similarly prized by some collectors, for their rarity, design and, yes, the challenge in collecting them.

The tradition of issuing Panda medals or coins in conjunction with coin shows goes back to the 1980s, and accelerated in the 1990s. Several commemorative Panda show medals have been issued in this decade. The most recent issue associated with the ANA was during the 2012 convention in Philadelphia.

The 2016 medals mark the return of the Panda to America, and were designed by Yu Min. Min is the Shanghai Mint’s designer known for the 1983 Panda coin design, which was awarded the Coin of the Year in 1985. 

Min has designed more China Panda coins than all other designers, and recently designed medals issued by Champion for the 2014 and 2015 Macau Numismatic Society show, and the 2016 World Money Fair in Berlin.

The 2016 ANA medals share a common obverse depicting the obverse of the 1925 California Diamond Jubilee silver half dollar at center, flanked by a Chinese panda bear on the left and a California bear on the right. 

The Hollywood sign appears above,  beyond the half dollar design, while bamboo backs the panda and towering redwoods appear behind the California bear.

The reverse of the 1-ounce medals carries the ANA Lamp of Knowledge logo at the center with its usual inscriptions, surrounded by two rings of inscriptions. 125TH ANNIVERSARY ANAHEIM 2016 appears above and THE LAMP OF KNOWLEDGE below in English on the outer ring,  while the same in  Chinese appears in the inner ring. 

The reverse of the 12-ounce medal shows the logo at center, with THE LAMP OF KNOWLEDGE, ANAHEIM and 1891–2016 in English and Chinese surrounding the logo. In a sectioned ring at the rim is ADVANCING NUMISMATIC SCHOLARSHIP, and QUASQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, in both English and Chinese.

These official commemorative bullion pieces will not bear denominations, but the weight and fineness will be indicated on the edge of each medal.

The 1-ounce silver medal is limited to mintage of 2,000, with limits of 125 each for the 1-ounce gold and 12-ounce silver medals.

All medals will also feature a serial number engraved on the obverse.

Prices were not established for the medals as of press time July 15. 

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