The release of the 2015 Panda silver and gold bullion coins and
related Proof collector offerings might be notable for what the coins
The 2015 Panda coins lack inscriptions confirming their metal
content, weight and fineness. Since 1983, China’s Panda coins have
included these inscriptions on the reverse, and since 2009 the wording
has been located below the oft-changing panda design.
According to a representative of the firm that sells the coins in
the U.S. market, the inscriptions were removed from the designs,
according to his sources.
The 2015 program is being released during the Beijing International
Coin Exposition Oct. 24 to 26.
While other Chinese collector coins do not contain such markings,
the Panda coin series at its core a bullion program and markings with
weight, purity and alloy are commonly included on world bullion coins.
The lack of inscriptions may make it easier for collectors and dealers
to be fooled by counterfeit coins.
The designs for the 2015 Panda coins were unveiled over the weekend
of Oct. 17 to 19, according to William Graessle, vice president of
sales with PandaAmerica, a U.S. distributor of Chinese coins. The
reverse of the 2015 coins shows a single panda nibbling on a stalk of
bamboo, in a stand of bamboo. Bamboo leaves fill the areas above and
below the central design.
The core of the Panda program is 1-ounce silver and 20th-, 10th-,
quarter- half- and and 1-ounce gold bullion coins, with various larger
silver and gold coins struck in Proof.
Designs released by China Great Wall Coins Investment Ltd. indicate
that the inscriptions have been removed from both bullion and Proof
Panda coins, whether struck in silver or gold.
Graessle said the removal of inscriptions might pave the way so that
Panda bullion coins could be struck in weights in even grams to
satisfy the domestic Chinese market.
China’s mints might not wait until the launch of 2016 coins to
change to even-gram weights, Graessle said, and such a change could
take place beginning with the 2015 Year of the Goat coins, which are
being unveiled during the Beijing show.
“Right now we don’t know that,” Graessle said. “They haven’t made
that clear. I guess we’ll know next week.”
The specifications of the 2015 Panda program have not been released
in English, though a translation of a Chinese-language posting at
collector website www.jibi.net suggest that the 2015 Panda coins are
struck in their standard, troy-ounce-based weights.
If the weights of China’s Panda coins are changed in the future,
there is going to be a backlash, Graessle said.
Details of the 2015 Panda coin program in English are scarce, though
rumor is rampant on collector forums in both English and Chinese.
Graessle indicated that the Chinese market always receives earlier
access to new Chinese coins, but PandaAmerica expects to begin selling
the Panda coins once stock is in-house in a few weeks.
Coin World will report on the Panda program as more details are available.